In an ongoing series of occasional reports, “Religion and the Courts: The Pillars of Church-State Law,” the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life explores the complex, fluid relationship between government and religion. Among the issues to be examined are religion in public schools, displays of religious symbols on public property, conflicts concerning the free […]
Whenever churches or religious organizations find themselves involved in civil litigation, courts first must determine whether the First Amendment’s religion clauses bestow a unique legal status on religious organizations that puts some of their decisions and actions beyond the reach of civil laws.
On Nov. 3, 2010, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in a pair of related cases involving a constitutional challenge to an Arizona tax policy aimed at providing scholarships for children to attend private – often religious – schools.
A divided Supreme Court today ruled, 5-4, that a public law school can deny recognition to a student group that excludes gays and lesbians. The Court said the school could enforce a policy requiring official student organizations to accept all students who want to join. The case, Christian Legal Society v. Martinez, arose in 2004 […]
Should doctors, pharmacists and other health care workers have the right to refuse to provide services that conflict with their religious beliefs? Until recently, the debate over “conscience protections” for health care workers centered largely on abortion and birth control. But in the past few years, new cases have emerged that have expanded the debate […]
The U.S. Supreme Court today overturned a lower court ruling that had ordered the removal of a cross from a World War I memorial located in California’s Mojave National Preserve. Prior to the high court’s decision in this case, Salazar v. Buono, a federal district court had ruled that allowing the eight-foot-tall cross to remain […]
On April 19, 2010, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in Christian Legal Society v. Martinez, a case that will determine whether a public institution can refuse to officially recognize a religiously based organization that prevents those who do not share its religious and moral values from becoming voting members. The case arose […]
The following briefing by Brian J. Grim, a senior researcher at the Pew Research Center’s Forum on Religion & Public Life, was presented to the Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on International Organizations, Human Rights, and Oversight on the Pew Forum’s findings on restrictions on religion around the world. Good morning. I would like to begin by […]
With their distinctive appearance and religious practices, Sikh-Americans often find themselves at the center of workplace discrimination cases and other controversies involving their religious rights. And while Sikh groups have worked to carve out legal protections for the community’s religious practices, their efforts have not always met with success. In California, for example, Gov. Arnold […]
On Oct. 7, 2009, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in Salazar v. Buono, a case involving a constitutional challenge to the presence of an eight-foot-tall Christian cross in the Mojave National Preserve in San Bernardino County, Calif. The case arose when Frank Buono, a former assistant superintendent of the preserve, filed a […]