Voices
Ellen K. Boegel is America’s contributing editor for legal affairs.
Protesters burn U.S. flags during a protest in front of Trump Tower, Saturday, July 4, 2020, in New York. (AP Photo/Eduardo Munoz Alvarez)
Politics & Society Explainer
Ellen K. BoegelJuly 13, 2020
Branding “antifa” (short for “antifascist”) or any domestic association as a terror group is problematic, primarily because the United States “does not officially designate domestic terrorist organizations.”
07.08.2020 In this 2016 file photo, Sister Loraine Marie Maguire, mother provincial of the Denver-based Little Sisters of the Poor, speaks to the media outside the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington. (CNS photo/Joshua Roberts, Reuters)
Politics & Society News Analysis
Ellen K. BoegelJuly 10, 2020
Justice Clarence Thomas’s majority opinion is a decisive win for religious rights advocates, but it may not be the last chapter in this story.
Mike Decker of Nashville, Tenn., applies an electrostatic disinfectant at Christ the King Church May 15, 2020. Bishop J. Mark Spalding has reinstated the public celebration of Mass in the diocese at the discretion of pastors, effective May 18. (CNS photo/Rick Musacchio, Tennessee Register)
Politics & Society Columns
Ellen K. BoegelMay 19, 2020
The Trump administration is permitting state and local governments to exert their traditional power to draft and enforce health and safety regulations. This has led to a variety of responses across the country and even within the same state.
Faith Explainer
Ellen K. BoegelFebruary 06, 2020
Regardless of federal funding rules, proselytizers, practitioners and preachers should be aware of state tort laws that impose liability for harmful speech. Whether religious speech is immune from defamation and intentional infliction of emotional distress claims depends on the context and content
A Catholic school classroom in Phoenix, Ariz., gets down to work. (CNS photo/Nancy Wiechec)
Faith News Analysis
Ellen K. BoegelJanuary 16, 2020
Disputes regarding the enforcement of hair grooming standards at religious schools require application of fundamental church-and-state principles that are unique to the United States.
The Ohio-class ballistic-missile submarine USS Maryland (SSBN 738), Blue crew, returns to homeport at Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay, Ga., following a strategic deterrence patrol. Maryland is one of five ballistic-missile submarines stationed at the base and is capable of carrying up to 20 submarine-launched ballistic missiles with multiple warheads. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Ashley Berumen/Released)
Politics & Society Explainer
Ellen K. BoegelNovember 20, 2019
The obvious religious motivation of the Plowshares activists did not insulate them from criminal prosecution. The First Amendment prohibits the government from applying different rules to religious believers, but the Plowshares defendants were treated the same as any other intruder on government
First-grader Grace Burns chats with a classmate while working on a project on the first day of classes at Our Lady Queen of Apostles Regional School in Center Moriches, N.Y., Sept. 4, 2019. (CNS photo/Gregory A. Shemitz)
Politics & Society Explainer
Ellen K. BoegelOctober 10, 2019
Despite the alphabet soup of acronyms used to describe educational programs and the bureaucratic red tape involved in obtaining benefits, learning is a singular experience and small improvements can have profound impacts.
A man walks past a memorial on Aug. 7, 2019, for those killed in a mass shooting in Dayton, Ohio, four days earlier. Three U.S. bishops' committee chairmen issued a statement Aug. 8 to call on the nation's elected officials "to exert leadership in seeking to heal the wounds" of the country caused by the Aug. 3 and 4 mass shootings and urged an end to hateful rhetoric many see as a factor in the violence particularly in Texas. The Aug. 3 shooting in El Paso, Texas, was followed less than 24 hours later by th
Politics & Society Explainer
Ellen K. BoegelAugust 16, 2019
Unlike other nations that prohibit or narrowly restrict ownership of high-body-count weaponry and ammunition, the United States is hindered in establishing effective gun control by federal and state constitutional roadblocks. Understanding these roadblocks is essential to devising a route around
Politics & Society Explainer
Ellen K. BoegelJuly 01, 2019
The Catholic Church is currently campaigning against California’s proposed changes to its mandatory child abuse reporting law.
Pro-life advocate Joe San Pietro participates in a 40 Days for Life vigil near the entrance to a Planned Parenthood center in Smithtown, N.Y., on March 26. (CNS photo/Gregory A. Shemitz)
Politics & Society Explainer
Ellen K. BoegelJune 13, 2019
The Supreme Court has overruled longstanding precedents before, writes Ellen K. Boegel, but usually to end the confusion or chaos from an ‘erroneous’ decision. Will a majority describe Roe v. Wade that way?