Here are some important law-and-religion news stories from around the web:
- A petition for certiorari was filed with the U.S. Supreme Court in Reilly v. City of Harrisburg. Plaintiffs contend that a city ordinance restricting pro-life volunteers from offering one-on-one counseling near a Planned Parenthood facility violates the First Amendment by allowing certain speech within the buffer zone while banning pro-life speech.
- In Brox v. Woods Hole, Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket Steamship Authority, the 1st Circuit affirmed in part and vacated in part a trial court’s decision regarding religious vaccine exemptions due to the concern that a COVID-19 vaccine mandate policy would treat religious exemptions differently from medical exemptions.
- The Department of Justice announced that a grand jury indicted an Indiana man for making death threats against the Anti-Defamation League because of the members’ religion. If convicted on all counts, the defendant could face a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.
- A settlement has been reached between the federal government and Native American tribes in Oregon over the destruction of a sacred site near Mount Hood. The settlement includes measures to protect the site with a tree or plant barrier, provide access to a quarry for ceremonial and cultural purposes, and allow the plaintiffs to rebuild a stone altar at the location.
- The Kansas Attorney General wrote a letter to the 10th Circuit requesting an end to the practice of using preferred pronouns for counsel, parties, and witnesses. He argues that the practice infringes on First Amendment rights, may conflict with religious beliefs, and may reveal bias on gender identity issues in ongoing legal matters.
- California Governor Gavin Newsom vetoed Senate Bill 403, which aimed to ban caste-based discrimination, citing existing laws that already prohibit discrimination based on factors such as race, color, religion, ancestry, and national origin. Critics of the bill argued that it broadly paints the Hindu and South Asian communities as discriminatory.