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Justice Department expands religious liberty scope

by Evan Wilt
Posted 10/06/17, 01:13 pm

WASHINGTON—Attorney General Jeff Sessions issued new government-wide religious liberty guidance Friday granting increased deference to First Amendment freedoms. The 25-page memo outlined 20 principles that convey the Justice Department’s interpretation of religious freedom protections Americans have under federal law. “Except in the narrowest of circumstances, no one should be forced to choose between living out his or her faith and complying with the law,” Sessions wrote. “Therefore, to the greatest extent practicable and permitted by law, religious observance should be reasonably accommodated in all government activity, including employment, contracting, and programming.” The document recognizes that religious employers do not have to hire people who do not share their belief system: “Religious organizations may choose to employ only persons whose beliefs and conduct are consistent with the organizations’ religious precepts.” The document implements a religious liberty executive order President Donald Trump signed in May.


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Evan Wilt

Evan is a reporter for WORLD Digital based in Washington, D.C.

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