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Around the Institute: What’s Happening at First Liberty

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December 1, 2023
Around the Institute | First Liberty Insider

A weekly roundup of exciting things happening at First Liberty.


First Liberty Argues in Federal Appeals Court

On Wednesday, Senior Counsel Lea Patterson argued at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit in Philadelphia. She defended our client Rachel Spivack. Rachel was fired from her job at the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office for requesting a religious accommodation to the COVID-19 vaccine mandate. However, eleven other employees were allowed to continue working without being vaccinated.

“The District Attorney disregarded the law by treating those like Rachel who requested religious accommodation less favorably than those who requested accommodation for other reasons,” said Lea Patterson, Senior Counsel for First Liberty, who argued the case. “As the Supreme Court has already made clear, the government is not free to disregard the First Amendment’s protection of religious liberty in times of crisis.”

You can listen to the full argument below:

We want to express our gratitude for all your prayers, encouragement and support. Thanks to you, Lea and our legal team can keep fighting for clients like Rachel.

Please continue to pray for the judges who heard this case. Pray for wisdom and discernment as they write their decision.


First Liberty Volunteer Attorney Honored with Prestigious Award

We congratulate First Liberty volunteer attorney Paul Clement for receiving the 2023 John Paul II New Evangelization Award, presented by the Catholic Information Center.

Clement received the CIC’s highest honor in recognition of his skilled advocacy in service of religious freedom, and for his tremendous commitment to professional integrity. He is a champion of the rule of law and a tireless advocate of global religious freedom. In his acceptance remarks, Clement outlined where American Catholics stand in the ongoing battle for religious liberty stating that “it is the best of times and the worst of times for religious liberty.”

Watch Clement’s speech below, where he mentions his longtime partnership and friendship with First Liberty:

Clement is a founding partner at Clement & Murphy, PLLC and served as the 43rd Solicitor General of the United States. He is widely regarded as one of the most gifted lawyers of his generation.

Clement has argued over 100 cases before the United States Supreme Court, including important religious liberty precedents, such as Little Sisters of the Poor v. Pennsylvania, Burwell v. Hobby Lobby, and Kennedy v. Bremerton School District. In private practice and public service, he has combined professional excellence with a commitment to moral principles and religious liberty. His courage and his engagement in the public square on issues close to the heart of the Church is an inspirational expression of the new evangelization as envisioned by Saint John Paul II.


Pray for First Liberty Attorney Traveling to South Korea

Mike Berry, our Vice President of External Affairs, Director of Military Affairs and Senior Counsel, will be going to South Korea this week to lead a religious liberty training for military chaplains.

Please keep Mike in your prayers throughout his travels. Please also pray that his seminar will be fruitful and productive. Far too many of America’s service members continue to face discrimination and unfair treatment because of their religious beliefs. This is a unique opportunity to educate people in key positions inside the military that service members have a right to serve in accordance with their faith. We will keep you updated on how Mike’s trip goes.


2023 Advent Devotional Available for Download

Advent begins on Sunday Dec. 3. For this special season, First Liberty’s educational arm—the Center for Religion, Culture and Democracy (CRCD)—published an e-book with daily devotionals leading up to Christmas Day.

These inspiring spiritual reflections are written by CRCD Fellows, First Liberty attorneys and several alumni of our fellowship programs. Inside, you’ll find original artwork, hand-drawn by a talented member of our CRCD team.

2023 Advent Devotional | CRCD | First Liberty Insider


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