DOJ Religious Liberty Announcement

Jul 30, 2018

The Trump administration has created a Religious Liberty Task Force, led by Attorney General Jeff Sessions, in order to further the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) work to protect and promote religious liberty as established in the Religious Liberty Memorandum and the Implementation Memorandum. 

On October 6, 2017, Attorney General Sessions issued two memoranda. The first, the Memorandum to All Executive Departments and Agencies on Federal Law Protections for Religious Liberty (“Religious Liberty Memorandum”), explained twenty key principles of religious liberty in U.S. law and provided direction to agencies in four areas: agencies as employers, rulemaking, enforcement actions, and contracting or grant-making.  

On the same day, Attorney General Sessions also issued a memorandum within the DOJ instructing components on how to implement the Religious Liberty Memorandum (“Implementation Memorandum”).  This Implementation Memorandum called on components to incorporate the Religious Liberty Memorandum in all aspects of the DOJ’s litigation, in advice to other agencies, in department operations, and through its own rulemaking and its interagency rule review.  The Implementation Memorandum required components to notify the associate attorney general of all issues that arise which implicate the Religious Liberty Memorandum. 

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