New HHS Office On ‘Religious Freedom’ Endangers Americans’ Health, Says Americans United

Today, the Trump administration created a Conscience and Religious Freedom Division in the Office for Civil Rights of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). This new division will enforce the administration’s extreme and harmful interpretations of federal religious freedom laws. In addition, it will enforce a still unreleased rule that will allow health care workers to use religion as a reason to deny services to patients.

Maggie Garrett, legislative director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, issued the following statement:

Court Orders Government To Respond To FOIA Request For Reports Used To Justify Muslim Ban 3.0

New York, NY – Judge Paul Gardephe of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York today ordered the State Department to respond by Feb. 9 to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for critically important reports about the process that led to the development and creation of Muslim Ban 3.0. The judge ordered the government to produce all materials not subject to any FOIA exemptions and to produce a list and explanation for any documents it withholds.

Americans United Hails 9th Circuit Opinion That Trump’s Muslim Ban Should Be Blocked

Church-State Watchdog & Allies Filed Brief In Support Of Hawaii Because Muslim Ban 3.0 Violates Religious Freedom

Americans United for Separation of Church and State applauded today’s ruling by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which affirmed a lower court’s opinion that President Donald J. Trump’s Muslim ban should be blocked from going into effect.

Americans United Legal Director Richard B. Katskee released the following statement:

“We applaud the 9th Circuit for recognizing that Muslim Ban 3.0, just like the two previous versions, continues to harm Muslim Americans, who are being cruelly kept apart from their families and loved ones.

Americans United Welcomes Federal Court Ruling Blocking Trump Birth Control Regulations

A federal court in Pennsylvania today issued an order temporarily blocking implementation of Trump administration rules that allow employers and universities to restrict employees’ and students’ access to birth control by citing religious or moral objections.

Americans United is litigating a similar legal challenge to the Trump regulations.

Kelly Percival, an attorney with Americans United, issued the following statement:

Attempt To Undermine Johnson Amendment Removed From Tax Bill

Americans United Calls On Congress To Cease Attacks On Provision That Protects Integrity Of Houses Of Worship

Senate Democrats last night announced that they removed a provision from the tax bill that would have essentially repealed the Johnson Amendment.

The Johnson Amendment, a 63-year-old provision in federal law that protects the integrity of elections and tax-exempt nonprofits – including houses of worship – has been the focus of attacks by President Donald J. Trump, who once vowed to “totally destroy” it. 

Americans United Legislative Director Maggie Garrett released the following statement:

Muslim Ban Plaintiffs’ Statement On IAAB v. Trump Hearing

Today, the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Va., will hear arguments in three related legal challenges, including Iranian Alliances Across Borders (IAAB) v. Trump, to the Trump administration’s latest version of its Muslim ban. The hearing comes after the U.S. Supreme Court allowed the ban to go into full effect while these suits and another in the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals are under consideration.

Supreme Court Allows Trump Muslim Ban To Go Into Effect As Cases Move Forward

Americans United Vows To Continue Fighting Against The Ban

The U.S. Supreme Court this afternoon ruled 7-2 to allow President Donald Trump’s Muslim ban to go into full effect while several legal challenges to it move through the courts.

Americans United is litigating one of the cases challenging the ban. The plaintiffs in the case, IAAB v. Trump, are represented by Americans United, Muslim Advocates and Covington & Burling LLP, in consultation with the National Iranian American Council.   

National Coalition For Public Education Criticizes Inclusion Of Hatch School Voucher Amendment In Senate Tax Bill

Today, an amendment was included in the “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act” that would provide tax incentives to parents who educate their children in private religious schools by enabling them to receive a tax deduction on the cost of tuition.

The National Coalition for Public Education, a group co-chaired by Americans United for Separation of Church and State, issued the following statement: