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Contraceptive mandate oral arguments shed light on underreported issues

Many issues are at play in Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby Stores Inc. and Conestoga Wood Specialties Corp. v. Sebelius, pending in the U.S. Supreme Court. The cases involve claims by for-profit businesses challenging the Obama administration’s contraceptive mandate — the requirement, under the Affordable Care Act, that most employer-provided health insurance plans cover all FDA-approved methods of contraception. The businesses seek relief under the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), which became law in 1993 and has only been reviewed twice by the Court.

The cases have inspired intense debate among scholars and advocates about a number of legal issues relating to the interpretation of RFRA and the future of religious liberty.

Click here to read the rest of this column.

 
A model of service to others

A great friend of religious liberty and Baptists everywhere passed away in March. Richard E. Ice was a longtime member of the Baptist Joint Committee Board of Directors and a leader in American Baptist life who modeled service by sharing his talents and gifts and following the passions of his life.

Click here to read the rest of the column, including Walker's words at the memorial service.

 
 
New Police Commissioner Abandons NYPD Muslim Surveillance Program
A new police commissioner in New York has brought new policies. William Bratton put an end to the Demographics Unit, an undercover surveillance operation controversial for targeting Muslim communities, including maintaining files on individual houses of worship. (The BJC and others last yea...
 
Louisiana Considers Holy Bible as State Book
Over the years writing this blog, I have seen several state and local governments memorialize the Ten Commandments through monuments, posters and other government displays. But a recent effort in Louisiana is a new (misguided) way to promote Scripture through government: legislators there are...