President-elect Donald Trump will spend much of the time until his inauguration on Jan. 20 composing his new administration. That means naming Cabinet appointees, and government department or agency heads, as well as selecting advisers.
Many of Trump’s appointments so far are people of faith; some are supported or opposed by different faith groups; others have made public statements, or taken actions, regarding different faith groups.
Here is a list of Trump’s picks to date and a description of their relationship to religion.
In a memo announced Thursday, the Justice Department announced it plans to end using private prisons in the United States. As reported in the Washington Post, Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates will instruct, “officials to either decline to renew the contracts for private prison operators when they expire or “substantially reduce” the contracts’ scope.”
The Department of Justice will not pursue charges against the Minneapolis police officers who shot and killed Jamar Clark, U.S. Attorney Andrew Luger announced at a press conference June 1.
This new guidance from the Obama administration seeks to limit discrimination, harassment, and violence transgender students face, and restricts anything the school might do to question a transgender student's identity.
Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign is joining with the Democratic Party to sue Arizona after the state’s fiasco of a primary election. Some voters in the primary waited up to five hours to vote.
Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch filed a civil rights lawsuit against Ferguson, Mo. after the St. Louis suburb rejected an agreement with the Justice Department that would have reformed their criminal justice system. “Their decision leaves us no further choice,” Lynch said.
In a major victory for same-sex marriage rights, the Justice Department will soon grant married gay and lesbian couples the same rights in legal matters as other married couples.
The new policy announced by Attorney General Eric Holder on Saturday, in New York, marks the latest step by the Obama administration to extend rights to same-sex couples that are afforded to married, heterosexual couples.
“In every courthouse, in every proceeding and in every place where a member of the Department of Justice stands on behalf of the United States, they will strive to ensure that same-sex marriages receive the same privileges, protections, and rights as opposite-sex marriages under federal law,” Holder said in prepared remarks to the Human Rights Campaign, an advocacy group that works on behalf of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender equal rights.
As the government shutdown enters its second week, some religious groups are starting to feel the pinch, and they’re also finding ways to reach out.
More than 90 Catholic, evangelical, and Protestant leaders have signed a statement rebuking “pro-life” lawmakers for the shutdown, saying they are “appalled that elected officials are pursuing an extreme ideological agenda at the expense of the working poor and vulnerable families” who won’t receive government benefits.
Starting Wednesday, evangelical, Catholic, and mainline Protestant leaders will hold a daily “Faithful Filibuster” on Capitol Hill with Bible verses on the poor “to remind Congress that its dysfunction hurts struggling families and low-income people.”
Editor's Note: DRONE WATCH follows daily developments about drone strikes and policy concerning the highly controversial usage of drones. To keep up to date, follow our Quick Read blog HERE.
One of the most hotly contested points of the administration’s drone policy is its claim to have legal justification for killing U.S. citizens. Now we have their rationale for that claim. Michael Isikoff, National Investigative Correspondent for NBC News, published on Monday a memo he says was given to members of the Senate Intelligence and Judiciary committees in June.
The “Department of Justice White Paper” outlines certain conditions for an attack. An “informed, high-level official of the U.S. government” must determine that the targeted U.S. citizen is a “senior, operational leader of al-Qa’ida or an associated force,” poses “an imminent threat of violent attack against the United States,” “capture is infeasible,” and the attack is conducted in a way consistent with “law of war principles.” In those conditions, the memo says, “a targeted killing of a U.S. citizen who has joined al-Qa’ida or its associated forces would be lawful under U.S. and international law.”