Here are some important law-and-religion news stories from around the web:
- The Third Circuit held that a Pennsylvania prisoner’s free exercise rights were not violated when he was deprived of chaplain visits for ten days, since the prisoner failed to file a request slip in accordance with procedures and did not explain how the lack of visits adversely impacted his practice of religion.
- The U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland issued a preliminary injunction blocking President Trump’s executive order permitting state and local governments to turn away refugees; the suit was filed by the religious non-profit organizations that claim the order violates the Refugee Act of 1980.
- The Eleventh Circuit affirmed the dismissal of a juror in a federal fraud case who stated the Holy Spirit told him the defendant was not guilty; the opinion noted that the juror based his decision on a “perceived divine intervention.”
- Tennessee Governor Bill Lee indicated he would sign a bill to protect adoption agencies that refuse to place a child for foster care or adoption in a home that is in “violation of the agency’s religious convictions or policies.”
- Pope Francis named Francesca Di Giovanni as Secretariat of State, making her the first woman to hold a managerial position in the Vatican.
- The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas held that an attorney has standing to challenge the practice of Texas judge who invites chaplains to hold a prayer service in the courtroom before calling his docket for the day.
- Air Force General John “Jay” Raymond was sworn in by Vice President Mike Pence using a Bible, drawing criticism from the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, which called it a “repulsive display. . .of Christian supremacy.”
- The U.K. Minister of Defense issued an apology to service members whose sexual orientation was outed by military chaplains; the chaplains violated the seal of confession and informed military superiors that military members were lesbian, gay, or bisexual.