Here are some important law-and-religion news stories from around the web:
- In Pro-Life Action Ministries v. City of Minneapolis, a Minnesota federal district court dismissed void-for-vagueness and expressive-association challenges to a Minneapolis ordinance preventing access disruption to reproductive healthcare facilities. The court, however, allowed the plaintiff’s claims related to free speech, free exercise of religion, and overbreadth to proceed.
- In Fitz-James v. Ashcroft, a Missouri state appeals court upheld a trial court’s ruling that the Secretary of State’s ballot summaries for six abortion rights initiative proposals were insufficient and unfair. The Secretary of State issued a press release criticizing the decision, stating he plans to appeal it.
- The Pennsylvania legislature passed Senate Bill 84, repealing the state’s ban on public school teachers wearing religious attire or symbols in the classroom. Governor Josh Shapiro is expected to sign the bill, making Pennsylvania the last state to eliminate such a restriction, which had previously faced legal challenges on First Amendment grounds.
- Louis Farrakhan filed a $4.8 billion lawsuit in the Southern District of New York against the Anti-Defamation League and the Simon Wiesenthal Center, accusing them of interfering with his activities by labeling him an anti-Semite. The complaint alleges violations of the First Amendment’s protections for freedom of association and free exercise of religion, as well as defamation claims.
- The White House announced plans to develop the first National Strategy to Counter Islamophobia in the United States, citing the need to address hate-fueled attacks and discrimination against Muslims, Arabs, and Sikhs.
- President Biden marked the 25th Anniversary of the International Religious Freedom Act with a statement acknowledging the rise of antisemitism, Islamophobia, and discrimination in the United States and the challenges faced by religious minority communities worldwide. He emphasized the United States’ commitment to defending religious freedom both domestically and globally.