For Immediate Release
Sam Gerard, (202) 238-9088, firstname.lastname@example.org
(January 14, 2020, Washington D.C.) – The American Humanist Association (AHA) legal team filed an amicus, or friend-of-the-court brief, at the Supreme Court in the ongoing religious freedom case, FNU Tanzin v. Tanvir.
Several Muslim men, all either U.S. citizens or Lawful Permanent Residents, allege that they were placed on the No-Fly list in retaliation for refusing to act as FBI informants. The men’s refusal was, in part, based on their sincerely held religious beliefs.
Originally filed in 2014, the case asks if the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) authorizes a suit for damages against federal agents sued in their individual capacities. Yesterday’s brief, filed in support of neither party, argues that RFRA is unconstitutional in nature, leaving the other questions at hand inconsequential.
“RFRA has always unconstitutionally favored religion over non-religion, giving religious adherents a special shield that no atheist or humanist could obtain,” said Monica Miller, Legal Director and Senior Counsel for the AHA. “As we’ve seen in recent years, however, RFRA is no longer just a shield but also a religious sword that threatens to undermine public safety laws, anti-discrimination laws, and the rights of minorities generally,” Miller added.< Marci Hamilton, a legal expert, senior fellow at the University of Pennsylvania’s Program in Religion and Urban Civil Society, and winner of the AHA’s 2015 Religious Liberty Award, co-signed the brief, in addition to the Freedom From Religion Foundation.
Read the amicus filing here.
The American Humanist Association (AHA) works to protect the rights of humanists, atheists, and other nontheistic Americans. The AHA advances the ethical and life-affirming worldview of humanism, which—without beliefs in gods or other supernatural forces—encourages individuals to live informed and meaningful lives that aspire to the greater good of humanity.
Special thanks to the Louis J. Appignani Foundation and the Herb Block Foundation for their support of the Appignani Humanist Legal Center.