Explore Pew Forum legal reports, which examine the legal and
constitutional issues at the heart of an array of issues at the
intersection of religion and public life.
High Court to Hear Same-Sex Marriage Cases
The U.S. Supreme Court is about to hear oral
arguments in a pair of potentially groundbreaking same-sex marriage cases.
A History of Key Abortion Rulings of the U.S. Supreme Court
During the past 35 years, federal courts, particularly the U.S. Supreme
Court, have superseded states as the driving force in crafting abortion
Same-Sex Marriage in the Courts
Supreme Court stepped squarely into the same-sex marriage debate when it agreed
on Dec. 7, 2012, to review two important lower court decisions involving gay
marriage. Find out what that may mean for the future of same-sex marriage in
In Brief: Hosanna-Tabor v. EEOC
On Oct. 5, 2011, the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church and School v. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, a case that could help determine how much latitude religious organizations have in making employment decisions about clergy and others who perform religious duties.
The Constitutional Dimensions of the Same-Sex Marriage Debate
While the gay marriage controversy has many elements, including disagreements over religious and social norms, much of the debate is a legal one.
Politics and the Pulpit 2008
A guide to the Internal Revenue Code restrictions on the political activity of religious organizations.
An Impassioned Debate: An Overview of the Death Penalty in America
Few public policy issues have inflamed passions as consistently and as strongly as the debate over capital punishment. Religious communities have been deeply involved on both sides of the issue, drawing on teachings and traditions that define justice and the dignity of human life.
From the Ten Commandments to Christmas Trees: Public Religious Displays and the Courts
In recent decades, a growing number of citizens and civil liberties
groups have sued towns, cities and states over religious symbols in the
public square, arguing that these displays should be removed because
they violate the First Amendment's prohibition on government
establishment of religion.
The Christmas Wars: Religion in the American Public Square
Every year as the holiday season gets underway, debates break out across the country over the appropriateness of religious displays in public spaces, such as crèches and menorahs placed in town halls. But the so-called "Christmas wars&...
Politics and the Pulpit 2004: A Guide to the Internal Revenue Restrictions on the Political Activity of Religious Organizations
Download the complete report Note: An updated version of this report is now available as Politics and the Pulpit: 2008. During every election cycle, many religious congregations find themselves wondering what role, if any, they can play in the pol...