Jan 28: Brownback confirmed, state court cases and more

Executive Branch

The Senate confirmed Kansas Governor Sam Brownback as Ambassador-at-Large for Religious Freedom, a post he was nominated for back in July. The Washington Post described what the position entails.

Judicial Branch

A federal judge issued a temporary injunction to the University of Iowa’s dissolution of a Business Leaders in Christ club. She found that the university’s nondiscrimination policies were applied inconsistently against the club for preventing an openly gay student from assuming a leadership position.

50 States

The Washington Supreme Court ruled that a local fire department violated a firefighter’s rights to free speech by preventing him from sending emails with religious content over work listservs. If that is found to be the sole cause of his subsequent firing, that will also be considered discriminatory.

The New York Times reported that political candidates in the South are much less focused on “culture wars” issues like abortion, religious freedom, or transgender bathroom assignment than in previous elections cycles.

Other reads

Pew Research released data on Americans’ support for abortion across religious affiliations.

PBS News Hour covered the rise of health care sharing ministries. The ministries have little government oversight, allowing them to reject applicants with preexisting conditions and to offer cheaper plans with limited coverage that appeal to healthy people.