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Law & Court

Defense team says ‘compassion’ fueled Amish beard-cutting attacks

By James F. McCarty / The Plain Dealer — August 29, 2012

CLEVELAND (RNS) Defense lawyers say a compassionate desire to help wayward brethren return to strict Amish ways was what fueled a series of beard-cutting attacks. By James McCarty.

Amish beard-cutting trial attracts international attention

By James F. McCarty / The Plain Dealer — August 27, 2012

CLEVELAND (RNS)  The law of God will collide with the law of man this week in a crowded federal courtroom in Cleveland, where 16 Amish defendants — 10 men with full beards, six women in white bonnets — will stand trial on charges related to a series of beard- and hair-cutting attacks against fellow Amish men and women last year. By James F. McCarty.

Judge allows questions on sex practices in Amish beard-cutting case

By James F. McCarty / The Plain Dealer — August 21, 2012

CLEVELAND (RNS) Federal prosecutors will be allowed to question witnesses about Amish leader Sam Mullet’s sexual activities when the hate-crime trial of Mullet and 15 followers begins next week, a federal judge ruled Monday. By James McCarty.

Federal court says accused abusive priest didn’t work for the Vatican

By Aimee Green — August 21, 2012

PORTLAND, Ore. (RNS) A federal judge on Monday (Aug. 20) dismissed the Vatican from a lawsuit filed by a former Portland teenager who says he was sexually abused by a pedophile priest, ruling that the accused priest did not work directly for the Holy See. By Aimee Green.

Conservative law firm fights atheists’ suit over cross at 9/11 museum

By Steve Strunsky /The Star-Ledger — August 21, 2012

(RNS) A lawsuit that was filed by the group American Atheists to keep a revered cross out of the National September 11 Museum is being challenged by Pat Robertson's American Center for Law and Justice. By Steve Strunsky.

Family Research Council accuses Southern Poverty Law Center of sparking shooter’s hatred

By Chris Lisee — August 16, 2012

WASHINGTON (RNS) The head of the Family Research Council accused the Southern Poverty Law Center of sparking hatred that led Floyd Lee Corkins II to shoot a security guard at the conservative Christian lobbying group’s headquarters. By Chris Lisee.

Amish-Mennonite pastor convicted of abetting kidnapping

By Lauren Markoe — August 15, 2012

(RNS) A Vermont jury found an Amish-Mennonite pastor guilty Tuesday (Aug. 14) of abetting an international kidnapping to keep a child from her lesbian parent. By Lauren Markoe. 

Muslim woman files suit against Disney over headscarf dispute

By David Finnigan — August 14, 2012

LOS ANGELES (RNS) The ACLU is suing The Walt Disney Co. on behalf of a Muslim woman who claims the company discriminated against her by not allowing her to wear a headscarf while working in a Disney restaurant in Anaheim. By David Finnigan.

Canadian man sues to stop ‘anguish’ of Lord’s Prayer

By Ron Csillag — August 8, 2012

TORONTO (RNS) A Canadian man is suing his local government to stop the recitation of the Lord's Prayer, claiming “anguish, discrimination, exclusion, rejection and loss of enjoyment of life.” By Ron Csillag. 

Missouri to vote on prayer amendment as critics warn of legal nightmares

By Tim Townsend — August 3, 2012

ST. LOUIS (RNS) Missouri will vote next week on a constitutional amendment to protect Missourians' right to pray in public, but critics say it will open the door to all manner of unintended and costly consequences including endless taxpayer-funded lawsuits. By Tim Townsend.

Pennsylvania pastor and church charged in mock raid, kidnapping

By Monica Von Dobeneck / The Patriot-News — July 30, 2012

(RNS) It was supposed to be a realistic lesson on the dangers missionaries face overseas. Now a church faces kidnapping and assault charges after a mock raid terrorized a youth group participant. By Monica Von Dobeneck. 

Should a judge prevent a man from attending his church?

By Tim Townsend — July 25, 2012

MARINE, Ill. (RNS) A Missouri judge has ruled that Joseph Haegele can worship at his Catholic church only on the last Sunday of each month. Legal experts say the judge's order illustrates the conflict between protection orders and religious liberty. By Tim Townsend.

Court upholds Georgia ban on guns in church

By Adelle M. Banks — July 24, 2012

(RNS) A federal appeals court has upheld Georgia’s ban on bringing guns to places of worship. By Adelle M. Banks.

Evangelical Wheaton College joins suits against Obama contraception mandate

By David Gibson — July 18, 2012

(RNS) Wheaton College, Billy Graham's alma mater and a leading Christian university, has joined a lawsuit against the Obama administration's birth control health insurance mandate. By David Gibson.

Seventh-day Adventists file suit over door-to-door solicitations

By Kent Faulk / The Birmingham News — July 16, 2012

(RNS) Seventh-day Adventists have filed a federal lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of ordinances in an Alabama city that the church says bars it and other religious groups from door-to-door solicitations unless they first register and pay license fees. By Kent Faulk. 

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