New York Churches Seek Legal Relief

02/15/2012 – -  The Alliance Defense Fund went to bat for New York City churches in federal court on Tuesday, arguing that a city policy banning them from holding worship services in public schools on weekends violates two tenets of the First Amendment.

And according to senior counsel Jordan Lorence, the hearing went fairly well; Chief Judge Loretta Preska “asked if the school district would be willing to grant some extra time for the churches to stay in the schools so she would have more time to write an opinion. I think there’s a good possibility that churches could be back in,” he said.

“We don’t know exactly what the judge will do, but I think she’s inclined to support us.”

The city evicted churches from public school buildings on Feb. 12. ADF is arguing that the city’s policy violates both the Free Exercise and Establishment clauses of the First Amendment. The Free Exercise Clause protects citizens’ right to be free of government interference in the performance of their faith; the Establishment Clause says the government will not establish an official state religion

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