“You Got Your Church In My State!” “You Got Your State In My Church!”

February 23rd, 2009at 07:29pm Posted by Eli

Oh, this is not good:

In one term, the Supreme Court cut back drastically on reproductive freedom, it issued an absurd decision holding that when the President violates the Establishment Clause, there’s nothing you can do about it, and it held that it is unconstitutional for school boards to racially integrate schools (seriously!).   Since that one awful term, however, the Court has stayed relatively quiet on cultural issues.

Looks like that’s about to change, however, the Court just granted cert in Salazar v. Buono.  For folks who are unfamiliar with the case, take a look at the picture of the cross over on the right there.  That cross sits alone on a rock in the middle of a federal land preserve, which is a fairly textbook violation of the Establishment Clause—at least as the law exists right now.

When Justice O’Connor was still on the Court, she was the all-important fifth vote for the notion that government cannot erect whatever monuments to religion it chooses.  Four of her colleagues had no problem with, say, massive displays of the Ten Commandments in the middle of a state courthouse.

Anyone want guess how Justice Alito’s going to vote, now that he has the chance to destroy almost fifty years of precedent holding that government is not in the business of endorsing a state religion?

Ooo!  Ooo!  Pick me!  Pick me!  From November 2005:

[Althouse’s] sole piece of evidence to “prove” that Alito is more liberal than Scalia is their interpretation of the First Amendment’s protections of religion. Scalia wrote the Employment Division v. Smith decision which ruled that “neutral, generally applicable” laws cannot be considered infringements on religious rights.

Ah, but Alito found loopholes that allowed him to rule in favor of Muslim policemen whose religion obligated them to grow beards, and “a Lakota Indian who claimed he derived spiritual powers from two black bears.” This is all very well and good, but does it really prove that he’s not a conservative extremist, or merely that he defers to religion wherever possible? It’s admirable that he would be so accommodating to non-Christians, but it’s not much of a stretch to believe that he was thinking of precedents for future cases where Christian spiritual practices are being infringed. I must admit, it’s hard for me to imagine any law infringing on Christians ever getting passed anywhere, but why take chances?

Yeah, I think we’re screwed.

Entry Filed under: Constitution,Religion,Republicans,Wankers


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