Supreme Court

Religious Liberty 2010 – A Year in Review

By Jason Hines – 2010 has been an interesting year in the area of church-state relations, both at home and abroad. While we cannot cover every event of magnitude that took place this year in this forum, we will touch on some of the more important events have taken place over the last 365 days. American Events In March, the […]

 
 

Michael Newdow – Question to Justice Scalia: Does the Establishment Clause Permit the Disregard of Devout Catholics?

Dr. Michael Newdow, an attorney and physician famous for his litigation on church-state issues from an atheist perspective, and and previous article contributor to ReligiousLiberty.TV, has now published an important law review article for the Capital University Law Review that discusses the history of American religious freedom and tolerance and why the majority should carefully consider the rights of the minority.  Although […]

 
 

Americans United Praises Justice Stevens' Record On Church And State

Americans United for Separation of Church and State today praised Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens for his record of support for church-state separation and expressed the hope that his replacement will hold similar views.

 
 

Church-state advocates urge strong successor for Stevens (ABP)

EXCERPT from American Baptist Press: WASHINGTON (ABP) — With the Supreme Court's oldest and longest-serving member announcing April 9 his retirement, advocates for strong church-state separation urged that Justice John Paul Stevens' replacement be as devoted to preventing government establishment of religion as the retiring jurist. However, some called for a successor who can improve on what they view as […]

 
 

Faith, Freedom, and Justice Sonia Sotomayor (Liberty Magazine)

By David A. Pendleton – Ever since President Barack Obama nominated Sonia Sotomayor to the United States Supreme Court, the chattering classes have speculated endlessly regarding the impact she might have on the future of American jurisprudence.  She would bring wide-ranging experiences to the Court: prosecutor, civil litigator, federal trial judge, federal appellate judge, law school instructor, and Hispanic woman. […]

 
 

Doug Kmiec on a Court Packed with Catholics (Wall Street Journal)

If Judge Sonia Sotomayor is confirmed by the United States Senate, she will be the 6th Catholic among the 9 United States Supreme Court justices. Doug Kmiec, my constitutional law professor in the area of the Bill of Rights at Pepperdine University, discusses what this will mean in a recent interview with Suzanne Sataline of the Wall Street Journal .  Kmiec […]

 
 

Supreme Court nominee Sotomayor's rulings on religious issues

University of Toledo law professor Howard M. Friedman has compiled a list of Judge Sonia Sotomayor's rulings on religion clause issues at his blog, Religion Clause. Sotomayor has served on the Second Circuit since 1998. She served as a federal district court judge in the Southern District of New York from 1992 to 1998.

 
 

PRECEDENT – A century ago religious groups tried to change the California Constitution to enact a religious law

J.O. Corliss – Liberty Magazine – 1908 – "California is the only State in the American Union without a Sunday law. From 1858 to 1883 a Sunday-rest statute in that State was made so annoying to many of its citizens that it became an object of political contention. The supposed dominant party, through church affiliations, inserted a plank in its platform, pledging itself to maintain the Sunday law for the betterment of the laboring class. The other party went to the polls, on a pledge to repeal the existing statute requiring Sunday rest, on the ground of its hostility to religious rights."

The result was a political upheaval in favor of repealing all Sunday laws in the State of California. About the same time the State supreme court handed down a decision in the case of ex parte Newman, declaring a Sunday law unconstitutional. Since then three attempts have been made by the churches to have the legislature re-enact a Sunday-law statute. These advances have been coldly met, on the ground that any such statute could have no force in the face of the constitutional limitation.

 
 

In wake of Supreme Court decision, 'clear defense needed of church-state wall' (Des Moines Register)

Considering the U.S. Supreme Court's contentious struggles over free speech and religion, it was a surprise to say the least to see Wednesday's ruling unanimously endorsing a government installation of the Ten Commandments in a city park.

While this ruling will likely have limited impact, it raises troubling questions about how dedicated this court – particularly the younger justices, who will be shaping it for decades to come – will be to maintaining the proverbial wall separating church and state.

 
 

Double Standards? – Supreme Court to hear two religious groups battle over monument

PLEASANT GROVE, UTAH – The U.S. Supreme Court today will hear an argument where two religious groups are fighting over whether one or both of them have the right to have their viewpoint heard. Summum, a small religious group wants to erect a monument on public land listing of the "Seven Aphorisms," but conservative Christian groups oppose it on the basis that it does not reflect their traditional values. The small plot of land already has a 10 comandments monument that has been there since 1971.