Legal

Atheists Sue PA House of Representatives Over Discriminatory Invocation Policy

Harrisburg, PA—American Atheists joined with Americans United for Separation of Church and State in filing a federal lawsuit today challenging a policy prohibiting atheists from offering invocations to open Pennsylvania House of Representatives sessions. The five individual plaintiffs in the case, including two members of Pennsylvania Nonbelievers, an American Atheists…...

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Atheists Reach $41,000 Settlement with Tennessee County Sheriff

Chattanooga, TN—American Atheists and Bradley County and the Bradley County Sheriff’s Office have reached a settlement in a federal lawsuit alleging First Amendment violations of the U.S. Constitution by Bradley County and Bradley County Sheriff Eric Watson. As part of settlement agreement, the new official Bradley County Sheriff’s Department Facebook…...

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Atheists Sue Kansas City Over $65,000 Handout to Baptist Convention

Cranford, NJ—Today American Atheists and two Kansas City residents filed a complaint in federal court asking for a temporary and permanent injunction to prevent the City of Kansas City from giving $65,000 to Modest Miles Ministries, Inc. (Rev. Miles is shown above) for the National Baptist Convention to be held…...

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New Plaintiff Joins Lawsuit Against TN Sheriff

Bradley County, TN—American Atheists today filed an amended complaint in the lawsuit challenging the unconstitutional actions of Bradley County Sheriff Eric Watson, adding resident Joseph Stephens as a plaintiff in the case. American Atheists and an anonymous Bradley County resident, referred to in court documents as “Jane Doe” because she…...

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Atheists’ Lawsuit Against TN Sheriff Moves Toward Trial

Knoxville, TN—During a hearing today in U.S. District Court of Eastern Tennessee, Senior District Court Judge Thomas Phillips asked the lawyer for Bradley County Sheriff Eric Watson to explain how the sheriff appearing in uniform and espousing his religious beliefs didn’t represent the county....

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Atheists Sue Tennessee Sheriff Over First Amendment Violations

Bradley County, TN—American Atheists along with a resident of Bradley County, Tennessee filed suit in federal district court in Eastern Tennessee today against Bradley County Sheriff Eric Watson for violations of the First Amendment. The purpose of the suit is to stop the sheriff’s policy of censoring comments that are…...

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Atheists Push Supreme Court to Protect Real Religious Freedom, Preserve Access to Contraception

Cranford, NJ—In an amicus brief filed yesterday, American Atheists urged the U.S. Supreme Court to reject attempts by religious employers to use the so-called Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) to deny contraceptive coverage to employees, even through third-party providers....

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Atheists Win Motion in Florida 10 Commandments Lawsuit

Levy County, FL—The lawsuit challenging the placement of a Ten Commandments monument on the courthouse yard in Levy County, Florida, is being allowed to move forward, a United States District Court Judge ruled. American Atheists and members of a local atheist group filed suit in June 2015 when Levy County…...

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Pregnancy Center Tells Ohio Students: Marriage Prevents STDs; Atheists Demand School Provide Fact-Based Sex Ed

Cranford, NJ—American Atheists today sent a letter to the Wooster City School District in Wooster, Ohio, following a complaint from a parent alleging that the school is allowing representatives from a religiously affiliated pregnancy center to give students inaccurate and religiously motivated instruction about matters related to sexual health. According…...

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Florida Middle School Concedes Autistic Student May Sit for Pledge

Following a September 8 demand letter, American Atheists today received confirmation from a Florida school district that officials would ensure students’ Constitutional right to remain seated and not participate in the Pledge of Allegiance is protected. The demand letter from the American Atheists Legal Center came after the Center was contacted by the…...

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Atheists Demand ISU Keep Coach’s Religion Out of Basketball Program

Cranford, NJ—American Atheists this week sent a letter to the Steven Leath, President of Iowa State University, demanding that the university address comments made by new men’s basketball head coach Steve Prohm about his plans to bring his personal religious beliefs into his role as coach. In an interview with…...

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Atheists Laud Ruling Against ‘Religious Burden’ For Contraceptive Coverage Opt-Out

Cranford, NJ—American Atheists today applauded the decision by the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals requiring religious employers to either provide contraception coverage to employees or formally request to opt-out, allowing a third-party insurer to provide coverage. The court ruled against the Denver-based Little Sisters of the Poor claim that filing…...

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