Steve West

Steve is a legal correspondent for WORLD. He is a graduate of World Journalism Institute, Wake Forest University School of Law, and N.C. State University. He worked for 34 years as a federal prosecutor and is now an attorney in private practice. Steve resides with his wife in Raleigh, N.C. Follow him on Twitter @slntplanet.

 

Associated Press/Photo by Andre Teague/Bristol Herald Courier (file)

Churches ask for equal treatment

Religious Liberty | If a drive-thru restaurant can stay open, why not a drive-in church?
by Steve West
Posted 4/21/20, 05:04 pm

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy said on Wednesday he was “not thinking of the Bill of Rights” when he implemented strict social distancing measures to try to stop the spread of the coronavirus, and the Democrat likely wasn’t alone. State and local officials across the country, facing a spiraling public health crisis by mid-March, quickly issued highly restrictive public gathering bans and stay-at-home orders—sometimes without considering the constitutional ramifications.

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Associated Press/Photo by Nam Y. Huh (file)

Voting from home

Religious Liberty | The coronavirus lockdown may prompt changes in election procedures
by Steve West
Posted 4/14/20, 05:49 pm

Petitions, ballot initiatives, and referendums have often served as tools for voters who feel unheard by legislators to take democracy into their own hands. A voter-driven ballot initiative in 2018 enshrined unborn children’s right to life in the Alabama Constitution, for example.

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Associated Press/Photo by David Crigger/Bristol Herald Courier (file)

Closed but not canceled

First Amendment | Churches adapt to pandemic restrictions
by Steve West
Posted 4/07/20, 03:11 pm

Henry Fernandez doesn’t like preaching to an empty room and a camera: “Here I am in this small sanctuary with six people, and I’m trying to ignore the camera and speak normally, and that has been a real challenge for me.”

Though the situation makes him anxious, Fernandez, who pastors Bryce Avenue Presbyterian Church, a Presbyterian Church in America congregation in Los Alamos, N.M., said the decision whether to obey the state’s ban on public gatherings during the COVID-19 pandemic was straightforward.

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