AG Curtis Hill Encourages U.S. Department of Education to Protect Religious Liberties

(INDIANAPOLIS) – Attorney General Curtis Hill on Tuesday submitted comments to U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos supporting a proposed rule aimed at ensuring the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) adequately protects the religious liberties of students, teachers and faith-based institutions.

The DOE’s proposed rule follows President Trump’s issuance of Executive Order 13831, which seeks to improve the federal government’s protection of First Amendment rights across all agencies.

Attorney General Curtis Hill

“Religious liberties are a cornerstone of American freedom,” Attorney General Hill wrote. “The stated goal and purpose of the Proposed Rule is to bring DOE policies in line with Supreme Court of the United States precedent, guidance from the (U.S.) Attorney General, and President Trump’s Executive Order 13831. All of these emphasize the importance of ensuring that religious liberties are safeguarded and religious persons and groups are not subject to unconstitutional discrimination.”

The DOE’s press release about its proposed rule, including a link to the text of the rule, may be found online.

“As a matter of broad public interest, the rule simply provides that religious or faith-based organizations stand on equal footing with non-faith-based or secular organizations,” Attorney General Hill wrote in the comments. “Those receiving benefits will have more options and will have the opportunity to choose whether they want to obtain services from a faith-based organization or secular organizations.”

Attorney General Hill’s comments to Secretary DeVos are attached.

CORRESPONDENCE.Ltr to Secretary DeVos.02.18.20.pdf