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

  • In United States v. Hari, the 8th Circuit upheld the constitutionality of 18 USC §247, which prohibits the damaging of religious real property because of the religious character of the property. The case involved an attack on the Dar al-Farooq Islamic Center in Bloomington, Minnesota.
  • In Keene v. City and County of San Francisco, the 9th Circuit reversed and remanded a ruling that denied preliminary relief to city and county employees who were denied religious exemptions from San Francisco’s COVID vaccine mandate. 
  • In Williams v. Board of Education of the City of Chicago, the Northern District of Illinois denied summary judgment on an Establishment Clause challenge to a high school’s elective instruction in Transcendental Meditation .
  • In The Satanic Temple, Inc. v. City of Chicago, the Satanic Temple filed suit in the Northern District of Illinois alleging that the city’s exclusion of its clergy from delivering an invocation before Chicago City Council violated the First Amendment’s Establishment Clause.
  • The EEOC announced that it filed a Title VII religious discrimination suit in a North Carolina federal district court against a Charlotte IHOP restaurant for failing to reasonably accommodate an employee’s religious exercise. The restaurant allegedly fired an employee who refused to work on Sundays.
  • The U.S. Department of Education issued an updated Guidance on Constitutionally Protected Prayer and Religious Expression in Public Elementary and Secondary Schools that states in part that “The Constitution does not . . . prohibit school employees themselves from engaging in private prayer during the workday where they are not acting in their official capacities and where their prayer does not result in any coercion of students.” However, “teachers, school administrators, and other school employees may not encourage or discourage private prayer or other religious activity.”

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