The case, involving a Christian convert and his Southern Baptist minister, is the latest in ongoing First Amendment disputes over the role of clergy in the death chamber. A Texas death row inmate won a reprieve Wednesday evening from execution for killing a convenience store worker during a 2004 robbery that garnered $1.25 after claiming the state was violating his religious freedom by not letting his pastor lay hands on him at the time of his lethal injection. The US Supreme Court blocked John Henry Ramirez’s execution about three hours after he could have been executed. He is condemned for…

“We are hard-pressed to find a clearer example of viewpoint discrimination.” A federal appeals court has upheld a 2019 ruling against the University of Iowa, affirming that the university discriminated against a Christian club by stripping it and dozens of other religious clubs of their registered status. A three-judge panel of the US 8th Circuit Court of Appeal on Friday found that a lower federal court correctly ruled that the university can’t selectively deregister student organizations. That ruling came on a lawsuit filed by InterVarsity Christian Fellowship after university administrators deregistered its local chapter along with multiple other religious groups….

But majority declines to revisit rules for religious accommodation, over protests from justices Samuel Alito and Neil Gorsuch. Update (June 17): The United States Supreme Court ruled decisively in favor of a Catholic foster care agency on Thursday, with all nine justices agreeing that the city of Philadelphia violated the First Amendment’s protection of religious liberty when it ended a contract with Catholic Social Services (CSS) over service to LGBT people. “It is plain that the City’s actions have burdened CSS’s religious exercise by putting it to the choice of curtailing its mission or approving relationships inconsistent with its beliefs,”…

The court sidestepped some of the major issues, but this is still a good day for religious liberty. This week the United States Supreme Court (SCOTUS) delivered an overwhelming ruling in favor of a Catholic foster care agency that may carry significant implications for the church, children, and families. In a surprising unanimous decision (9-0), the Court determined that the city of Philadelphia had erred in breaking a longstanding contract with Catholics Social Services (CSS) over their refusal to certify same-sex couples. The majority opinion was offered by Justice Roberts with three separate concurring opinions offered by Justices Barrett, Alito,…

The message had always been the same: Leave your opinions outside the stadium. But this August, something changed, and the sports world erupted.

Gambia’s case against Myanmar at the International Court of Justice is historic, and not only because it may mark a turning point to protect Rohingya.

Could a Montana school choice case be the end of Blaine amendments? When a Montana tax credit program for private school scholarships was accused of being discriminatory because religious schools were not eligible, the state eliminated the program outright rather than fight the case. But now, the state has ended up at the US Supreme Court anyway, with a legal dispute centering around whether the legal basis Montana (and dozens of other states) uses to bar public funding of religious education is constitutional. The justices will hear arguments Wednesday in Espinoza vs. Montana Department of Revenue, a case over a…

Lead plaintiff wins permission to stay while others could be redetained as soon as next month. The Iraqi Christian at the center of a class-action suit challenging the detention of fellow Iraqi nationals in the Detroit area was granted a major victory in court Tuesday and will be allowed to stay in the US and become a citizen. The decision in favor of Sam Hamama comes days after a legal setback for hundreds of others who had been detained by US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and released more than a year ago so they could litigate their individual cases….

A South African court has banned many displays of the country’s former flag, ruling that they constituted hate speech, discrimination, and harassment.

Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed appointed Ms. Ashenafi the Supreme Court’s first female chief, one of many women named to Ethiopia’s top positions.

I long for the days when Supreme Court judges weren’t viewed as representing a particular ideology. Having worked with Ed Stetzer for the past two years, one thing I have always appreciated about him is his willingness to deal with issues many Evangelicals avoid. His strong stance on immigration issues, the #MeToo movement, and mass incarceration is refreshing. He has used his platform in Evangelicalism to point out disparities in Evangelical approaches to those issues—issues I would say are key to gospel witness in this world. As a Christian person of color, however, I approach Brett Kavanaugh, our President’s most…

A more conservative court is good for America in many ways. I am glad that President Trump has nominated Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. Of course, once you say such a thing, half the country flies into a rage. Last night, I tweeted, “I am glad @RealDonaldTrump will be nominating the next Supreme Court Justice, rather than @HillaryClinton. I'll be writing more on this tomorrow, but the implications for life and religious liberty are the reason that many evangelicals supported President Trump.” But, both of the things I said are true. The first is that I’m glad that a…

GOP establishment darling and Court of Appeals judge nominated to fill outgoing Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy’s critical seat. President Donald Trump has nominated appeal court judge Brett Kavanaugh to replace outgoing Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, who after three decades of service, will retire at the end of this month. “Judge Kavanaugh has impeccable credentials, unsurpassed qualifications and a proven commitment to equal justice under the law,” said Trump on Tuesday night. The president praised Kavanaugh as a “judge’s judge,” “a true thought leader among his peers,” “a brilliant jurist,” and “universally regarded as one of the sharpest legal…

Clinics’ free speech rights trump an “unduly burdensome” state disclosure requirement. Pro-life clinics offering pregnant women alternatives to abortion won a major free speech victory today. The Supreme Court ruled 5-4 to block a California law requiring pregnancy centers post referrals to state-funded abortion providers and birth control resources, forcing them to promote services that violate their beliefs. In National Institute of Family and Life Advocates (NIFLA) v. Becerra, the court ruled that the state’s 2015 Reproductive Freedom, Accountability, Comprehensive Care, and Transparency (FACT) Act “targets speakers, not speech, and imposes an unduly burdensome disclosure requirement that will chill their…

Trinity Western University’s loss over its LGBT stance is seen as a blow to religious freedom. Trinity Western University has lost a years-long legal fight to launch what would be the only Christian law school in Canada. The Supreme Court of Canada considered a pair of appeals cases involving regional law societies that refused to accredit the Trinity Western program due to the evangelical institution’s student covenant, which prohibits sex outside of traditional marriage. In Trinity Western University v. Law Society of Upper Canada and Trinity Western University v. The Law Society of British Columbia, justices sided 7-2 against TWU,…

Masterpiece Cakeshop case tests religious and LGBT rights, but justices choose the narrow way. The case of a Christian baker refusing to design a cake for a same-sex wedding became, in the eyes of many, the most-anticipated Supreme Court decision of the year because justices had a chance to finally resolve America’s ongoing struggle to balance sincerely held faith convictions and LGBT protections. But in Masterpiece Cakeshop Ltd. v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, the court’s 7–2 ruling did not establish a new precedent outright allowing or barring Christian business owners from serving customers based on their faith convictions. Instead, the…

Supreme Court rules 7-2 in favor of Jack Phillips, doing the right thing. But there is more work to do. Today, in a 7-2 ruling, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of Jack Phillips and the Masterpiece Cake Shop. It’s not the ruling that many wanted, but it does rule that the Colorado Civil Rights Commission was inapporpriately hostile toward Phillip’s religious liberty claim. CNN explains: The ruling, written by Justice Anthony Kennedy, is not the wide-ranging ruling on religious liberty that some expected. It is tailored to the case at hand with the justices holding that members of the…

Pregnancy clinics are a crucial force in the pro-life movement, and the center of the argument before the justices today. Americans on both sides often view abortion as the defining issue for the Supreme Court. But the case coming before its panel of justices today represent a legal fight that extends beyond the typical pro-life and pro-choice debate. National Institute of Family and Life Advocates (NIFLA) v. Becerra is as much a free speech case as an abortion case; at stake is whether the government can require pregnancy resource centers to share information about the availability of abortion elsewhere—advertising to…