News Snapshot

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U.S. Supreme Court Say Louisiana Abortion Law Is Unconstitutional

Jul 3, 2020

On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court in a 5-4 decision held unconstitutional a Louisiana law that required abortion providers to have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles from where they perform the procedure, which is a requirement Louisiana applies to physicians performing procedures at ambulatory surgical centers. Justice Stephen Breyer’s opinion, speaking for a plurality of the Court, noted that the Louisiana statute was “almost word for word identical” to a Texas statute it had held unconstitutional in 2016.

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Judge Blocks New York From Enforcing Restrictions on Religious Gatherings

Jul 3, 2020

A federal judge on Friday ordered New York's places of worship to be treated the same as businesses when it comes to coronavirus restrictions in a ruling that criticized Mayor Bill de Blasio and Gov. Andrew Cuomo for encouraging protests while simultaneously limiting outdoor religious gatherings.

Private School Classroom

U.S. Supreme Court Says Religion Ban in Montana’s Education Tax Credit Program Is Unconstitutional

Jul 3, 2020

In a 5 to 4 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that a provision in Montana’s Constitution prohibiting state aid to religious organizations could not prevent taxpayers from obtaining a state tax credit for contributions made to private parochial schools that are used to provide scholarships for eligible students when a credit is available for contributions made to other types of private schools.

Parental Consent

Florida Legislature Passes Bill Requiring Parental Consent for Minors to Have Abortion

Jul 3, 2020

Girls under the age of 18 are now required to receive parental permission before having an abortion under a bill signed by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. This legislation prevents a doctor from performing an abortion on a minor unless the doctor has received a notarized, written consent form signed by the minor's parent or legal guardian.

HeartBeat Bill

Tennessee Legislature Passes Fetal Heartbeat Bill; Planned Parenthood, ACLU File Lawsuit

Jun 26, 2020

Last Friday, an emergency lawsuit was filed against the state seeking to enjoin the implementation of a bill passed by the Tennessee legislature that bans abortion at ten different stages of fetal development, beginning with the detection of the heartbeat.

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Trump Administration Defends Idaho’s Transgender Athletics Legislation

Jun 26, 2020

Earlier this month, dozens of groups and hundreds of athletes urged the NCAA to pull tournament events out of Idaho in response to the legislature’s passage of the Fairness in Women’s Sports Act, which bans transgender females from competing in women’s sports.

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Governor DeWine Signs Bill Expanding Religious Freedom in Ohio Public Schools

Jun 26, 2020

Ohio has enacted legislation aimed at increasing religious freedom rights for students in public schools, including the use of religious content by students in school assignments.  

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Seventh Circuit Rules Illinois Can Restrict Churches to 10 People

Jun 26, 2020

The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals upheld Illinois’ Covid-19 stay-at-home orders on Tuesday, refusing to issue an injunction against Governor Pritzker’s decision to limit indoor religious gatherings to no more than 10 people.


Trump Admin to Allow Homeless Shelters to Serve on Basis of Biological Sex

Jun 19, 2020

The Department of Housing and Urban Development is set to roll back an Obama-era rule that requires single-sex homeless shelters to accommodate clients based on their gender identity. Under HUD’s proposed new rule, workers at single-sex shelters may consider someone’s biological sex, instead of how they self-identify, when making accommodation decisions.


Tennessee Legislature Approves Governor’s “Laddered” Abortion Bill

Jun 19, 2020

After telling the public for weeks that it would only take up certain bills and it had no intention of taking up abortion legislation, at midnight last night the Tennessee Senate voted to suspend its rules to immediately take up Senate Bill 2196/House Bill 2263, the Governor’s bill creating a “laddered” approach to abortion restrictions.

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