Category Archives: supreme court
Opposing Kavanaugh Nomination
The Supreme Court ruled against a California law that required crisis pregnancy centers to offer abortion advice. The centers are mostly run by religious organizations and they claimed the requirement was a violation of their right to free speech. Anthony Kennedy thought so too.
A pregnant lady, a nun and a supreme court justice walk into a bar…
Here’s The Atlantic:
The California legislature had noted that the fact Act was part of its legacy of “forward thinking,” Kennedy wrote. He strongly disagreed:
It is forward thinking to begin by reading the First Amendment as ratified in 1791; to understand the history of authoritarian government as the Founders then knew it; to confirm that history since then shows how relentless authoritarian regimes are in their attempts to stifle free speech; and to carry those lessons onward as we seek to preserve and teach the necessity of freedom of speech for the generations to come.
The Supreme Court heard a case this week about a baker who refused to make a gay wedding cake.
The Baker, Jack Phillips, says he doesn’t have anything against gay people and would be happy to sell the couple a ready made cake. But by making a special cake he would be participating in the ceremony and that would violate his religious believes.
The Court seems divided.
Amy Coney Barrett is a Notre Dame Law professor. She was nominated by President Trump for a seat on the seventh court of appeals.
But first she has to get past Senate Judiciary Committee member Diane Feinstein. The Senator wanted answers about an article Professor Coney Barrett co-authored 20 years ago. It was a meditation on what a Catholic judge might do in a capital punishment case. The authors concluded he/she should recuse.
But the professor came across as a little too Catholic for the senator. Feinstein told her, “I think in your case, professor, when you read your speeches, the conclusion one draws is that the dogma lives loudly within you, and that’s of concern.”
Of course, the professor might have taken that as a compliment.
Man Bites Dogma
But no dogma lives within Senator Durbin. The apparently unorthodox Catholic senator from Illinois demanded to know if Coney Barrett is an “Orthodox” Catholic.
A WSJ opinion piece by theology professor C.C. Pecknold had this to say about the dogma:
Mr. Durbin’s attempt to make such a distinction shows that this affair is about more than Catholicism. It is about an ideology—a politically progressive civil religion—that makes comprehensive claims to which all other religions are expected to conform.
Last week the U.S. Supreme Court spoke up for free speech. The kind that offends.
The Court ruled unanimously in favor of The Slants. The Slants are an Asian rock band whose federal trademark application was rejected on the grounds that its name is offensive.
Justice Alito took offense at that. Here’s what he had to say about the Trademark Office rule: “It offends a bedrock First Amendment principle: Speech may not be banned on the ground that it expresses ideas that offend.”
That should please the Washington Redskins and Cleveland Indians.
Four liberal and three conservative justices agreed with Alito. Rookie Justice Gorsuch sat this one out.