1. Former EEOC Lawyer Eyed for Civil-Rights Position.

By Beth Reinhard, The Wall Street Journal, May 2, 2017, Pg. A4

The White House is considering Eric Dreiband, who filed discrimination lawsuits as the top lawyer at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and has also defended big businesses from such lawsuits, to lead the civil rights division at the Justice Department, according to people familiar with the matter.

Mr. Dreiband now works at Jones Day, a law firm that has become a popular wellspring for the new administration and supplied many of the lawyers who sued the administration of former President Barack Obama over its health-care law. Mr. Dreiband was part of the legal team that represented Catholic plaintiffs objecting to the contraceptive coverage under the law.

Mr. Dreiband also represented the University of North Carolina system when it was sued by the Justice Department over a state law requiring transgender people to use public bathrooms matching the gender listed on their birth certificate. The university system argued last year that it didn’t intend to enforce the law.

Mr. Dreiband’s views on policing and voting rights aren’t known publicly, and that could be a point of contention for Senate Democrats and liberal activists, along with Mr. Dreiband’s involvement in litigation against the Affordable Care Act.

Mr. Dreiband served as the top lawyer at the EEOC, which enforces federal laws prohibiting discrimination in the workplace, under former President George W. Bush, a Republican, from 2003 to 2005.


2. Christians in Middle East call Pope Francis’s visit to Egypt a blessing.

By Dale Gavlak, Catholic News Service, May 2, 2017

Christian leaders in the region say Pope Francis’s April 28-29 trip to Egypt was a great success. The pope has backed Egypt’s efforts to tackle Islamic militancy, saying the country has a special role to play in forging regional peace as well as in “vanquishing all violence and terrorism.”

“The pope’s visit for Catholics in Egypt was a great happening, very positive,” Jesuit Father Samir Khalil Samir, a noted Egyptian Catholic theologian and Islamic studies scholar, told CNS. The professor teaches at the Pontifical Oriental Institute in Rome and St. Joseph’s University in Beirut.

Even more important, he said, was the historic improvement in ecumenical ties between the Catholic and the Coptic Orthodox churches. Francis and Coptic Orthodox Pope Tawadros II signed a declaration on common baptism.


3. Kansas archdiocese to usher out Girl Scouts, and cookies.

By Associated Press, May 1, 2017

The archdiocese covering the Kansas City, Kansas, region and much of the eastern part of the state said Monday it is severing ties with Girl Scouts and urging an end to cookie sales, citing philosophical concerns with the organization.

The Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas announced in a statement that Girl Scouts is “no longer a compatible partner in helping us form young women with the virtues and values of the Gospel,” The Kansas City Star (http://bit.ly/2pB59ms) reported.

The archdiocese said it is switching its support to a 22-year-old, Christian-based scouting program, American Heritage Girls.

American Heritage Girls, with 1,005 troops and more than 47,000 members, has become an option for those who claim Girl Scouts has turned too liberal and has relationships with organizations that don’t share traditional family values.


4. Dozens of lawmakers press Trump for religious freedom protection.

By Matt Hadro, Catholic News Agency, May 1, 2017

More than 50 members of Congress have written President Donald Trump asking for a broad executive order that protects religious freedom.

Religious freedom advocates have warned that, due to various mandates and rules issued during the Obama administration, religious institutions that uphold traditional marriage or do not cooperate with abortions and contraceptive use could soon face federal action if no executive order is issued to protect them.