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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

Kennedy Conspiracy Theory: TV Preacher Robertson Wonders If Gay Clerks Influenced Supreme Court Justice

I’ve been monitoring the reaction of Religious Right groups to the Supreme Court’s marriage equality rulings. It’s not pleasant, but somebody has to do it. Read more

High Noon At The High Court: Supreme Court Takes Up Marriage Equality

I was fortunate enough to snag a seat in the press gallery for the oral argument before the U.S. Supreme Court this morning in the Proposition 8 case, Hollingsworth v. Perry.

Prop. 8 was narrowly approved by California voters in 2008. It added a ban on same-sex marriage to the state constitution. Opponents are challenging it in court, asserting that it violates the rights of gays and lesbians who wish to marry. Read more

Mass Mess: Bishops Use Church Service To Lobby Supreme Court

The justices of the U.S. Supreme Court tied a record last week but that’s not something they should be proud of.

On Sept. 30, six members of the high court attended the annual “Red Mass,” a special church service for the legal profession held by the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Washington, D.C.

In attendance at the Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle were Chief Justice John G. Roberts and Justices Stephen Breyer, Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas, Anthony M. Kennedy and Elena Kagan. Roberts, Scalia, Kennedy and Thomas are Catholic; Breyer and Kagan are Jewish. Read more

Impaired Judgment: Justice Scalia Just Doesn’t Know When To Stop Talking

It didn’t get much attention, but Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia gave an interesting address recently at a Catholic university in Pittsburgh.

Scalia spoke at an event marking the 100th anniversary of Duquesne University Law School. It was the usual lament from the ultra-conservative justice: American society is going hell because not enough people agree with Scalia. Read more

Red Mass Mandate: Archbishop Advises High Court Justices About Religion And Government

Yesterday morning, I attended the Red Mass here in Washington along with five Supreme Court justices and Vice President Joe Biden. Okay, we weren’t in the same pew – they were in the front rows; I wasn’t.

But all of us heard Archbishop J. Augustine Di Noia, an American who now works at the Vatican, give a homily that instructed those in attendance on how they should feel about same-sex marriage, abortion and the dire threat of “humanism.” Read more

A Cross – The Great Divide: Justices Seem Split On Calif. Religious Symbol Case

I spent the morning at the Supreme Court attending oral arguments in Salazar v. Buono – a case focusing on a cross on display in the Mojave National Preserve in California.

I'm not going to pretend I understand all of the ins and outs of this complex case because I'm not a lawyer. I rely on AU's legal team to do that. But I did garner a few impressions from the argument. Read more

Supreme Prejudice: Scalia Says Government Can Promote Religion

The U.S. Supreme Court is gearing up to come back into session Oct. 5, and just in time for that, Justice Antonin Scalia has decided to pop off in the media about how much he hates church-state separation – again!

In what is billed as an "Historic Exclusive Interview" in the Brooklyn-based Orthodox   Jewish newspaper Hamodia, Scalia attacks one of the core concepts of church-state separation – the idea that government must remain neutral between religion and non-religion. Read more