My view: Obama’s speech at mosque and religious freedom

February 16, 2016, Deseret News

As we continue to think about how best to handle our religious differences, we do well to remember an important lesson about religious freedom. It is a lesson that the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty’s founder Seamus Hasson has taught: “If anyone in America doesn’t have religious liberty, no one in America has religious liberty. … There is no point in sitting around hoping the bear eats you last.”

The transgender rights debate is about more than just restrooms

September 8, 2016, Deseret News

Luke Goodrich, deputy general counsel at The Becket Fund, told the Deseret News that the mandate is “broad” and that it requires doctors to potentially work against the best interests of their patients.

“One of the most troubling aspects of it is that it requires doctors to perform gender reassignment procedures on, including on young children, even when those procedures may be physically and emotionally harmful to the child and violate the doctor’s faith and medical judgment,” Goodrich said.

Pennsylvania teachers can’t wear ‘religious garb’ to class but a repeal effort may be possible

Deseret News National December 12, 2014

Eric Rassbach, deputy general counsel of The Becket Fund, a religious liberty law firm in Washington, told the Deseret News, “The anti-religious garb statute in Pennsylvania is an unconstitutional vestige of 19th century anti-Catholic bigotry. It was designed to keep Catholics out of public schools but now this bad law can be used to target other religious minorities such as Jews and Sikhs. Oregon did the right thing by repealing its anti-garb statute a few years ago; Pennsylvania should follow suit.”

Read the full article here.

‘Deseret News National Edition’: Africa and the 3 Ds, Becket Fund and religious liberty, Al Fox Carraway

Deseret News National Edition October 19, 2014

Fewer than a dozen attorneys work for the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty. But even with a small corps of lawyers, the firm is making its mark by seeking out and often winning cases that set law-changing precedents.  They discussed their Supreme Court cases and why he is optimistic about the future of religious freedom in this country.

Watch the interview here.

What one man’s beard says about religious freedom work

Deseret News, August 26, 2014

For example, Holt v. Hobbs has marshalled the support of the two groups that June’s Hobby Lobby decision divided: The Becket Fund (which serves as part of Holt’s legal team) and the Obama administration…

The government’s support of Holt’s request shouldn’t be surprising, however. An infographic of the case, provided by the Becket Fund, reports that 41 prison systems in America already allow beards longer than Holt’s one-half-inch request.

Propaganda war continues in Hobby Lobby aftermath

Deseret News July 21, 2014

The Becket Fund’s Arriaga wrote Hobby Lobby’s health plan covers “all HHS-required contraceptive methods that do not have a demonstrated risk of destroying a newly created human life — including sterilizations for women.”

Court rules for religious freedom

Deseret News,  July 1, 2014

The narrow ruling marks the first time the nation’s top court specifically extended religious freedom protections to a corporation, rather than
just individuals. And even if the high court had come down against Hobby Lobby, it was the kind of high-profile case that has set the Becket Fund apart since its founding. The firm looks specifically for opportunities to represent believers of all faiths — Muslims or, in the most recent case, evangelical Christians — who see their freedom to live their faith in jeopardy, with an eye toward not just protecting individuals, but also changing the law and the debate on issues of religious liberty.

Supreme Court won’t hear school graduation-in-church case

Deseret News June 17, 2014

Ironically, the case as far as one of the high schools involved, is now moot. Luke Goodrich, deputy general counsel at the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, which handled the case on behalf of the Elmwood district, said graduations are now held in a new, air conditioned and disability-friendly gym at the high school.

Why Hobby Lobby is a family business

Deseret News, June 6, 2014

As a way of explaining what Hobby Lobby is, and how it works as a Family Business, The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, which represents Hobby Lobby, shared a video that specifically looks at the history of the company owned by the David and Barbara Green family.

Join the discussion: Is there a war on religion?

Deseret News, May 29, 2014

“When the government said to them, you’re going to have to fund contraception, sterilization, in violation of your deeply held religious convictions, the monks at Belmont Abbey College knew that they just couldn’t do that,” attorney Hannah Smith from the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty told NPR. “This is not just about health care. This is really about government coercion of religious individuals and institutions.”

Religious liberty honoree Rabbi Lord Sacks builds bridges among faiths

Deseret News, May 14, 2014

Rabbi Sacks’ interfaith work and his passion for religious freedom were recognized Thursday by the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty with its 2014 Canterbury Medal, an annual prize recognizing “an individual who has ‘most resolutely refused to render to Caesar that which is God’s,’ ” the group said.

‘Under God’ in court: Pledge of Allegiance draws new lawsuits

Deseret News National April 24, 2014

The 1954 change, enthusiastically supported by then-President Dwight D. Eisenhower, added the words “under God” before the closing phrase “with liberty and justice for all.” Those words have become the target of many, and so far unsuccessful, legal challenges. This week, a humanist family in New Jersey’s Monmouth County went to court challenging the use of those two words, according to the New York Daily News.

Supreme Court to decide whether to tackle religious liberty, contraception mandate

Deseret News, November 23, 2013

Lori Windam, an attorney for the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, which represents Hobby Lobby, said their case will answer critical questions on the limits of RFRA’s protections signed into law 20 years ago. “You have a government regulation forcing people to either follow their faith or paying enormous fines,” she said. “If RFRA can’t protect people from that, how much power does RFRA really have?”

European court upholds Romanian church’s right to approve, bust unions

Deseret News, July 10, 2013

The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, which filed a friend-of-the-court brief in the case, called the ruling one of the most important on European religious liberty in years.

“True autonomy for religious organizations of all sorts is becoming even more important as Europe and America become increasingly religiously diverse,” said Stanford University law professor Michael McConnell, who signed the brief. “In this area, government governs better when it governs less.”

Elder Oaks promotes strengthening the free exercise of religion

Deseret News, May 16, 2013

Religious teachings and religious organizations are vital to a free society and deserve its special legal protection, Elder Dallin H. Oaks affirmed in a speech May 16 upon receiving the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty’s highest honor, the Canterbury Medal, during a program held in the Pierre Hotel on New York City’s Fifth Avenue.

Public comments indicate few like Obamacare rule on birth control

Deseret News, April 19, 2013

“Under the accommodation … religious organizations would still be forced to facilitate access to products and services that many of them believe to be deeply immoral, even though the obligation for procuring separate insurance policies covering these services would ostensibly fall on insurers or third-party administrators,” stated comments submitted by the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, which is representing eight clients in seven separate lawsuits over the mandate.

Montana Hutterite colony asks Supreme Court to hear religious liberty case

Deseret News, April 10, 2013

“The state of Montana is needlessly attacking a group of communal farmers who are simply following 500 years of Hutterite religious tradition,” said Luke Goodrich, deputy general counsel at the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty. “The state should be applauding the Hutterites’ thriving, productive and self-sustaining farming community, not trying to regulate it out of existence at the behest of corporate lobbyists.”