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Articles on US Supreme Court

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A woman holds a rosary and a picture of the Virgin Mary during a 2019 hearing in Albany, N.Y., challenging the constitutionality of the state’s repeal of the religious exemption to vaccination. AP Photo/Hans Pennink

What’s the law on vaccine exemptions? A religious liberty expert explains

Plenty of groups are offering religious exemptions to COVID-19 vaccine mandates, but their legal basis isn’t as rock-solid as that might suggest.
People protest in Texas after the governor signed a bill to outlaw abortion after about six weeks of pregnancy. Sergio Flores/Getty Images News via Getty Images

When does life begin? There’s more than one religious view

‘Heartbeat’ abortion laws like the one enacted in Texas are often based on particular Christian views, but there are many religious perspectives on abortion. What do Jewish texts say?
The U.S. Supreme Court has allowed Texas’ abortion restrictions to take effect. Drew Angerer/Getty Images

As Texas ban on abortion goes into effect, a religion scholar explains that pre-modern Christian attitudes on marriage and reproductive rights were quite different

The Supreme Court declined to rule on a Texas law that bans all abortions after six weeks of pregnancy. However, abortion and contraception were quite common among pre-modern Christians.
Science can observe these various phases of fetal development but cannot determine when human life begins. UrsaHoogle/E+ via Getty Images

When human life begins is a question of politics – not biology

Some people seeking to influence public opinion about abortion rights claim the science is clear. It’s not, and that means abortion remains a political question – not a biological one.
The Richardson Independent School District in Texas is among the many districts across the state defying the governor’s mask mandate ban to require masks for students. AP Photo/LM Otero

Who has the power to say kids do or don’t have to wear masks in school – the governor or the school district? It’s not clear

If it sounds like the law is all over the place on school mask mandates, that’s because it is. The nation’s schools are subject to a complex web of local, state and federal laws.
(L-R) Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY), Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) and Rep. Elaine Luria (D-VA) during a meeting on July 27, 2021, of the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol. Andrew Harnik-Pool/Getty Images

House committee investigating Capitol insurrection has a lot of power, but it’s unclear it can force Trump to testify

GOP Rep. Liz Cheney says the American people “deserve the full and open testimony of every person with knowledge of the planning and preparation for Jan. 6.” Will they get it?
Unaccompanied immigrant minors wait on July 2, 2019 in Los Ebanos, Texas to be transported to a U.S. Border Patrol processing center after entering the U.S. to seek political asylum. John Moore/Getty Images

US immigration judges considering asylum for unaccompanied minors are ‘significantly influenced’ by politics

Immigration judges must base their decisions to grant asylum to immigrant children on whether these children have realistic fears of persecution. But other factors influence those decisions.
The story of Walatta Petros, a 17th-century Ethiopian noblewoman who was later made a saint, shows that Christianity has a complex history with abortion and contraception. A 1721 manuscript/Wikimedia Commons

Christian attitudes surrounding abortion have a more nuanced history than current events suggest

Abortion and contraception were quite common among premodern Christians, who also celebrated women’s celibacy as superior to marriage and childbearing.
Donald Trump at a press conference to announce a class action lawsuit against Facebook, Twitter, Google and their CEOs. Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images

Trump can’t beat Facebook, Twitter and YouTube in court – but the fight might be worth more than a win

Former President Trump is asking the courts to do what tycoon Trump once would have denounced: tell some of America’s most powerful corporations that they have no choice who they do business with.
Lifetime tenure has pushed the average age of judicial nominees down as presidents appoint younger justices in hopes they will serve for many decades. Erin Schaff/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

Should the Supreme Court have term limits?

Unlike in most countries, US Supreme Court justices enjoy life tenure. Some legal scholars believe that centuries-old custom, meant to protect judicial independence, no longer serves the public.
Illuminating recent Supreme Court rulings. Geoff Livingston via Getty Images

Religion at the Supreme Court: 3 essential reads

Religion was a common theme in some of the cases to come before the nine justices in the recently concluded Supreme Court term. Three experts help explain what is at stake.

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