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The State of the Law 2006: Legal Developments Affecting Government Partnerships with Faith-Based Organizations

Category: Legal/Constitutional

Document Type: Report

The Bush Administration´s Faith-Based and Community Initiative continued this year to face legal challenges that test its potential reach. Among the most significant cases in 2006 were those concerning prison programs, government chaplaincies, and grants to help faith-based organizations increase their ability to win government contracts, according to the Roundtable on Religion and Social Welfare Policy´s annual "State of the Law" report.

Major controversies over the Initiative and related church-state issues involved both matters of legal procedure and substantive decisions handed down by judges, say George Washington University Law Professors Ira C. Lupu and Robert W. Tuttle, co-directors of legal research for the Roundtable and authors of the report.

"This year´s most prominent developments provide a rich mix of procedural concerns, both administrative and judicial, and substantive outcomes," Lupu and Tuttle state in the report. "(P)rocess and substance interact in ways that profoundly shape the legal milieu in which the Faith- Based and Community Initiative proceeds."

The report breaks down the most significant legal developments affecting the federal initiative into five main categories: guidance to faith-based organizations on how to work legally with the government; government grants to increase faith-based organizations´ capacity; faith-based programs in prisons; government chaplaincies; and the structure of lawsuits based on the U.S. Constitution´s Establishment Clause. The report also considers court decisions in Florida and Georgia that may influence policy toward  faith-based organizations in those states.

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Publisher: The Roundtable on Religion and Social Welfare Policy

Publication Date: 12/05/2006

Number of Pages: 116