Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced Monday that the Department of Justice is creating a “religious liberty task force.”
Sessions said the task force, co-chaired by Associate Attorney General Jesse Panuccio and the assistant attorney general for the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Policy, Beth Williams, will help the department fully implement the religious liberty guidance it issued last year.
The guidance was a byproduct of President Trump’s executive order directing agencies to respect and protect religious liberty and political speech.
Sessions said on Monday that the task force will “ensure all Justice Department components are upholding that guidance in the cases they bring and defend, the arguments they make in court, the policies and regulations they adopt, and how we conduct our operations.”
The announcement came during the department’s religious liberty summit.
Sessions said the cultural climate in this country — and in the West more generally — has become less hospitable to people of faith in recent years, and as a result many Americans have felt their freedom to practice their faith has been under attack.