Here are some important law-and-religion news stories from around the web:

  • In Ciraci v. J.M. Smucker Company, the Sixth Circuit held that a first amendment free-exercise claim could not be made by employees working for a federal contractor. The employees were denied a religious exemption from a Covid vaccine mandate but, because they were working for a federal contractor and not for the government itself, the court found that constitutional guarantees did not apply to them.
  • In Wrigley v. Romanick, the North Dakota Supreme Court declined to vacate a trial court’s preliminary injunction that barred enforcement of the state’s 2007 abortion ban, which went into effect when the Supreme Court overruled Roe v. Wade last year. The court determined that a critical defect in the abortion ban was the absence of an exception for preserving the health of the mother.
  • Six Jewish parents and two Orthodox Jewish day schools filed a law suit in a California federal district court challenging the exclusion of sectarian schools from receiving funds made available to California user the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. The complaint in Loffman v. California Department of Education alleges that the plaintiffs are entitled to equal treatment and should be afforded a portion of the generally available public funding necessary to provide education to students with disabilities.
  • A Christian preschool and the church that sponsors it filed a law suit in a Connecticut federal district court, challenging the removal of religious exemptions from Connecticuts’s statute requiring various vaccinations for preschool children. The complaint in Milford Christian Church v. Russell-Tucker alleges that the requirement violates free exercise, free speech, freedom of association, equal protection, and child rearing rights.
  • The governor of Utah signed HB467, which requires that all abortions performed after January 1, 2024 be performed in hospitals rather than abortion clinics. It goes on to create an exception for rape, incest, and for pregnant females under the age of 14. However, all these abortions are only allowed to be performed before 18 weeks of pregnancy. 
  • The article, Faith After the Pandemic: How COVID-19 Changed American Religion, published on the Survey Center on American Life website, discusses the post-Covid increase in the number of individuals identifying as religiously unaffiliated.

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