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Obama Supreme Court Pick Has Thin Record On Church And State

It’s imperative that members of the Senate Judiciary Committee closely question President Barack Obama’s U.S. Supreme Court nominee on church-state issues, Americans United said in March.

Judge Merrick Garland is Obama’s choice to replace Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, who passed away in February. Garland has spent 19 years on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. He clerked for former Supreme Court Justice William Brennan and is a graduate of Harvard Law School. Read more

The Wall Banger

Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonin G. Scalia left no doubt about where he stood on the constitutional principle of church-state separation.

“To tell you the truth, there is no place for that in our constitutional tradition,” Scalia said a little over one month before he passed away Feb. 13 at the age of 79. “Where did that come from? To be sure, you can’t favor one denomination over another but can’t favor religion over non-religion?” Read more

Intelligence Test: Justice Scalia And The Limits Of Brilliance

As I sift through the news in the wake of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia’s death, there’s one word I keep seeing over and over again:  Brilliant.

We’re told that even if you disagreed with Scalia’s extremely conservative views, you must stand in awe of his brilliance, his genius, his searing wit.

Fair enough. I have observed Scalia in action many times at the Supreme Court over the past 28 years. I don’t doubt that he was a pretty smart guy. Read more

Government’s God: Scalia And The Fraud Of ‘Ceremonial Deism’

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia believes that nothing in the Constitution prevents the government from endorsing and promoting religion – as long as it’s not too specific.

Addressing a crowd at a Catholic high school in Louisiana last month, Scalia asserted that the Constitution does not require the government to be neutral between religion and non-religion. Read more

There He Goes Again: Justice Scalia Continues Attacking Religious Neutrality

The government, at least in theory, is supposed to be neutral on matters of theology, neither favoring religion nor irreligion.

In a 1989 case called Texas Monthly v. Bullock, Justice William Brennan wrote, “In proscribing all laws ‘respecting an establishment of religion,’ the Constitution prohibits, at the very least, legislation that constitutes an endorsement of one or another set of religious beliefs or of religion generally.” Read more

Scathing Scalia: Judge, Law Scholar Criticize Supreme Court Justice’s Marriage Equality Rants

In an editorial for The New York Times, 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Richard Posner slammed a U.S. Supreme Court justice for his views on gay rights. Posner, who co-wrote the piece with Georgia State University law professor Eric Segall, argued that Antonin Scalia’s vehement opposition to gay rights is incompatible with the Constitution. Read more

Civil Rights Swap Meet: A Cynical Approach To Marriage Equality

Tuesday’s marriage arguments at the U.S. Supreme Court hinted at coming battles over the right of religious business owners or organizations to discriminate against gays and lesbians in contexts outside of marriage itself. Indeed, several briefs to the high court—and a few justices at oral argument—suggested that if same-sex people have a constitutional right to get married, it will be more difficult for individuals and businesses to use religion as an excuse to discriminate against same-sex people in other settings. Read more

Court Report: Justices Deliberate Marriage Equality

Seats inside the U.S. Supreme Court were at a premium today for the oral argument in Obergefell v. Hodges, the marriage equality case.

I was fortunate to get a spot in the press gallery. I was in the back row, and my view was obstructed by two large columns, but I’m not complaining; I would have been willing to hang from the rafters for this historic argument, a marathon session that featured five attorneys and lasted two and a half hours. Read more

Retaining The Towel: The Religious Right Hasn’t Given Up On Same-Sex Marriage Just Yet

Is the Religious Right ready to give up on same-sex marriage? At least one observer thinks so.

Damon Linker, writing in This Week, cites a short article that appeared in the conservative journal First Things recently as evidence of some kind of turning point in how theocratic groups deal with same-sex marriage. Read more

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