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ADF to 4th Circuit: Courts are not religious inquisitors

The Biden administration's reinterpretation of the law could force doctors to act against their beliefs in performing gender transition surgeries on patients.

The following quote may be attributed to Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Counsel and Vice President for Appellate Advocacy John Bursch regarding a friend-of-the-court brief ADF attorneys filed Wednesday with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit in Barnett v. INOVA Health Services. In the case, a lower court ruled that a health services employee did not have sufficient religious objections to a vaccine requirement by her employer:

“America’s legal system is built on a foundation that highly respects the religious beliefs of individuals, and the First Amendment and Title VII uphold these ideals. The district court made an astonishing conclusion that Ms. Barnett’s religious beliefs in prayer and guidance by God were not specific enough to file a religious objection claim with her employer over the COVID-19 vaccine. The U.S. Supreme Court has provided guidance to lower courts to respect the religious beliefs of all Americans; courts are not meant to act as religious inquisitors when evaluating beliefs under Title VII and the First Amendment. We are urging the 4th Circuit to overturn the lower court’s decision and uphold the religious protections that all Americans enjoy.”

Alliance Defending Freedom is an alliance-building, non-profit legal organization committed to protecting religious freedom, free speech, parental rights, and the sanctity of life.

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John Bursch
John Bursch
Senior Counsel, Vice President of Appellate Advocacy
John Bursch is senior counsel and vice president of appellate advocacy with Alliance Defending Freedom.