María Montserrat Alvarado Profile picture
Exec. Director @BecketLaw protecting #religiousliberty one case at a time. #myopinions #sehablaespañol
Magdi Shalash Profile picture 1 added to My Authors
27 Jul
In the Mississippi abortion case at the Supreme Court, @BECKETlaw just filed a #SCOTUS brief explaining how the Court’s abortion rights framework has generated many First Amendment conflicts.…
Over the past decade, the Court has faced many First Amendment cases concerning abortion: pharmacist cases, contraceptive mandate cases, sidewalk counselor cases, and pregnancy center cases, to name just four types of cases.
It doesn’t have to be that way—other countries like France, England, and Germany—have experienced much less of this kind of abortion v. religious liberty conflict.
Read 16 tweets
25 Sep 20
.@TheJusticeDept just came out swinging in defense of Archbishop Cordileone & against San Francisco’s draconian ban on religious gathering. San Fran limits indoor worship to ONE PERSON AT A TIME, no matter how big the building--plainly unconstitutional: 1/…
The Archbishop has been saying mass and using creative, and lawful, ways to get his Catholic faithful the sacraments. He wrote this piece last week: 2/…
Today, DOJ wrote a letter to the City and one line sums it up: "No government in this free country can attack religion by transforming a house of worship arbitrarily into a place for solitary confinement." 3/
Read 7 tweets
19 Sep 20
.@AdeleScalia inspired me. Justice Ginsburg was more than a seat on #SCOTUS. Let’s tweet accordingly (thread)
Justice Ginsburg passed away yesterday after a long battle with cancer. She fought hard to continue serving as long as she could, including participating in oral arguments from a hospital room in May. She embraced suffering for what she believed to be a just cause. (1/5)
She had a remarkable legal career. A gifted advocate and legal strategist at the ACLU, she then served on the DC Circuit and spent nearly three decades on SCOTUS. She was a trailblazer in a generation in which few women would become lawyers, much less make it to #SCOTUS. (2/5)
Read 6 tweets
1 Sep 20
San Francisco Archbishop Calls on Mayor to End 'Excessive Limits' on Outdoor Mass… #NCRegister
“Particularly for us as Catholics, attending the Mass and receiving the Body and Blood of Christ in person is the source and the summit of our faith, and we have shown we can celebrate the Mass safely,”
“San Francisco is the only government in the entire Bay Area that restricts public gatherings to 12 people out of doors."
Read 4 tweets
26 Jun 20
#BREAKING: A federal judge in NY has ruled that Mayor Bill de Blasio and Governor Andrew Cuomo have violated the Constitution by discriminating against religious groups, striking down #COVID lockdown orders that prevented outdoor and indoor religious activities.
In a case brought by Catholics & Orthodox Jews, Judge Gary Sharpe said @MayorNYC and @NYGovCuomo treated mass protests better than religious assemblies, which “sent a clear message that mass protests are deserving of preferential treatment” but religious groups were not. (2/x)
Citing “simultaneous pro-protest/anti-religious gathering messages,” Judge Sharpe ruled that the orders violate the #FirstAmendment because they don’t apply equally to religious assemblies and secular assemblies. (3/x)
Read 9 tweets
25 Jun 20
A thoughtful call to action from @ChristMedicus’s Louis Brown on the murder of George Floyd and #BlackLivesMatter: A New Birth for American Civil Rights via @PublicDiscourse
“...we are called not only to pray but also to act for justice, because faith without works is dead. Faith communities provide leadership by coming together in a sustained way to atone for the sins of our country, including racism...”
“In the United States, such a healing process has never really taken place. Neither a person nor a country can “just move on” from deep woundedness. People and nations need healing to be fully free, functioning, and healthy....”
Read 4 tweets
5 Jun 20
#BREAKING: Just now the Supreme Court of Texas announced it will decide whether a church can be sued for defamation by one of its clergy in retaliation for the church disclosing to its members that the clergyman is “credibly accused” of sexual abuse. (1/8)
In Diocese of Lubbock v. Guerrero, the plaintiff, a Catholic clergyman, sued for defamation after the Diocese of Lubbock included him on a list of credibly accused clergy. (2/8)
The lower courts sided with Guerrero, exposing the Diocese of Lubbock to millions of dollars in damages because it warned the Catholic faithful about Guerrero’s credibly-accused status. (3/8)
Read 8 tweets
24 May 20
The end of the story told by ⁦@WSJopinion⁩: Minnesota’s ‘Essential’ Churches -…
“Gov. Walz has seen the light. Or at least the First Amendment.” #MNChurchesMatter @Mnnlcms @MNCatholicConf @BECKETlaw
“Gov. Walz could have had this deal and avoided the bad PR if he’d shown more good faith from the start. Meantime, we can welcome the accommodation as a sign that political and religious leaders can find ways that protect people from Covid-19 while also honoring the Constitution”
Read 4 tweets
15 May 20
#BREAKING: Great news out of New Mexico in a #religiousfreedom case: The state told a federal judge that it will now allow houses of worship to have same percentage of people attend worship services that can attend all NM retailers. @BECKETlaw (1/11)
This is a reversal of the State’s position from just 48 hours ago, when it was going to limit churches to < 1/2 the percentage of occupancy that it allowed for even non-essential businesses. Becket was set to argue on Monday, but may not need to. Let’s review how we got here:
NM began closing churches the night before Easter, when it revoked a prior exception from the “mass” gathering ban that prohibited more than four people gathering together. NM had previously exempted churches, and admitted that religious groups were voluntarily social distancing.
Read 11 tweets
8 May 20
#FlashbackFriday: Wednesday was a remarkable day for the Little Sisters of the Poor. Even after 7 years and 2 trips to #SCOTUS, the Little Sisters (and I) know we live in a world where #SCOTUS will protect their religious exemption & their mission of caring for the elderly poor. Image
Because we couldn’t physically gather at #SCOTUS this year, @BECKETlaw and @WomenReligious hosted a virtual rally that featured members of Congress, faith leaders, and non-profit organizations. Check out these highlights ⬇️ (2/6)
Catholic nuns (not Little Sisters) led thousands in a rosary in front of a rainy #SCOTUS. It was inspiring to witness these selfless women pray for our nation, joined virtually by even more nuns! Little Sisters of the Poor from CA➡️MD prayed from #sociallydistant chapels. (3/6) Image
Read 6 tweets
17 Apr 20
Troubling reports of attempts to use #COVID19 to shut down responsible, legal, socially-distanced prayer by Orthodox Jews:…
A neighborhood watch group brought in code enforcement when a group of less than 10 Jewish friends and relatives observed Passover by gathering for socially distant prayer in the backyard of a Miami Beach home.
Instead of commending them on finding a responsible way to practice their faith, Mayor Dan Gleber pressured them to stop, saying “we’ve knocked on doors and urged people to do the right thing.”
Read 4 tweets
2 Apr 20
Responding to COVID-19 would be a lot harder without churches and Christian groups ⁦@ThomasSKidd⁩ and Byron Johnson with some important reminders:…
“...congregations remain arguably the most common source of what scholars call “social capital,” or the networks of relationships that people need for support in times of trouble.”
“Harvard University scholar Robert Putnam, who popularized the term “social capital,” states that “houses of worship build and sustain more social capital — and social capital of more varied forms — than any other type of institution in America”
Read 5 tweets
31 Mar 20
For Autocrats, and Others, Coronavirus Is a Chance to Grab Even More Power
“Some emergency bills were waved through so quickly that lawmakers and rights groups had no time to read them, let alone debate their necessity. Rights advocates have also questioned the speed with which states have drafted lengthy legislation.”
“It is far from clear what will become of the emergency laws when the crisis passes. In the past, laws enacted in a rush, like the Patriot Act that followed the Sept. 11 attacks, have outlived the crises they were meant to address.”
Read 4 tweets
26 Mar 20
Bringing this back up— read it if you haven’t read it. Write to your priests if you haven’t.…
“The whole situation sets in stark relief this truth about us parish priests: we are ordained propter homines – to serve the people of God. Our lives don’t make sense without a people to serve or a flock to tend.”
When asked what he thought about the laity, Saint John Henry Cardinal Newman famously observed that “the Church would look foolish without them.” As it turns out, it is we priests who look most foolish in that scenario.
Read 5 tweets
1 Feb 20
An inspiration to many, Clay is remembered for his great business and academic achievements. Take a moment to read his essay to learn more about the radical model of fortitude and prudence he presented to his students:…
“Management is the most noble of professions if it’s practiced well. No other occupation offers as many ways to help others learn and grow, take responsibility and be recognized for achievement, and contribute to the success of a team.”
“People who are driven to excel have this unconscious propensity to underinvest in their families and overinvest in their careers—even though intimate and loving relationships with their families are the most powerful and enduring source of happiness.”
Read 4 tweets
17 Jan 20
BIG news at #SCOTUS about the #LittleSisters needs a Friday wrap up. The Little Sisters are back at the Supreme Court? Bear with me (thread):
This case is related to, but different from the one @BECKETlaw won in 2016. Back then we were defending the Little Sisters from a federal mandate that forced them to provide abortion causing drugs and services. They won that fight. (2/7)
After their win, the federal government gave them a religious exemption. American history is rich in examples where people of good faith disagree and exemptions are necessary to protect people from having to violate their deeply held beliefs. (3/7)
Read 7 tweets
30 Dec 19
“Women who don’t use medical birth control are deemed irresponsible. As a result, medical birth control options have become so ubiquitous among certain populations of women that the idea of preventing pregnancy without them seems—literally—impossible.”
“If feminism’s goal is to give women more choice and freedom from the capital-fueled, patriarchal chains that bind us, the feminist case for fertility awareness is self-evident.”
Read 4 tweets
28 Nov 19
In 1999, Becket's Founder wrote a piece called "The Feast of the Intransitive Verb," and in his wonderfully witty way, described how Thanksgiving points to our longing for the transcendent. See below 👇🏼; quick read. (1/5)
As he put it, “You can’t just sit there and ‘thank.’ You have to thank someone.” Many people choose to thank God—for the blessings in their lives, for the great country we live in, and the freedom we enjoy. (2/5)
He continues: "Defending the public integrity of our holidays is not just petulance….Public holiday celebrations are particularly potent engines of culture—which is why the secularists have poured so much energy into changing ours." (3/5)
Read 5 tweets
22 Oct 19
#BREAKING: After 8 years and a #SCOTUS victory, nuns are still being bullied in court. The Ninth Circuit just ruled 2-1 against the Little Sisters’ religious exemption from the HHS mandate. (Thread):… Image
This and another decision against the Little Sisters from the Third Circuit in July mean that it is time for #SCOTUS to *once again* step in and rule definitively on the HHS mandate. 2/
The Ninth Circuit agrees at least on that much, saying it would “welcome guidance from the Supreme Court.” 3/
Read 8 tweets
1 Oct 19
Is this déjà vu? No, the Little Sisters of the Poor are BACK at #SCOTUS, asking the Justices to let them get back to serving the elderly poor. Let’s go back to the beginning (THREAD):… Image
In 2013, the Little Sisters went to court to protect their #religiousfreedom against a #HHSmandate requiring employers to provide contraceptives, like the week-after pill, in their insurance plans.
That New Year’s Eve, Justice Sotomayor issued an emergency order to protect them, right before going to watch the ball drop in Times Square. The entire court affirmed that order in 2014 without dissent.
Read 8 tweets
2 May 19
HHS just announced a new federal regulation protecting conscience in healthcare:…. This is great news for several reasons…
Our nation has long agreed that no healthcare worker should be forced to participate in abortion, sterilization, or suicide against conscience. There are over 20 federal laws protecting against this, and many more at the state level.
But these laws often go unenforced. So today’s regulation makes clear that HHS can enforce them—mainly by showing violators how to improve, but also by cutting off federal funds for those who refuse to follow the law.
Read 5 tweets