Here are some important law-and-religion news stories from around the web:
- The Second Circuit heard argument in A.M. v. French,in which a Vermont federal district court refused to order the state to allow a student enrolled in a Catholic high school to participate in the Dual Enrollment Program that pays for high schoolers to take college courses.
- The Sixth Circuit heard argument in Maryville Baptist Church v. Beshear and Roberts v. Beshear, concerning Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear’s orders limiting mass gatherings, including church services.
- A cert petition was filed in Romanian Pentecostal Church v. Pritzker, in which the Seventh Circuit rejected a church’s challenge to Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker’s COVID-19 orders.
- An Illinois federal district court allowed a former instructor at Moody Bible Institute (MBI) to move ahead with her Title VII disparate treatment and retaliation claims, but not her hostile work environment claim; plaintiff said that MBI used disagreement with her religious views as a pretext for her firing.
- A Florida federal district court held that Florida State University’s Student Senate acted unconstitutionally when it removed Jack Denton as Student Senate president for his remarks on Black Lives Matter, transgenderism, and Catholic doctrine.
- A D.C. federal district court issued a preliminary injunction allowing plaintiff church to hold outdoor services, with masks and appropriate social distancing, beyond the 100-person maximum set out in the D.C. mayor’s COVID-19 restrictions, concluding that current restrictions on the church’s outdoor services violate RFRA.
- A New Mexico federal bankruptcy court granted an unsecured creditors committee (representing primarily clergy sex abuse victims) derivative standing to pursue claims that some $150 million in assets belong to the Archdiocese, not to individual parishes.
- A Washington federal district court held that the Washington Department of Children, Youth and Families cannot use its policy to protect LGBTQ+ foster children as the sole determining factor in rejecting a foster family that expresses sincere religious beliefs that would preclude them from supporting gender transition in hypothetical future situation.
- Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced that Facebook is updating its hate speech policy to ban Holocaust denial on its platform.