Supreme Court rules unanimously in favor of religious freedom

If there is any single area in which the current Supreme Court bench has been consistent, it would be in its defense of religious liberty against government actions that prohibit or restrict Americans’ freedom to worship.

That trend continued Thursday when the Supreme Court ruled unanimously in favor of a Catholic foster care agency that filed suit against the city of Philadelphia over a decision they said violated their religious beliefs, according to SCOTUSblog.

Chief Justice John Roberts wrote the majority opinion in the case, Fulton v. City of Philadelphia, and was joined by Justices Amy Coney Barrett, Stephen Breyer, Elena Kagan, Brett Kavanaugh, and Sonia Sotomayor.

Justice Barrett wrote a separate but concurring opinion of her own, joined by Breyer and Kavanaugh, as did Justice Samuel Alito, who was joined by Justices Neil Gorsuch and Clarence Thomas. Gorsuch also authored an opinion, which Alito and Thomas signed onto.

The facts of the case

At issue in the case, according to Breitbart, was a decision by the city of Philadelphia to no longer contract with the foster agency Catholic Social Services (CSS) unless they agreed to certify same-sex couples as foster parents. Such a move, they said, would essentially require them to renounce their religious beliefs, and as such, CSS argued before the court that the city had violated the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment — an argument that both a district court and the U.S. Third Circuit Court of Appeals rejected.

The SCOTUS sided with CSS, however, and reversed the lower courts’ rulings in a 9-0 decision that declared Philadelphia had, indeed, violated the First Amendment by attempting to force the agency to act counter to the tenets of its faith.

In their concurring opinions, many of the justices focused on the applicability of a precedent set by the 1990 Employment Division v. Smith, which was cited by Philadelphia in its defense, as it opened the door for laws that infringed upon religious beliefs, as long as those laws were generally applicable to everyone else, regardless of religion.

In Roberts’ opinion, the court set aside the Smith defense and instead invoked an exception found in the city’s contract with CSS that allows the agency an exemption from the city’s anti-discrimination statutes. Alito and Gorsuch, meanwhile, criticized the Roberts-led majority for avoiding the Smith precedent, and argued forcefully for that prior decision to be overruled, given that the issue of religious liberty being violated may find itself before the high court again in the near future.

A victory for religious liberty

Regardless of its potentially fleeting nature, Catholic League President Bill Donohue celebrated the ruling as “a huge victory for religious liberty and a resounding defeat for LGBTQ activists.”

In a statement, Donohue highlighted the fact that the entire fight was spurred by the city, not by complaints from any same-sex couples who were rejected by the foster care agency.

“It was these activists who launched a contrived assault on the rights of Catholic social service agencies — no gay or transgender couple had ever complained that they were discriminated against by these Catholic entities — and now their effort to impose their secular beliefs on Catholics has been rejected,” he said.

“The First Amendment guarantees religious liberty, and that provision means little if it only means the right to worship,” Donohue added. “The right to freely exercise one’s religious beliefs in the public square is central to religious liberty, and while that right — like all other constitutional rights — is not absolute, it must be seen as presumptively constitutional.”

Share on facebook
Share To Facebook

Welcome to our comments section. We want to hear from you!

Any comments with profanity, advocacy of violence, harassment, personally identifiable information or other violations will be removed. If you feel your comment has been removed in error please contact us!

8 Responses

  1. I am making a good salary from home $6580-$7065/week , which is amazing under a year ago I was jobless in a horrible economy. I thank God every day I was blessed with these instructions and now it’s my duty to pay it forward and share it with Everyone,

    Here is I started.…………… https://www.CashApp1.Com

  2. You Might Like
  3. THE GREAT JOBS OF USA BOYS GIRLS AND OLDERS I must give my thanks to Ashley, who posted here last week comment About system she uses to earn onlin℮… I’ve got my first check total of $550, pretty cool. i Am so excited, this is the first time i Actually earned something. i am going to work even harder new And i can’t wait for next week payment.go to home tab for more detail…
    https://Www.Jobcash1.com

  4. I make more then $12,000 a month online. It’s enough to comfortably replace my old jobs income, especially considering I only work about 11 to 12 hours a week from home. I was amazed how easy it was after I tried it…GOOD LUCK..
    HERE ➤➤ https://www.CashApp3.com

  5. Google is by and by paying $27485 to $29658 consistently for taking a shot at the web from home.HKJ I have joined this action 2 months back and I have earned $31547 in my first m0nth from this action. I can say my life is improved completely!
    Take a gander at it what I do…..________>>>>> http://www.Cash44.club

  6. $16,000 or even m0re is very simple and easy to earns while staying and working online. start receiving paychecks every month simply by doing work online. i recently received $17493 in my bank of my last month’s working. i just gave this job 2 hours maximum from my day. simple and easy home based job. go here for info …………..__________>>http://snag4.com/

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Latest Posts