The US Supreme Court has agreed to hear the appeal regarding the Bladensburg Peace Cross, which was declared unconstitutional by the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals despite widespread support.
Though Justice Kavanaugh has yet to make his mark on the bench, even critics of religious liberty seem pessimistic, thinking religious liberty will prevail of their offense.
The case could be historic, given the amount of hostility toward religious displays in public and how many anti-cross cases there have been: Read more
In 2010 the US Court of Appeals for the DC circuit dismissed a lawsuit by Michael Newdow (the infamous atheist who has filed repeated lawsuits over So help me God/In God we Trust/etc.) seeking to prohibit “so help me God” and prayer from President Obama’s inauguration. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts, as the administrator of the Presidential oath, was named as defendant.
The 3-judge panel of the Appeals Court dismissed the case, saying Newdow did not have standing. One of the judges disagreed, saying Newdow did have standing, but he said the case failed on its merits.
That was Judge Brett Kavanaugh.
As noted at the time, Judge Kavanaugh’s explanation Read more
While some have vaunted (or mocked) the power of the ‘religious bloc’ in American politics, the nomination and confirmation of now-Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh was the latest insight into when that power appears to be ineffective.
On Wednesday, October 3rd, the National Council of Churches issued a statement calling for Kavanaugh’s nomination to be withdrawn. The NCC said its stance was because
Judge Kavanaugh exhibited extreme partisan bias and disrespect…[and] his testimony before the Judiciary Committee included several misstatements and some outright falsehoods.
Judge Kavanaugh’s [record] is troubling with regard to issues of voting rights, racial and gender justice, health care, the rights of people with disabilities, and environmental protections.
The NCC, according to it own website, has 38 “member communions” that “include more than 45 million people in over 100,000 congregations.” If you do the math, that’s nearly 14% of the entire US population.
Yet, despite this condemnation from Read more
According to the homosexual website the Advocate, California has become the first state to have a homosexual war memorial [emphasis added]:
Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law a bill Monday designating the LGBTQ Veterans Memorial at the Desert Memorial Park in Cathedral City as the state’s official LGBTQ veterans memorial…
It consists of an obelisk of mahogany granite from South Dakota with the logo of the Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual Veterans of America (the group is now known as American Veterans for Equal Rights).
So let’s get this straight (no pun intended): Read more
More than 100 members of Congress filed an amicus brief supporting the Bladensburg cross, a “Peace Cross” that was erected after World War I to honor local war dead. The memorial was initially found to be permissible, but the Fourth Circuit court of appeals overturned that ruling, declaring it a violation of the US Constitution. The case has been appealed to the Supreme Court — which, to date, has not explicitly ruled on the long-running war on war memorials with religious iconography: Read more
Though it isn’t being reported this way, last Friday President Trump actually rescinded the ban he previously implemented on transgenders in the military last August. The new memorandum (PDF) explicitly withdrew his prior policy:
I hereby revoke my memorandum of August 25, 2017, “Military Service by Transgender Individuals,” and any other directive I may have made with respect to military service by transgender individuals.
The new memo did not institute a new presidential directive. Rather, the President deferred to the Department of Defense — that is, the “independent judgment” of the DoD — with regard to its policies. He said [emphasis added]:
These [DoD-produced] documents set forth the policies on this issue that the Secretary of Defense, in the exercise of his independent judgment, has concluded should be adopted by the Department of Defense.
It’s a clever move. Lawsuits and Read more
Some astute writing from Stephanie Barclay of the Becket Fund, as published at The Witherspoon Institute [emphasis added]:
The Supreme Court has consistently held that a government’s desire to protect people from emotional harm…does not constitute a compelling government interest…The Court has protected speech deeply hurtful to the dignity of others, including protesters at the funeral of a Marine killed in action with signs that say things like “God Hates Fags”…
The Court has correctly explained that any other result would “effectively empower a majority to silence dissidents simply as a matter of personal predilections.”…
These are not simply hypothetical thought experiments. After Read more
I think we’re getting quite comfortable in our society limiting ideas and exposure to ideas. And maybe that’s a symptom of it. I don’t know.
But I don’t think its good for the next generation…I learned a tremendous amount in the Carnegie Library simply being exposed to a range of ideas.
– Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, as Read more