Keeping Church and State Separate: Recent developments
February 23 @ 11:00 am - 12:30 pm
Associate Legal Director, Americans United for Separation of Church and State
Alex Luchenitser will discuss the recent lawsuit against officials of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, in which he represented the Philadelphia Ethical Society, its late Leader Emeritus Richard Kiniry, and other nontheist groups and individuals that sought equal rights for nontheists to deliver solemnizing messages to open House sessions. He will also consider other current and recent cases that Americans United has litigated, as well as the obstacles that an increasingly conservative federal court system presents to the battles for church and state separation and equality for nontheists and religious minorities.
Luchenitser has litigated church-state lawsuits throughout the country for Americans United since January 2001. His cases have challenged discriminatory governmental prayer practices, public-school promotion of religion, public funding of religious activity, and governmental sponsorship of religious displays. He has also defended the rights of women, LGBTQ people, and religious minorities against religion-based discrimination and deprivation. He has discussed church-state issues in many friend-of-the-court briefs, journal articles, blog posts, television and radio appearances, major newspapers, and public presentations.