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U.S. judge orders landmark California cross taken down

By Dan Whitcomb LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - A massive cross that serves as part of a war memorial on a San Diego hilltop must be dismantled because it has been found to violate a constitutional ban on government endorsement of religion, a federal judge grudgingly ruled on Thursday. The decision by U.S. District Judge Larry Burns marks the latest development in a long-running legal battle over the 43-foot-tall cross, a local landmark that has stood on top of Mount Soledad since 1954 and is visible for miles.

Supreme Court to take up birth control religion case

The US Supreme Court said Tuesday it will address the question of whether a firm can use religious grounds to limit the availability of birth control on its health plan. The court's nine justices announced they would hear arguments, probably in March or April, in two cases between the US government and firms that object to purchasing health coverage covering certain contraceptive methods. In the first case, President Barack Obama's administration is challenging the refusal of Hobby Lobby Stores to underwrite coverage for certain contraceptive methods.

Supreme Court to take up birth control religion case

The US Supreme Court said Tuesday it will address the question of whether a firm can use religious grounds to limit the availability of birth control on its health plan. The court's nine justices announced they would hear arguments, probably in March or April, in two cases between the US government and firms that object to purchasing health coverage covering certain contraceptive methods. In the first case, President Barack Obama's administration is challenging the refusal of Hobby Lobby Stores to underwrite coverage for certain contraceptive methods.

US Supreme Court hears town council prayer case

The issue of whether prayers can be recited before city hall meetings came under scrutiny at the US Supreme Court on Wednesday in a case that could affect the principle of separation between church and state. Demonstrators on both sides of the debate gathered on the court steps as the nine-justice panel discussed the constitutionality of such prayers, and whether they amount to recruiting by Christians.

U.S. justices struggle with New York town prayer dispute

By Lawrence Hurley WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Supreme Court on Wednesday appeared deeply conflicted over what kind of public prayers should be acceptable at a town meeting as the justices confronted the delicate constitutional issue of church-and-state separation. The court is weighing whether the practice of allowing mainly Christian prayers before public meetings in the town of Greece, New York, violates the U.S. Constitution's First Amendment ban on government endorsement of religion.

US Supreme Court hears town council prayer case

The issue of whether prayers can be recited before city hall meetings came under scrutiny at the US Supreme Court on Wednesday in a case that could impact the principle of separation between church and state. Demonstrators on both sides of the debate gathered on the steps of the Supreme Court as the nine-justice panel discussed the constitutionality of such prayers, and whether they amount to recruiting by Christians.

US Supreme Court to hear town council prayer case

The US Supreme Court was to consider Wednesday whether prayers can be recited before city hall meetings, a hot issue that addresses the principle of separation between church and state. Demonstrators on both sides of the controversy were to gather on the steps of the stately building near the Capitol while the nine-judge panel discusses the constitutionality of such prayer, in particular whether it amounts in essence to recruiting by Christians.

National groups send a prayer to the Supreme Court

By Lawrence Hurley GREECE, New York (Reuters) - Bankrolled by powerful outside interests, what began as a dispute aired in the pages of a town's local newspaper next week moves to the U.S. Supreme Court where justices could potentially roll back legal precedents that limit the role of religion in public life.

Federal appeals court in Va. rules clicking 'Like' on Facebook is protected free speech

RICHMOND, Va. - Clicking "Like" on Facebook is constitutionally protected free speech and can be considered the 21st century-equivalent of a campaign yard sign, a federal appeals court ruled Wednesday. The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond reversed a lower court ruling that said merely "liking" a Facebook page was insufficient speech to merit constitutional protection.

U.S. court rejects firm's challenge to Obamacare contraception mandate

By Jonathan Stempel (Reuters) - A divided federal appeals court on Friday rejected a Pennsylvania cabinet maker's religion-based challenge to the 2010 healthcare law's requirement that larger companies provide workers with health insurance covering birth control. The decision created a split among federal appeals courts, boosting the chance that the U.S. Supreme Court may step in to resolve the dispute over challenges to the provision in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare.
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