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First Amendment

Students for Religious Liberty at the University of Chicago to Host Panel on Litigating Religious Liberty

  • September 21, 2020
  • by Noel Sterett

On Wednesday, September 23, 2020, I will have the honor of speaking with law students at the University of Chicago about the joys and challenges of litigating religious liberty cases. I will be on a panel with two esteemed religious liberty litigators, Mark Rienzi, the […]

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Its time to make the move out of the Methodist denomination

  • August 9, 2020
  • by Daniel P. Dalton

The Annual Conferences are now in the process of trying to figure out which local Churches are likely to stay, which ones wish to leave and which ones they can close and take their assets to build up their financials. The donations to the denomination […]

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Big Supreme Court Win For Religious Schools and School Choice Movement

  • June 30, 2020
  • by Noel Sterett

This morning the United States Supreme Court reaffirmed that it is unconstitutional to bar religious schools from receiving public benefits or aid solely because of their religious status. The case, Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue, involves a scholarship program that the Montana Supreme Court […]

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Local Churches defeat trust clause claim

  • June 23, 2020
  • by Noel Sterett

All across the country, local congregations are deciding to leave their denominations and take the necessary steps to keep their properties. There is an increasing number of congregations seeking to leave the United Methodist Church, Episcopal Church, and Reformed Church of America. And while some […]

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7th Circuit Court of Appeals Rejects Illinois Churches’ Challenge to State’s COVID Restrictions

  • June 16, 2020
  • by Noel Sterett

Today, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in Elim Romanian Church, et al. v. Pritzker that Illinois’s COVID restrictions, which limited the size of public gatherings to ten people, did not violate the First Amendment. By way of background, several Illinois churches had sued […]

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Split Supreme Court Denies Churches Relief from COVID Restrictions

  • June 1, 2020
  • by Noel Sterett

Over the last few weeks, several churches in California and Illinois have asked the courts for relief from their state’s restrictions on religious assemblies—restrictions put in place to limit the spread of COVID-19. Because the trial and appellate courts would not grant them relief, they […]

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The Coming Legal Battles Over How To Fund Religious Schools and Where They Can Locate

  • May 29, 2020
  • by Noel Sterett

The pandemic forced public and private schools all across the country to close early. In response, many parents had to quickly adapt to alternative ways to educate their children. Some discovered the benefits and challenges of homeschooling. Others turned to virtual classrooms and courses taught […]

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Federal Court of Appeals Rejects Illinois Churches’ Emergency Request for an Injunction

  • May 18, 2020
  • by Noel Sterett

On Saturday, May 16, 2020, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals issued an order indicating that two Illinois churches are unlikely to succeed in their efforts to challenge Governor Pritzker’s Executive Order which limits gatherings to no more than ten people. By way of background, […]

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First Amendment: The Ministerial Exception Revisited

  • May 14, 2020
  • by Adel Nucho

In 2004, a Called1 teacher at Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church School, located in Redford, Michigan, went on disability leave after being diagnosed with narcolepsy. After feeling better, she wanted to teach again. But the Church no longer had a position for her. The Church asked […]

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Coronavirus Impact: Drive-In Church Services

  • May 1, 2020
  • by Adel Nucho

Prohibiting Sunday church services—even when attendees remain in their cars—is “beyond all reason, unconstitutional,” a federal judge exclaims in Kentucky. By now, we are all aware of COVID-19 and the ongoing public health crisis. As a result, wherever you are in the United States, you […]

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