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May has arrived. Do you know what that means?

It means it’s time to attend endless events marking the end of the school year, to take your lawn mower out of storage and to start watching the Supreme Court’s website like a hawk.

May is when the Supreme Court’s slow release of opinions speeds up as the justices make meaningful progress on their lengthy to-do lists.

Here are the cases I’ll be monitoring this month and next, along with the question or questions the court is expected to address.

United States v. Rahimi

  • Does a federal law preventing certain people who are subject to domestic violence restraining orders from owning a gun violate the Second Amendment?

Relentless v. Department of Commerce

  • Should the Chevron Doctrine, which gives federal agencies broad authority to interpret and enforce the often nonspecific laws put in place by Congress, be overturned?

Trump v. United States

  • What’s the scope of presidential immunity? Can former President Donald Trump be prosecuted for his alleged role in efforts to overturn the 2020 election?

FDA v. Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine

  • Should some of the FDA’s policies expanding access to mifepristone, a pill that’s used to induce abortion, be overturned?

Garland v. Cargill

  • Does a law prohibiting the purchase or sale of machine guns justify a ban on bump stocks, which are used to make semiautomatic rifles shoot more rounds more quickly?

City of Grants Pass v. Johnson

  • Can cities enforce bans on public sleeping if there aren’t enough nearby shelter beds to serve members of the homeless community?

Moyle v. United States

  • When state abortion restrictions conflict with federal law regarding emergency treatment for pregnant women, which policy wins out?

Fresh off the press

The enduring myth of ‘Christians in name only’

The pope now has a Mark Pope jersey

Gender transition surgeries must be covered in state health plans, federal court says

What comedian Russell Brand said about getting baptized


Term of the week: Pascha

Pascha is another name for Easter in Orthodox Christianity. Members of the church often say “Blessed Pascha,” instead of or in addition to “Happy Easter!”

The word Pascha is derived from Pesach, the Hebrew word for Passover. Orthodox Christians think of the holiday as “the eternal Passover from death to life and from earth to heaven,” according to the Orthodox Church in America.

This year, Pascha was observed on Sunday (May 5). Orthodox Easter often falls on a different day than the Easter celebrated by most American Christians because the Orthodox Church follows the Julian calendar rather than the Gregorian one.


What I’m reading ...

The United Methodist Church on Wednesday voted to repeal a ban on LGBTQ clergy, bringing an end to a debate that led more conservative Methodist churches across the country to break away from the denomination. “Also approved was a measure that forbids district superintendents — or regional administrators — from penalizing clergy for either performing a same-sex wedding or for refraining from performing one. It also prohibits superintendents from forbidding a church from hosting a same-sex wedding or requiring it to,” The Associated Press reported.

A group of pro-Palestinian protesters in Arizona filed a motion last week alleging that law enforcement officers violated their religious freedom when they disrupted their demonstration. The protesters are seeking to have trespassing charges dismissed, according to Religion News Service.

The best story I read last week was The Athletic’s profile of a 5-foot-6-inch Orthodox Jewish kid with an improbable dream: to make the Texas A&M football team despite having no football experience and having to miss most games. In the fall of 2022, he made that dream come true.

In other sports and religion news, Christianity Today recently explored the religious roots of the Dallas Mavericks.


Odds and ends

That Thing You Do!” is back on Hulu. It doesn’t have anything to do with religion, but it brings me a lot of joy so I wanted to recommend it here.