A federal appeals court heard arguments Tuesday over an Indiana church's plan to display multiple, 6-foot tall crosses along their city's riverfront for a charity fundraiser.
West Side Christian Church in Evansville, Ind., appealed a lower court ban that ruled the crosses would convey an unconstitutional endorsement of religion by the city while arguing that the display is a freedom of speech issue.
"No one should single out a faith-based group for censorship. The Constitution protects and does not prohibit religious expression in the public square," said Bryan Beauman, an attorney with Alliance Defending Freedom, in a statement. "A public display, approved in the same way as other types of displays, cannot be excluded simply because it is in the shape of a cross." more >>
A radical nun who vandalized a nuclear weapons facility in Tennessee in 2012 has been sentenced to 35 months in federal prison, a district judge ruled Tuesday.
U.S. District Judge Amul R. Thapar gave 84-year-old Sister Megan Rice of the Society of the Holy Child Jesus a more lenient sentence than expected, as the recommended guidelines for Rice's sentence included 70 to 87 months. Rice, who considers herself a peace activist opposed to nuclear weapon production, had asked for a life sentence.
The United States Supreme Court has scheduled arguments for a case surrounding a pro-life group's lawsuit against an Ohio electoral speech law.
Susan B. Anthony List will get to present its arguments against an Ohio Election Commission statute on Tuesday, April 22, according to an announcement made on ScotusBlog.
Known as Susan B. Anthony List vs. Driehaus, the case will share the day with an appeal regarding the copyright of streaming TV programming on the Internet. more >>
George Zimmerman says "God knows what happened" on the night he shot Trayvon Martin in a Florida subdivision nearly two years ago, adding that only God can judge him for what happened.
Zimmerman told CNN's Chris Cuomo in a recent interview that his faith in God is what keeps him from doubting himself and his innocence on the night in February 2012 when he shot and killed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, an African American, in a subdivision of Sanford, Fla. Zimmerman's actions, which he said were a result of self-defense, sparked an immense, nationwide public backlash that questioned if racial profiling was a part of Zimmerman's decision to shoot the teen.
Zimmerman now says that his faith in God keeps him from doubting himself in spite of major public criticism, including once being described as the "Most Hated Man in America" during his trial in July 2013. more >>
In an irony of ironies, during the week of Valentine's, two federal judges overturned the marriage protection amendments of Kentucky and Virginia, single-handedly redefining romance and marriage.
According to The Christian Post, U.S. District Judge John G. Heyburn II ruled that Kentucky's constitutional marriage protection amendment, which the state approved in 2004 "violates the United States Constitution's guarantee of equal protection under the law, even under the most deferential standard of review."
According to the Associated Press, U.S. District Judge Arenda Wright Allen ruled, "The court is compelled to conclude that Virginia's Marriage Laws unconstitutionally deny Virginia's gay and lesbian citizens the fundamental freedom to choose to marry. Government interests in perpetuating traditions, shielding state matters from federal interference, and favoring one model of parenting over others must yield to this country's cherished protections that ensure the exercise of the private choices of the individual citizen regarding love and family." Virginia approved its marriage protection amendment in 2006. more >>
A federal district court judge declared Virginia's voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional Thursday.
U.S. District Judge Areda Wright Allen declared the ban unconstitutional on the basis that it violates the plaintiffs' rights under the Equal Protection and Due Process Clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment. She also issued a stay on the ruling, however, which prevents gay couples from marrying in the state until the case is resolved.
Virginia's ban on same-sex marriage was incorporated into the state's constitution in 2006. The ban is being challenged by a gay couple, Timothy Bostic and Tony London, who were denied a marriage license by the Norfolk Circuit Court last summer. Carol Schall and Mary Townley, a lesbian couple who married in California, later joined the case as plaintiffs with the hope that their marriage would be recognized by the state. more >>