First Liberty Briefing

First Liberty Briefing is an exclusive podcast hosted by First Liberty Institute’s Senior Counsel Jeremy Dys. In about 90-seconds, three times a week, Jeremy recalls the stories that have shaped America’s religious liberty, from the founding era to current legal battles and more. It’s an insider’s look at the stories, cases, people, and laws that have made America the world’s leader in protecting religious liberty.
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Feb 3, 2017

The wait for the Supreme Court nomination is now over. His qualifications for the office are unquestionable. But what does his record reflect on the issue of religious liberty? Learn more about Judge Gorsuch at

Feb 1, 2017
The Islamic Society of Basking Ridge New Jersey has fought city hall for the last four years. The city rejected 9 applications, held 39 public hearings and buried the Islamic Society in endless paperwork to deny them access to build the mosque. Learn more about how the Department of Justice helped defend religious freedom at
Jan 30, 2017
Protecting the rights of minority American religions like Sikhism, Native American religions and Islam help protect mainstream or majority religions. Learn more about the cases that help further all religions at
Jan 27, 2017
Ricky Knight and Billy Two Feathers filed a lawsuit on behalf of several of their fellow inmates in the Alabama Department of Corrections. The lawsuit challenged the department’s “short-hair policy”. Learn how the court decided on the case at
Jan 25, 2017
Many of the stories you hear on the First Liberty Briefing come from the cases we are working on at First Liberty Institute. Others are drawn from the body of cases that we use to ply our religious liberty trade. But, many of the stories that we tell are drawn from Undeniable, our annual survey on religious hostility in America. Learn more about our annual survey at
Jan 23, 2017
A veterans memorial known as the “Big Mountain Jesus” honors World War II soldiers from the Army’s 10th Mountain Division and stands tall atop Big Mountain in the Flathead National Forest. But one group wanted to get rid of the memorial because of its religious nature. Learn more at
Jan 20, 2017
Today, Donald Trump will recite the oath of office, likely ending with the traditional declaration, “So help me God.” Some question whether George Washington actually said “So help me God,” starting a tradition maintained by most of our presidents. But, we do know Washington’s other words. Learn more at
Jan 18, 2017
The Religious Freedom Restoration Act requires a state to provide a compelling justification before it may substantially burden the free exercise of religion. But, just what is a substantial burden? Learn more at
Jan 16, 2017
City elders in City of Port Jervis, New York passed an ordinance that banned houses of worship to use land within a designated business district. Learn more about how the Department of Justice intervened at
Jan 13, 2017
A group of atheists, filed a lawsuit against the United States Congress, the Department of the Treasury, the U.S. Mint, the U.S. Bureau of Engraving and Printing, and, for good measure, the United States of America in a failed bid to invalidate the national motto from our currency. Learn more at
Jan 11, 2017
Two active duty chaplains prayed at an event held to honor outgoing congressman Randy Forbes. An activist group insisted that the Department of Defense investigate the matter thoroughly, review the content of the prayers offered by these chaplains, and discipline the chaplains for participating in what it called a, “fundamentalist Christian supremacy event.” Learn more at
Jan 9, 2017
Houston health care company fired young Catholic immigrant, Alexia Palma, for being unwilling to promote contraception. Learn more about Alexia’s story at
Jan 6, 2017
Lieutenant Colonel Michael Kersten was interviewed for a story by the base newspaper entitled, “Meet Your Leadership.” One question really annoyed Mikey Weinstein, an activist that often decries the presence of religion within the United States Military. Learn more at
Jan 4, 2017
An Amish group in Western Kentucky is claiming that the City of Auburn is targeting them with a horse manure ordinance. The question is, how should we balance religious liberty and health safety concerns in America. For more, listen at
Jan 2, 2017
The Akebono Brake Corportaion hired Clintoria Burneett in 2014 to fulfill the job of Washer Inspector. But when her religious beliefs prohibit her from wearing pants, the company sought to withdraw their offer of employment. Learn more about Clintoria’s story at
Dec 30, 2016
Charles Mack, a federal inmate and practicing Muslim faced religious discrimination by corrections officers during his employment at the commissary. A Court of Appeals found that, “inmates do not relinquish their First Amendment right to petition”, allowing him to sue the officers under RFRA. Learn more at
Dec 28, 2016
In 1993, RFRA or the Religious Freedom Restoration Act was passed by a bi-partisan vote in Congress. Learn why RFRA is important to both Liberals and Conservatives alike at
Dec 22, 2016
The First Church of Cannabis in Indiana claims the Religious Freedom Restoration Act should protect their practice of marijuana use although it’s considered an illegal substance in the state. Learn more at
Dec 22, 2016
For 39 years, Lubavitch Youth Organization has lit a 36-foot tall menorah at a corner of midtown Manhattan as a symbol of freedom, strength, inspiration, the Jewish faith and religious liberty. Learn more about how different faiths exercise their religious liberty at
Dec 21, 2016
Former NFL players, Steve Largent and Chad Hennings along with two Seattle high school coaches filed friend-of-the-court briefs in support of Coach Kennedy’s right to take a knee after games. Learn more at
Dec 19, 2016
Livingston Christian School was denied access to use a local church building. Learn more about how First Liberty is defending the school at
Dec 16, 2016
A woman in Indiana attempted to use that state’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act to justify her abusive behavior, but the state ruled against her defense. Learn more about how RFRA works at
Dec 14, 2016
Iknoor Sigh, a Sikh college student enlisted in ROTC, was denied admission to the Army unless he cut his hair, shaved his beard and removed his turban denying him of his individual religious expression. Learn how a Federal court decided his case at
Dec 12, 2016
Peter Manseau was hired as the first curator of religion in over 100 years for the Smithsonian Institution. The curator hopes to tell the story of religion in and its significance to America’s founding. To learn more about religion’s role in American history, listen at
Dec 9, 2016
The Supreme Court decided in Wisconsin v. Yoder that families can homeschool their children in accordance with their religious beliefs setting a precedent for an individual’s right to free exercise of religion. Learn more at
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