Thursday, May 22, 2014

SCOTUS Is So Stupid!

Religious prayer is allowed in municipal buildings.

Greece, New York wins a public battle. I guess we have no separation of church and state in the eyes of the Supreme Court. In a ruling of 5-4, the town of Greece won against a man who believed the public meeting places (such as non-religious city hall) shouldn't allow prayer.

So I am hoping an imam gets an opportunity to preach an Islamic prayer at a city hall meeting. I hope an atheist can speak at a city hall meeting.

The five members of the conservative wing of the Supreme Court of the United States once again think backwards when it comes to the country's diverse citizens.

Four White men and one Black man who have no common sense ruled for localities to use prayer whenever they open up a government meeting. Saying that Christian prayer is allow in civic meetings.

Again SCOTUS blog reports that Supreme Court rules that the town's practice of opening its town board meetings with a prayer offered by members of the clergy does not violate the Establishment Clause when the practice is consistent with the tradition long followed by Congress and state legislatures, the town does not discriminate against minority faiths in determining who may offer a prayer, and the prayer does not coerce participation with non-adherents.
A Black Catholic priest gives the benediction.
By the ruling, it was reversed. The 5-4 decision with an opinion by Justice Anthony Kennedy on May 5, 2014. Justice Antonin Scalia and Justice Clarence Thomas join the majority opinion except as to Part II-B. Justice Samuel Alito filed a concurring opinion, in which Justice Scalia joined. Justice Thomas filed an opinion concurring in part and concurring in the judgment, in which Justice Scalia joined as to Part II. Justice Steven Breyer filed a dissenting opinion. Justice Elena Kagan filed a dissenting opinion, in which Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Justice Breyer, and Justice Sonia Sotomayor joined.

The reaction to the courts ruling was diverse. Christian conservatives and others who feel that religious expression has been overly curtailed in public settings were happy with ruling. Eric Rassbach, deputy general counsel of the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, called the court's decision "a great victory for religious liberty."

Along with their supporters the Jewish and atheist women who filed suit against the town of Greece were disappointed by the court's ruling.

A number of Jewish organizations, including the American Jewish Committee and the Anti-Defamation League, had filed amici curiae briefs in support of the respondents, and expressed disappointment with the majority's decision.
The Town of Greece residents give a prayer before they do public meeetings.
Secular groups were also disappointed. Daniel Mach, director of the ACLU Program on Freedom of Religion and Belief, for example stated: “We are disappointed by today’s decision. Official religious favoritism should be off-limits under the Constitution. Town-sponsored sectarian prayer violates the basic rule requiring the government to stay neutral on matters of faith.”

Ira Lupu, a law professor emeritus at George Washington University who specializes in the First Amendment, called the court's ruling "a very bad decision" because it undermined the Establishment Clause.

Lupu explained that the court decision "does not insist on any [...] reasonable effort to make prayer nonsectarian or to push for diversity. The majority faith in a particular community can dictate the prayers and minority faiths could be left out if they don’t step up and say, ‘Hey, what about us?'"

The Los Angeles Times pointed out that the decision divided the justices along religious lines, as well as ideological ones. All five justices in the majority were Catholics, and three out of the four dissenters were Jewish.

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