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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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May 6, 2019

Based on an executive order signed by President Trump in 2017 that promotes free speech and religious liberty, Betsy DeVos and the Department of Education recently announced it would no longer enforce a statute preventing religious organizations from providing education services to students. Learn more at FirstLiberty.org/Briefing.


This episode really begins back in May of 2017. That’s when President Donald Trump, just three months into his presidency, walked to the Rose Garden of the White House and signed the Executive Order Promoting Free Speech and Religious Liberty. 

That Executive Order commissioned a memo offering guidance to the executive branch by the Attorney General of the United States, then Jeff Sessions.  Several months later, the Department of Justice issued that guidance and, about a year later, held a summit on religious liberty at DOJ headquarters, announcing the formation of a religious liberty task force.

That task force provided on-the-ground guidance to executive agencies like the Department of Education, which brings us to the point of this episode. 

Secretary Betsy DeVos recently sent a letter to Congress explaining that the Department of Education would no longer enforce a federal statute prohibiting religious organizations from providing educational services to students.  DeVos noted that the decision by the Supreme Court of the United States in Trinity Lutheran v. Comer, as explained by the DOJ in former Attorney General Sessions’ memo, requires federal law to permit religious organizations to participate at the same level as secular organizations.

I agree with Secretary DeVos who said, “Those seeking to provide high-quality educational services to students and teachers should not be discriminated against simply based on the religious character of their organization.”

To learn how First Liberty is protecting religious liberty for all Americans, visit FirstLiberty.org.

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