The incoming administration of President-elect Donald J. Trump could do some serious damage to separation of church and state – and it might get some help from the U.S. Supreme Court.
The U.S. Supreme Court has accepted its first case dealing with transgender rights.
The high court on Oct. 28 announced that it will hear a legal challenge brought by the American Civil Liberties Union on behalf of Gavin Grimm, a 17-year-old transgender senior at a Gloucester County, Va., high school. Grimm sued the school board over his right to use a boys’ bathroom rather than a unisex one.
After the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2015 decision in Obergefell v. Hodges, which recognized same-sex couples’ right to marry, the fight to attain equal treatment for all advanced to a new and much-needed area of the law: protecting the rights of transgender persons.
People of faith who live in the United States sometimes have to make compromises between their personal beliefs and following the law. As far as U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony M. Kennedy is concerned, there is no obvious way to distinguish when violating one’s faith is acceptable and when it isn’t.
“Sometimes when a religious person…is a member of a society he does have to accept all sorts of things that are terrible to him,” said Kennedy during oral arguments this morning in the consolidated case of Zubik v. Burwell.
Spare a thought for Roy Moore.
Moore likely thought that as chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court he’d finally have the authority to enforce God’s moral law. Theocracy has, after all, been the raison d’etre of his career. But our secular legal system – or Satan, depending on who you ask – has thwarted him at every turn.
U.S. Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) seems to believe that church-state separation is harming American society.
In remarks delivered yesterday on the U.S. Senate floor, the longtime lawmaker criticized the concept of a church-state wall.
At today’s U.S. Supreme Court marriage-equality arguments, the focus will be on whether the states’ marriage bans impermissibly discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation. But the marriage cases also involve old-fashioned discrimination on the basis of sex. In states without marriage equality, men can marry only women, and women can marry only men. These arguments have not received as much discussion in the cases so far, but they will be before the high court all the same.