A Virginia woman has been charged with lying to authorities about her involvement with ISIS and was arrested in an undercover sting operation on Monday.
Heather Elizabeth Coffman, 29, allegedly used social media to show her support for the Islamic State and even offered to help someone in the United States connect with the group in Syria.
According to the FBI, Coffman was in touch with a person interested in joining the group; unbeknownst to her, that someone was a federal official. She explained that she had helped her "husband" travel to Turkey to meet up with ISIS agents who could get him to the front lines in Syria and even outlined the specific details of her plan, but said that she and her husband separated, so he never made the trip. more >>
The attorneys for Scott Panetti, a severely mentally ill man who believes Texas is trying to execute him for preaching the Gospel, have asked the state to stay his execution. Panetti's death sentence, however, is not for preaching the Gospel, but for murdering his parents-in-law in 1992. His planned execution is being opposed by both mental health professionals and over 50 evangelical leaders.
"If his execution date is not withdrawn, he will go to the execution chamber convinced that he's being put to death for preaching the Gospels, not for the murder of his wife's parents, and the retributive goal of capital punishment will not be served," the Texas Defender Service group warned.
A federal appeals court in Washington has upheld the accommodation in President Obama's healthcare law for religious nonprofits to opt out of providing abortifacients and birth control coverage, rejecting the argument that it imposes a substantial burden on their expression of religion.
In a 3-0 decision, judges of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit said that religious nonprofits can "express what they believe and seek what they want" just by writing a letter or filling out a two-page EBSA Form 700 to opt out and allow a third-party to cover the products and services.
"That bit of paperwork is more straight-forward and minimal than many that are staples of nonprofit organizations' compliance with law in the modern administrative state," wrote appeals judge Cornelia Pillard, an Obama-appointee, according to The Associated Press. more >>
An appeals court panel has rejected a Wisconsin-based atheist group's lawsuit against a law that gives clergy an exemption from paying income taxes on their housing allowance.
A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit ruled Thursday against the Freedom From Religion Foundation of Madison's lawsuit.
Reversing a lower court decision from last year, the panel unanimously concluded that FFRF "lacks standing to challenge" the housing allowance law. more >>
WASHINGTON — The Religious Freedom Restoration Act is under increasing attack since the U.S. Supreme Court'sHobby Lobby decision that granted "closely-held" businesses an exemption from the birth control mandate, religious freedom lawyers claimed at the Federalist Society's annual National Lawyers Convention.
In response to the Hobby Lobby case and possible religious exemption cases citing it, there may come a "softening" of the decision by judges over the coming years, explained members of a panel event on Thursday on the topic of religious liberty.
Kim Colby, senior counsel at the Christian Legal Society, said to those gathered that since the Supreme Court's decision in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby, Inc., efforts to undermine religious exemptions have increased. more >>