Saturday, September 2, 2017

Weekend Reads: A Jury Verdict in Kansas, Church-State Standoff Over a Public University in Oklahoma, and More

Written by Don Byrd

Every week, when researching for this blog and reviewing ideas from readers, I run across interesting reads on church-state topics that did not become separate blog posts. Here are a few items from this week that are worth your time this weekend:

  • A chapel on the campus of East Central University (ECU), a public university in Oklahoma, is the site of an increasingly tense dispute over the presence of religious symbols items, including the cross atop the building. The Oklahoma Attorney General has written a letter to Americans United rejecting the group’s request for the removal of religious items from the campus. Read the letter from AU here. Read the AG’s letter here.
  • The Colorado baker at the center of a case to be heard at the U.S. Supreme Court this Fall has filed his opening brief with the Court. He argues that enforcement of the state’s anti-discrimination laws against him for refusing to provide a cake for a same-sex wedding violates his Free Speech and Free Exercise rights. You can read his brief here.
  • The Wichita Eagle reports on a jury verdict in a claim of religious discrimination brought by a former employee of Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach. Courtney Canfield claimed she was fired for not being religious enough, but the jury rejected her allegations and ruled for the defense.
  • A Madison, Wisconsin judge has ruled in favor of a photographer who sought a preemptive determination that she was not subject to state anti-discrimination laws. Because Amy Lawson operated without a storefront, the judge ruled, she is not subject to public accommodation laws that prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. Wisconsin Public Radio reports.

What are you reading or writing on church-state issues? E-mail me or contact me through Twitter (@BJCBlog) and send me a link. I may add your suggestion to the weekend reading list!



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