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Archive for June 2017

News from the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty

A Message from Becket’s Executive Director
June 16, 2017
Dear Friends,

The Rose Garden at the White House is beautiful in May.

It was especially beautiful on May 4th, because we were there with the Little Sisters of the Poor—the brave nuns who challenged the government’s contraception mandate all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.

That day, the White House announced that the long fight would soon be over and that the Little Sisters had won their case. The President issued an executive order promising relief for the Little Sisters, and a leaked draft of a new HHS rule gives us confidence that a final resolution is near. We won’t rest until the job is done. But the end is near, and the Little Sisters are going to be free to continue their beautiful work of caring for the elderly poor.

May 4th was also the day that we honored Leonard Leo at our annual Canterbury Medal Gala for his tireless advocacy for religious liberty.
Speaking of tireless, we enter summer with a full pipeline of important cases. Read on to hear about the exciting challenges ahead.

What’s Happening at Becket:

This week, Becket attorneys Daniel Blomberg and Diana Verm travel to Cincinnati to defend legislative prayer and to defend our national motto “In God We Trust.”

Last week, the Supreme Court ruled 8-0 to protect faith-based hospitals from greedy class-action lawsuits. The Court agreed with Becket’s friend-of-the-court brief, concluding that it is not the government’s job to define the boundaries of a “church.”

Becket continues to defend churches across the country from the threat of almost $1 billion in new taxes. We are standing with Bishop Ed Peecher, the pastor of an African-American church in South Side, Chicago to defend the parsonage allowance—a 60-year-old tax law that ensures fair tax treatment for churches.

In a quiet move just before the election, the last administration passed a nationwide “nondiscrimination” rule that would force doctors to perform gender transition procedures on young children. We stopped the rule in court. In a piece of good news, the new administration has said it will now reconsider the rule.

Becket in the News:

We’re waiting on a decision in our case defending a New York Archdiocese school’s right to choose its own teachers.

Becket attorney Daniel Blomberg explains why a flawed legal test might come up to the Supreme Court soon.

Watch my take on the leaked HHS mandate draft here on EWTN.

What Becket is Reading:

Religious liberty advocate Roger Severino is the President’s head of civil-rights enforcement at HHS. Read about him here in the Atlantic.

If you want a reminder of why we fight for religious liberty every day, read this courageous woman’s account of being fired from her government job for following her faith, and her application to the United States Supreme Court.

As always, feel free to reach out with any questions you have about our cases. Our new website is a great resource, visit us there for up to the minute updates on our work: becketlaw.org.

Thank you for your support!

Take Action Today to Support Middle East Christians!

Dear Brother Knights,

Your immediate action is needed to help support the Christian communities in Iraq and Syria that are facing genocide at the hands of ISIS.

On Tuesday evening, the U.S. House of Representatives will consider H.R. 390, the Iraq and Syria Genocide Emergency Relief and Accountability Act of 2017. I urge you to contact your Congressman immediately and ask them to support this critical legislation.

This important bill takes the necessary steps to ensure that U.S. government aid actually gets to the communities that are suffering. Additionally, the legislation empowers law enforcement entities to build a legal case to charge and convict the terrorists committing these atrocious acts.

It has been nearly 15 months since then-Secretary of State John Kerry declared that ISIS is committing a genocide against Christians and other religious minorities in the Middle East. This legislation is an important next step in ensuring that we support the survival of our fellow Christians.

I urge you to visit our Action Alert Center to email your Member of Congress today. You can also look up your Congressman’s phone number and call their offices in Washington directly (just enter your zip code on the top right corner to look up your Member’s information).

Thank you for your attention to this important matter.

Fraternally,
Carl Anderson
Supreme Knight