Subscribe to RSS - Supreme Court

Fundamentalist Freak-Out: It’s (Not) The End Of The World As We Know It, And The Religious Right Doesn’t Feel Fine

Mat Staver, a Religious Right attorney and dean of Liberty University’s law school, isn’t very happy with the Supreme Court’s refusal to hear the same-sex marriage cases.

As I’m sure you’ll recall, the high court’s Oct. 6 decision not to wade into this matter had the effect of legalizing same-sex marriage in a bunch of states, several of them in the Bible Belt. (Here are some shots of same-sex couples getting married in Oklahoma – Oklahoma! Pretty darned amazing.) Read more

Radical Reaction: Extremist Groups Enraged By Supreme Court’s Action On Marriage Equality

Yesterday morning, the Supreme Court dealt a major blow to opponents of marriage equality. It refused to hear every one of the appeals filed by five states whose same-sex marriage bans have been struck down in lower courts; that means the bans remain off the books, and marriage equality is in effect in these states. Read more

Prayer Problems: Does Greece Town Board’s New Invocation Policy Exclude Atheists And Other Religious Minorities?

The Town Board of Greece, N.Y., has issued its formal policy on pre-meeting prayers, leading to a combination of confusion and backlash.  

Almost four months ago, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that while communities are free to open their meetings with predominantly Christian prayers, they may not exclude other points of view. Read more

Birth Control Battle: The Right Wing’s Long-Running Attack On Contraceptives

American writer Theodore Dreiser’s 1925 novel An American Tragedy deals with the story of a socially ambitious young man who, dismayed because he has impregnated his working-class girlfriend, engineers her death.

The book was banned in some cities – but not because of its depiction of murder. Rather, conservative religious leaders feared that a plot hinging on an unwanted pregnancy would spur young people to get curious about birth control. Read more

I Won’t Stand For It!: A Former Judge Says He’ll Take The Greece Ruling Sitting Down

Editor’s Note: Today 's blog post is by James C. Nelson, a retired justice of the Montana Supreme Court. Nelson was appointed to the court by Gov. Marc Racicot in 1993 and was reelected to the position three times, serving until his retirement in 2013. 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

High Noon At The High Court: Justices Hear Arguments In Town Of Greece v. Galloway Case

I spent a frantic morning at the U.S. Supreme Court, where Americans United’s challenge to government-sponsored sectarian prayer, Town of Greece v. Galloway, was argued.

I wasn’t inside the court for the argument, but AU Executive Director Barry W. Lynn, Legal Director Ayesha N. Khan and several other AU staff members were. They reported a spirited session, with both sides being peppered with questions from the justices. Read more

Mad Over Marriage: Religious Right Responds To Today’s Supreme Court Rulings

You could say that the American Family Association (AFA) isn’t pleased about today’s Supreme Court rulings on marriage equality.

By a 5-4 vote, the high court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), meaning that same-sex couples who are lawfully wed in states with marriage equality will have access to a range of federal benefits. This is a pretty big deal. Read more

Fifty Years Of Freedom: Celebrating The Supreme Court’s Decision Against Coercive Religion In Public Schools

Fifty years ago today, the U.S. Supreme handed down one of its most important church-state rulings. In School District of Abington Township v. Schempp, the high court ruled 8-1 that state-mandated programs of Bible reading and prayer in public schools are unconstitutional.

Five decades later, the ruling in Schempp (and its companion case, Murray v. Curlett) remains widely misunderstood. Part of this is due to a deliberate campaign of misinformation by Religious Right groups, which have distorted the scope of the decision. Read more

Pages