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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

Snapshots From The Supreme Court: Justices Ponder Limits Of Religious Expression In Birth Control Case

Do for-profit corporations exercise religion? What constitutes a religious enterprise? What did Congress intend when it passed the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) in 1993?

These and many other questions were batted about this morning as the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the pivotal combined case of Sebelius vs. Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood Specialties vs. Sebelius.   

I was fortunate to sit in the press gallery during the argument, and it seemed skepticism abounded on both sides. Read more

Justice For All: The Supreme Court And The Role Of The Justices’ Religious Beliefs

Today’s Washington Post has an interesting story about how the personal religious beliefs of members of the Supreme Court might affect their decisions.

The question is especially relevant now with the high court poised to hear oral arguments tomorrow in a pair of cases that could have far-reaching consequences for what religious freedom means. Read more

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