Here are some important law-and-religion news stories from around the web:
- In Spell v. Edwards, the 5th Circuit affirmed dismissal of a suit brought by Pastor Spell and his church in which they claimed that their First Amendment rights were infringed upon when COVID orders barred their holding of church services.
- In Riley v. New York City Health and Hospitals Corp., the Southern District of New York dismissed, without prejudice, a suit brought by a Christian nurse who was denied a religious exemption from the COVID vaccine mandate. She alleged that the denial violated her rights under Title VII and the Free Exercise Clause.
- In Barr v. Tucker, the Southern District of Georgia denied a preliminary injunction sought by a Christian teacher who claimed she was retaliated against when she was terminated allegedly for complaining about books that had illustrations of same-sex couples with children.
- Suit was filed in the case of The Catholic Store, Inc. v. City of Jacksonville in the Middle District of Florida. Queen of Angels Catholic Bookstore brought the suit to challenge, on Free Speech and Free Exercise grounds, Jacksonville’s public accommodations law, which requires businesses to address customers using their preferred pronouns and titles regardless of a customer’s biological sex.
- In Din v. State of Alaska, the Alaska Supreme Court reversed dismissal of a suit brought by a Muslim inmate who sued because his requests to pray five times per day using scented oils and to eat halal meat were denied. The court found that the restrictions placed a substantial burden on his free exercise of religion.
- In Bierig-Kiejdan v. Kiejdan, a New Jersey state appeals court held that a family court judge could not order parties involved in a divorce to return to arbitration to solve issues regarding which religious tribunal should oversee the issuance of a get (Jewish divorce document).
- The Department of Education (“DOE”) issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to rescind the Trump administration’s 2020 rules, which protected student religious groups at universities. The rules required public universities that receive DOE grants to grant religious groups all of the rights, benefits, and privileges that other student groups enjoy.