Tag: US Supreme Court

March 22, 2013
image of a map version of state of Kentucky

Last week, two church & state cases from Kentucky were resolved. One concerning a state law that said “security was unattainable without reliance on ‘Almighty God'” lost in the US Supreme Court. Another case involving religious coercion at state-funded baptist children’s home was settled out of court as a victory for support of separation of church and state. We can’t always win these court cases but we need to fight as much as possible to protect the wall between church & state.

January 7, 2013
image of a little girl praying

The new year begins much like the old year ended with unnecessary calls for “returning” religious prayer to the public schools. Indiana State Senator Dennis Kruse (R) introduced a bill, on the first day of a new legislative session, to force children in public schools to pray at the start of each day. Not only would such a law violate the 1st amendment, it simply isn’t needed. Prayer wasn’t removed from schools, only forced recitation is prohibited.

November 2, 2011
image of Utah Trooper Latin Crosses

A private non-profit association in Utah, the Utah Highway Patrol Association (UHPA), had been placing 12 foot tall white Latin crosses along roads and highways controlled by the state. The Utah Highway Patrol allowed the UHPA to use the trademark logo of the patrol as well. American Atheists filed suit in 2005 on 1st Amendment grounds and then on 10/31/2011 the US Supreme Court refused to hear the case leaving intact the ruling that the placement of crosses was unconstitutional. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas’ head exploded.

This again was an effort of religious right groups to make the Latin Cross generic which is the only way it might have made them constitutional.

October 10, 2011
The fragile wall between church & state

Back in July I posted about a discrimination case involving a fired teacher at a church school in Redford Township, Michigan. She was fired after a long medical leave. The case was heard by the US Supreme Court on Wednesday October 5th. Instead of trying to argue under the religious clauses of the 1st amendment, the government is using an argument under the freedom of association clause. That choice seemed to shock the justices. I think it is brilliant – if it works.

March 3, 2011

This week the US Supreme Court ruled that the Westboro Baptist Church can picket military funerals. Fred Phelps, leader of the church, and his merry band picket funerals in order to advance their sick anti-gay religious agenda. Even though their brand of picketing is tasteless and offensive, the Supreme Court was right to rule in their favor.

June 28, 2010

The US Supreme Court ruled today that college groups can’t discriminate in its membership if the college has a non-discrimination policy. The Christian Legal Society, which excluded gays from membership, sued a law school after it refused to give it official campus funding and recognition.