Here are some important law-and-religion news stories from around the web:
- The Fifth Circuit issued a temporary stay on a district court ruling that had blocked Texas from enforcing a ban on abortions as part of its COVID-19 response.
- The Eighth Circuit held that a church-affiliated hospital’s internal benefits committee qualifies for ERISA’s “church-plan” exemption.
- Alliance Defending Freedom filed a lawsuit on behalf of the Students for Life chapter at Georgia Tech after the student group was denied funding for a speaking event featuring Alveda King, the niece of Martin Luther King Jr., because she is “inherently religious.”
- A group of Texas pastors filed a lawsuit seeking an exemption from a shelter-in-place order issued to prevent further spread of COVID-19, claiming the order violates the religious liberty of church leaders who wish to gather their parishioners together during a pandemic.
- Rev. Rodney Howard-Browne, the pastor of a Pentacostal megachurch in Florida, was arrested for defying emergency orders mandating that people maintain social distance and stay home after holding church services with hundreds of parishioners.
- Pastor Tony Spell of Life Tabernacle Church in Baton Rouge (LA) was charged with defying public orders against large gatherings after holding church services with hundreds of parishioners.