At a post up on scotusblog.com (where we regularly turn to find the latest rulings and discussion about legal matters before the Supreme Court), Americans United’s legal Director Richard Katskee discusses the Trinity Lutheran Church of Columbia, Inc. v. Pauley case. A ruling for the Church in that case could be very damaging to the separation of church and state, and Katskee lays out the case why.
What happens when respect for the rule of law is thrown out the window for religious reasons.
But Davis and Liberty Counsel don’t want to cooperate.
“There’s nothing to reveal here,” said Mat Staver, the group’s founder and lead attorney. Staver, who says he represents Davis for free, told the state that the requested documents are legally exempt from review.
The attorney general’s office asked to examine the documents in a private review to determine if they are indeed exempt from the open-records laws. Liberty Counsel refused even this request. That, the attorney general’s office says, goes too far.
“An agency cannot benefit from intentionally frustrating the attorney general’s review of an open records request. Such result would subvert the General Assembly’s intent behind providing review by the attorney general,” said Assistant Attorney General Matt Jones. The attorney general’s opinion carries the force of law, and Staver is considering his options.
Excellent news, and a win for same-sex couples everywhere in the US!
Strawser v. Strange is being litigated jointly by Americans United, the American Civil Liberties Union of Alabama, the National Center for Lesbian Rights, the Southern Poverty Law Center and Birmingham attorney Heather Fann on behalf of same-sex couples in Alabama who have married or wish to marry.
More details here
A reminder! Our open board meeting and annual elections will take place on Saturday April 16th at 1:30-3:00 pm at the East Lake library meeting room, 2727 E Lake St, Minneapolis, MN 55406. We will also have as a discussion topic: “2016 Elections and Legislation to look out for”. We hope to see you there!
If you want to be on our mailing list to receive notifications about MN AU Chapter activities (which now include monthly discussion groups on Separation topics), please let us know through the “Contact” links on this page.
Please also remember to renew your membership this year. Americans United makes renewal an easy process online at this link: https://support.au.org/renew-B2
March 1st is caucus day in Minnesota, and we’re excited about going out to help influence the direction of our country by performing our civic duty. Especially when that means presenting and supporting resolutions to keep Church and State separate!
If you’re also as excited about voting as we are, then we have some news on the MN Chapter of Americans United as well: our board elections are coming up. They will be held on April 16th, 2016, 1:30-3:00 pm at the East Lake library meeting room, 2727 E Lake St, Minneapolis, MN. We will also have as a discussion topic: “2016 Elections and Legislation to look out for”. We hope to see you there.
If you would like to submit someone as a candidate for a position on the board (President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer or Member at Large), send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
David Pacheco from MNAU will be on the Atheists Talk radio show Sunday Feb 28th at 9am on AM950 KTNF. He will be talking about Americans United for Separation of Church and State and issues around the 2016 election. Fun stuff! Listen live, call in to ask questions, stream online or listen to the podcast later in the afternoon.
There’s still time to send in your submission: ends on March 1st, 2016, and there is a $500 prize for first place!
Write an essay that explains why the separation of church and state is integral to preserving religious freedom in America’s pluralistic society. Include at least one primary source to support your thesis. You may also reference current events, U.S. history, and your personal experiences.
More details available here