Religious Liberty
Associated Press/Photo by Damian Dovarganes (file)

Free at last in California

Religious Liberty | Court blocks the state’s restrictions on indoor worship
by Steve West
Posted 12/11/20, 05:43 pm

In the first successful challenge to Gov. Gavin Newsom’s pandemic restrictions on churches, a California state court found the total ban on indoor worship unconstitutionally inhibits the free exercise of religion. Bakersfield Superior Court Judge Gregory Pulskamp on Thursday blocked Newsom from enforcing the order against Fr. Trevor Burfitt and the Catholic parishes he oversees, including congregations in Kern, San Bernardino, San Diego, and Los Angeles counties.

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Associated Press/Photo by J. Scott Applewhite (file)

Supreme Court strengthens anti-persecution law

Religious Liberty | Justices give the Religious Freedom Restoration Act some teeth
by Steve West
Posted 12/11/20, 05:33 pm

The Supreme Court on Thursday unanimously agreed a federal law upholding religious rights also allows people of faith to recover monetary damages from those who discriminate against them.

The case involved three Muslim men who claimed FBI agents placed them on the no-fly list when they refused to act as informants against other Muslims. The government subsequently removed them from the list, but the men continued to seek damages for airline tickets wasted and lost income from job opportunities they missed.

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Associated Press/Photo by Jonathan Bachman (file)

Church politics go to court

Religious Liberty | A ruling in a Baptist tussle threatens church autonomy
by Steve West
Posted 12/08/20, 12:52 pm

What happens in church has generally stayed in church and out of courts, due to a legal doctrine called ecclesiastical abstention. But a narrowly divided appeals court recently revived an ex-church employee’s lawsuit in a decision critics say represents an unwarranted intrusion into religious matters.

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