Two key religious liberty cases head to court
By Kyle Patterson
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati will hear arguments in two separate activist-led lawsuits that will influence the role of religion in the public square.
In Bormuth v. Jackson County, a pagan activist with a long history of anti-religious lawsuits is trying to force county commissioners to stop opening their meetings with voluntary prayer, even though the Supreme Court unanimously protected legislative prayer in the landmark 2014 decision, Town of Greece v. Galloway. If the Sixth Circuit follows that unanimous decision, its ruling will likely conflict with a legislative prayer case currently at the Fourth Circuit, Lund v. Rowan County, making another Supreme Court case very likely.
Becket, a non-profit, public-interest law firm dedicated to protecting the free expression of all religious traditions, filed friend-of-the-court briefs in both cases to protect religion in public life. Attorney Diana Verm who will be presenting arguments against the plantiff discussed the importance of the case stating, "These cases are about more than just the simple question in those cases. It’s how society and courts are going to treat religion. Either they will treat God like a dirty word or understand that the founders envisioned a nation where people are religious and we are allowed to recognize that as a society."
In New Doe Child # 1 v. The Congress of the United States, atheist activist Dr. Michael Newdow is suing the government again – after losing in his previous attempts – to strip the national motto, “In God We Trust,” from all U.S. coins and bills.
Oral arguments in Bormuth v. Jackson County began today, Wednesday, June 14, 2017 at 1:30 p.m. EST. In New Doe Child # 1 v. The Congress of the United States oral arguments begin Friday, June 16, 2017 at 8:30 a.m. EST at the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Verm encouraged concerned citizens to follow along with these important cases and be informed of what's happening in our nation. She also encourage citizens to speak out on the importance of religious freedom and the value that it holds in our nation by calling our local legislatures. "We do want to see religious liberty honored in the United States. It's important for people to be aware of what's going on in the courts."
Photo: Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati, Ohio.