On October 9, 2017, Attorney General Jeff Sessions released a 25-page memo that offers guidance to federal agencies and prosecutors concerning giving religious groups, organizations, businesses, and individuals leeway in enforcing discrimination laws.
President Trump signed an executive order in May to expansively offer protections for people of faith and their associations and institutions from interference from the federal government in civil rights laws.
One portion of the guidance directs lawyers in the Justice Department to scrutinize every proposed federal regulation. It is clear that the significance of this memo will depend largely in how it is interpreted. Although the memo does not change federal law, it does ensure that those who run afoul of laws and policies on religious grounds will be treated with respect, if not actual favor.