Current U.S. Supreme Court Cases That Affect Christians

May 25, 2016










































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































  • Obergefell v. Hodges


Same-sex couples filed a lawsuit in federal court that seeks to have Ohio’s constitutional amendment affirming marriage as the union of one man and one woman declared unconstitutional under the U.S. Constitution. The U.S. Supreme Court has consolidated the case with three other cases within the 6th Circuit: DeBoer v. Snyder, Tanco v. Haslam, and Bourke v. Beshear.




  • Reed v. Town of Gilbert




Good News Community Church, led by Pastor Clyde Reed, is a small church in Gilbert, Arizona. Each week the church rents space in a temporary location and uses small, temporary signs to invite and direct the community to those services.

While the Town of Gilbert’s sign code broadly permits a dizzying array of political, ideological, and other types of signs, it severely restricts signs inviting people to a church’s services. These restrictions impose strict limits on the size, location, number, and duration of the church’s signs. Under the code, political signs can be up to 32 square feet and displayed for 5 months, but church signs can only be 6 feet and displayed for a mere 12 hours prior to the service and 1 hour afterwards.

  • Berger v. American Civil Liberties Union of North Carolina


In 2011, the North Carolina General Assembly authorized an optional “Choose Life” specialty license plate. Citizens who choose the plate pay an additional $25 fee, $15 of which goes to the Carolina Pregnancy Care Fellowship, a private organization that assists pregnant women in North Carolina. The state offers other specialty plates that also fund causes benefitting the state and that are consistent with its public policies. Hundreds of North Carolinians requested the “Choose Life” specialty plates, but before North Carolina could begin issuing them, the American Civil Liberties Union challenged the law. The ACLU argued that the “Choose Life” plate must be censored because the state did not also issue a license plate that encourages abortion, even though encouraging abortions is contrary to the state’s interests and public policy.



  • New Hampshire Right to Life v. U.S. Department of Health and Human Service

Summary: The right to review public records to hold public officials accountable to follow the law


Funding under Title X family planning programs is usually done through the states or their designees. But when the New Hampshire Executive Council voted not to provide funding to its state’s Planned Parenthood entities and instead asked that the funding be given to health centers that do not focus on providing abortion, the Obama Administration provided funding to Planned Parenthood against their wishes. New Hampshire Right to Life filed a routine Freedom of Information Act request for documents related to the administration’s decision in an effort to analyze whether HHS followed its own regulations in awarding the grant to Planned Parenthood without the usual competitive bidding process, but HHS stalled in producing the documents. ADF and a New Hampshire allied attorney had to seek a federal court order to obtain the documents. The released documents lead to multiple legal and administrative challenges being filed to hold government officials accountable in their dealings with Planned Parenthood.


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