Americans United for Separation of Church and State has come out against President Bush’s initiative to direct more federal funds to “faith-based” social service programs that would rally “armies of compassion,” and his plan to establish a White House Office of Faith-Based Action that will remove roadblocks religiously affiliated groups face when receiving federal money. Americans United challenges the constitutionality of Bush’s initiative and Rev. Barry Lynn, head of Americans United said, “The Constitution created a separation between religion and government. The very existence of a federal office whose principal purpose is to give tax dollars to religious groups is in an irreparable conflict with the First Amendment.”
In addition to being unconstitutional, the proposal opens the doors for employment discrimination based on religious preference or non-belief—a private religious group could receive federal funds, but could require all employees to follow the same religion as the organization. The foundation of Bush’s proposal is “charitable choice,” an idea initiated by former Sen. John Ashcroft in 1996.
Media Resources: Americans United for Separation of Church and State press release – January 25, 2001; Washington Post – January 26, 2001
11/21/2014 Fifth Circuit Court Refuses to Reconsider Ruling Blocking Mississippi TRAP Law - The full US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit on Thursday refused to reconsider a panel decision blocking enforcement of a Mississippi law that threatened to close the last remaining abortion clinic in the state.
In July, a panel of the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a preliminary injunction against a Mississippi TRAP (Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers) law requiring abortion providers to obtain admitting privileges at local hospitals. . . .