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Religious Liberty

On Wednesday, Assistant Legislative Director Sarah Greenberg and I arrived at the Supreme Court well before sunrise and waited hours in line to attend oral arguments for

Tracy Wolf

Last night, 9 people were killed at the historic Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina when a 21 year old man opened fire. The tragedy has shaken the country and reminded us that violence and hatred know no boundaries, and can reach us even within the walls of a house of worship. RAC Deputy Director Rachel Laser shared the following statement:

June 15, 1215 is one of the most well-known days in Western history. 800 years ago today, in Runnymede, England, King John signed Magna Carta (the Great Charter), a nascent constitution/bill of rights for English nobility. Magna Carta maintains an almost legendary role in history, although only three of its many provisions are currently in use in English law today, and it has been changed and reissued numerous times since 1215.

On Monday, the first of the closely-watched June decision days, the Supreme Court handed down a decision in Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Abercrombie & Fitch, Inc. This case asked whether the religious non-discrimination provisions related to employment under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act prohibit discrimination only if an applicant has let the employer know of the need for an accommodation.

Back in October, I wrote a preview of the 2014-2015 Supreme Court term, sharing my excitement (and some nervousness) about the cases to come. It’s hard to believe that term is almost over— eight months have flown by! As we welcome June, we anticipate the frenzy of decisions that the Court will hand down as it closes out its 2014-2015 calendar. Just as we did for Hobby Lobby in 2014 and Windsor v. United States, which struck down key sections of the Defense of Marriage Act in 2013, we eagerly await the Court’s “grand finale” decisions this June.

On Wednesday, the Washington Post wrote about the topics most clergy members discuss from the pulpit as a way to illustrate that the issues most associated with communities of faith -- reproductive rights and LGBT rights/same-sex marriage, due much in part to  the Religious Right -- is not what is actually happening on the ground.

On Thursday morning, the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform held a "field" hearing on the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program (OSP), or the D.C. school vouchers program at Archbishop Carroll High School, where a large percentage of the students receive these vouchers.

The Reform Movement has a long history of opposing voucher programs, not only because we believe in the importance of supporting and maintaining a robust, high-quality and high-performing public school system, but also because a large portion of voucher dollars got to parochial schools, compromising church-state separation.The irony of having the hearing at this location was not lost on those of us in attendance who work on this issue from a church-state separation perspective.

The big news of the week has been the aftermath surrounding the passage of state Religious Freedom Restoration Acts (RFRAs), with new developments on how which governor felt about which law or possible amendment changing every few hours.

Sarah Greennberg