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Old 06-18-2019, 01:16 PM
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A remarkable set of recent SCOTUS splits - is a message being sent?


Maybe I haven't been paying attention and it happens more often than I realize, but I was struck by a recent set of split SCOTUS decisions where the Justices comprising the various splits have paired up (or tripled up) rather unexpectedly, at least to me.

In the gerrymandering case (here), the double jeopardy case (can the feds charge you with the same offence that a state court has already tried you on), and the uranium mining case (does the Federal government - under the Atomic Energy Act - trump states' rights with respect to uranium mining). We have:

Gerrymandering
Opinion: GINSBURG (THOMAS, SOTOMAYOR, KAGAN, GORSUCH)

Dissenting: ALITO (ROBERTS, BREYER, KAVANAUGH)

Double jeopardy
Opinion: ALITO (ROBERTS, THOMAS, BREYER, SOTOMAYOR, KAGAN, KAVANAUGH) + THOMAS

Dissenting: GINSBURG, GORSUCH

Feds vs states' rights
Opinion: GORSUCH (THOMAS, KAVANAUGH) + GINSBURG (SOTOMAYOR, KAGAN)

Dissenting: ROBERTS (BREYER, ALITO)

I mean how often do you see Thomas and Sotomayor as a pairing in a Constitutional law question? Ditto for Alito and Kagan. Ginsburg and Gorsuch together on a dissent? Breyer and Alito?

I imagine that representatives of each side (of both the split decision and of the judicial spectrum) make sure to implicitly note possible grounds for future arguments, but neither wants to derail things on this hill.

At the same time, I wonder if there has been an active effort being made by SCOTUS (and by Roberts in particular) to actually have the court at this juncture of history to be seen as balanced and non-ideologically-based. If nothing else, the fact that these cases were released as a cluster strikes me as being deliberate. Correct if I'm wrong but the order and dates of release of SCOTUS decisions is up to them.
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Old 06-18-2019, 01:22 PM
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...If nothing else, the fact that these cases were released as a cluster strikes me as being deliberate. Correct if I'm wrong but the order and dates of release of SCOTUS decisions is up to them.
It's traditional to release several decisions at once just before the court recesses.
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Typically, the court releases any completed opinions before it hears oral arguments on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. In the final months of the term [October to June], however, when the arguments phase is over and the justices are focused on writing the remaining opinions, the court releases opinions on Mondays at 10 a.m. ET. In order to get all the opinions out by the end of the term, it’s typical for the court to add opinion-release days at the end of June, generally on Thursdays and Fridays.

Last edited by Musicat; 06-18-2019 at 01:23 PM.
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Old 06-18-2019, 01:26 PM
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It's traditional to release several decisions at once just before the court recesses.
But why these now? To leave a good taste in people's mouths before they recess for summer? They could have released these decisions separately and at any time since the beginning of the term, no?

Last edited by KarlGauss; 06-18-2019 at 01:28 PM.
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Old 06-18-2019, 01:33 PM
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I'd you look at all cases, typically judicial agreement is at least 50%. That means that Thomas and Sotomayor would vote together at least 50% of the time, and often higher. In the current term, it's at about 60%.

If you isolate to cases where there is disagreement, like filter only on 5-4 opinions, then their agreement is very low, like 0-5% of the time.

Opinions are released when they are finalized - there is no requirement about a particular order. They write opinions and circulate, make edits in order, but they only release them when they are final so more contentious cases tend to take longer when they are seeking support or honing arguments.

Last edited by Bone; 06-18-2019 at 01:34 PM.
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Old 06-18-2019, 01:36 PM
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But why these now? To leave a good taste in people's mouths before they recess for summer? They could have released these decisions separately and at any time since the beginning of the term, no?
There are still 20 cases pending, including racial gerrymandering, establishment (giant cross), and census question. These may give you a different impression after they are released.
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Old 06-18-2019, 03:12 PM
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they seem to be like college kids, wait until the last minute to do the work.
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Old 06-18-2019, 05:21 PM
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I don't think much should be read into this, except that it just indicates that SCOTUS justices aren't 100% liberal or conservative. There will be a normal number of unusual votes every now and then and here we have a small cluster.
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Old 06-18-2019, 05:39 PM
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The point that should be made - but will be lost in the noise - is that no matter what some people like to believe or claim, the law is made out of personal opinions, beliefs, crotchets, and idiosyncrasies rather than philosophies. There may be some commonalities that get lumped into "conservative" or "liberal" or "originalism" or "living constitutionalism" but at base, each justice is an ego and will at times display that individuality.
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Old 06-18-2019, 05:40 PM
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I may be incorrect, but ISTM the gerrymandering case was not decided on merit. The decision was that the Virginia House of Delegates did not have standing. This type of ruling often gets lost in the headlines. So, it is a stretch to find partisan meaning in the ruling.
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Old 06-18-2019, 05:58 PM
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There are still two more political gerrymandering cases pending. The one in the OP was ruled based on an issue of standing, not about gerrymandering though the underlying point of contention was gerrmandering.
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Old 06-18-2019, 06:03 PM
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There are still two more political gerrymandering cases pending. The one in the OP was ruled based on an issue of standing, not about gerrymandering though the underlying point of contention was gerrmandering.
I wondered if the mixed opinions/dissents establishes a credible nonpartisanship as they address the bigger gerrymandering (and other) questions.
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Old 06-18-2019, 07:06 PM
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I'm skeptical. Ginsburg doesn't seem to think so either. Here's an article that quotes her discussing it.

https://www.apnews.com/14edec3dd2c9452cb3e8638c7cf64994
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Old 06-18-2019, 08:43 PM
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I have a bit of faint and implausible hope that the Court is actually illustrating the reason why they get life terms: so that once they're in there they can make up their own minds without worrying about toeing a party line.

Note that I definitely don't count on that theory holding in this day and age. But it sure would be nice if it did.
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Old 06-18-2019, 10:28 PM
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Maybe I haven't been paying attention and it happens more often than I realize, but I was struck by a recent set of split SCOTUS decisions where the Justices comprising the various splits have paired up (or tripled up) rather unexpectedly, at least to me.
Not every issue lends itself to an orderly liberal/conservative split.
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According to the Supreme Court Database, since 2000 a unanimous decision has been more likely than any other result — averaging 36 percent of all decisions. Even when the court did not reach a unanimous judgment, the justices often secured overwhelming majorities, with 7-to-2 or 8-to-1 judgments making up about 15 percent of decisions. The 5-to-4 decisions, by comparison, occurred in 19 percent of cases.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/...r-more-common/
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Old 06-19-2019, 12:20 PM
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Double jeopardy
Opinion: ALITO (ROBERTS, THOMAS, BREYER, SOTOMAYOR, KAGAN, KAVANAUGH) + THOMAS

Dissenting: GINSBURG, GORSUCH
I read this one, and Thomas's concurrence -- mostly a loooong discussion of stare decisis/precedent, and why he thought the majority was wrong about the extent or strength of stare decisis -- struck me as him indicating that he'd vote to overturn Roe v. Wade if a similar case ends up before the Supremes.
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Old 06-19-2019, 12:36 PM
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An interesting article from Reuters: As legal glare turns to Trump, his faith in Supreme Court may be tested
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-u...-idUSKCN1TK12L

"But as the focus of some of the major legal challenges shifts from his policies to Trump himself, there could be disappointments in store for him, according to some legal experts, in particular if the Supreme Court stoutly defends the ability of Congress to pursue investigations of the president.

The conservative justices “won’t feel any loyalty to Trump, but will instead support strong separation of powers” as delineated in the U.S. Constitution assigning specific roles to the government’s executive, legislative and judicial branches, said conservative legal scholar J.W. Verret, an expert in corporate and securities law at George Mason University in Virginia. "

The proof is in the pudding, I say. We'll see what happens.
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Old 06-19-2019, 05:26 PM
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I read this one, and Thomas's concurrence -- mostly a loooong discussion of stare decisis/precedent, and why he thought the majority was wrong about the extent or strength of stare decisis -- struck me as him indicating that he'd vote to overturn Roe v. Wade if a similar case ends up before the Supremes.
Thomas already has voted to overturn Roe in 1992 in Planned Parenthood v. Casey. He and Scalia have in almost all of the abortion cases said that Roe is a bunch of hooey and should be overturned. A vote to overturn Roe is guaranteed by Thomas.
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Old 06-20-2019, 12:42 PM
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[QUOTE=KarlGauss;21703910]

nm.

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Old 06-20-2019, 11:05 PM
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An interesting article from Reuters: As legal glare turns to Trump, his faith in Supreme Court may be tested
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-u...-idUSKCN1TK12L

"But as the focus of some of the major legal challenges shifts from his policies to Trump himself, there could be disappointments in store for him, according to some legal experts, in particular if the Supreme Court stoutly defends the ability of Congress to pursue investigations of the president.

The conservative justices “won’t feel any loyalty to Trump, but will instead support strong separation of powers” as delineated in the U.S. Constitution assigning specific roles to the government’s executive, legislative and judicial branches, said conservative legal scholar J.W. Verret, an expert in corporate and securities law at George Mason University in Virginia. "

The proof is in the pudding, I say. We'll see what happens.
O/T: I hate that idiom. It's nothing more than a mangling of the original dollop of folk wisdom: The proof of the pudding is in the tasting.

There. I've fought some ignorance today. I'm going back to bed.

Carry on.
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Old 06-21-2019, 11:04 AM
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Some signal. The Court voted to allow Maryland to maintain a 40 foot cross on public land, as clear an establishment of one religion over the rest as can be imaged.

A complicated set of decisions were released, but the final vote was 7-2.

Approving: ALITO, ROBERTS, THOMAS, BREYER, GORSUCH, KAGAN, KAVANAUGH, THOMAS

Dissenting: GINSBURG, SOTOMAYOR

Do not put any hopes at all on the impossible chance that the Court won't be as conservative as Mike Pence's wet dry dreams.
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Old 06-21-2019, 11:31 AM
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On the other hand, today they ruled, 7-2, to strike down the murder conviction of Curtis Flowers because the jury selection was tainted by racial discrimination. Kavanaugh wrote the opinion. Thomas and Gorsuch dissented.
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Old 06-21-2019, 07:32 PM
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On the other hand, today they ruled, 7-2, to strike down the murder conviction of Curtis Flowers because the jury selection was tainted by racial discrimination. Kavanaugh wrote the opinion. Thomas and Gorsuch dissented.
Yeah, but the other one is religious. So I'd be worried about the religious conservative stuff. Particularly a certain case that will come down in the future.

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Old 06-21-2019, 07:48 PM
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I read this one, and Thomas's concurrence -- mostly a loooong discussion of stare decisis/precedent, and why he thought the majority was wrong about the extent or strength of stare decisis -- struck me as him indicating that he'd vote to overturn Roe v. Wade if a similar case ends up before the Supremes.
Thomas has held that attitude towards stare decisis for decades. It's not about any particular case, but it means a great deal about how he'll vote on a whole bunch of them.
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Old 06-21-2019, 07:57 PM
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On the other hand, today they ruled, 7-2, to strike down the murder conviction of Curtis Flowers because the jury selection was tainted by racial discrimination. Kavanaugh wrote the opinion. Thomas and Gorsuch dissented.
Indeed. You beat me to it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Exapno
Some signal.
Anyway, the signal I was getting at was as in signaling an attempt to appear nonpartisan. All to get ready for the truly critical cases that lie ahead.

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Old 06-22-2019, 02:48 PM
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Some signal. The Court voted to allow Maryland to maintain a 40 foot cross on public land, as clear an establishment of one religion over the rest as can be imaged.

A complicated set of decisions were released, but the final vote was 7-2.

Approving: ALITO, ROBERTS, THOMAS, BREYER, GORSUCH, KAGAN, KAVANAUGH, THOMAS

Dissenting: GINSBURG, SOTOMAYOR

Do not put any hopes at all on the impossible chance that the Court won't be as conservative as Mike Pence's wet dry dreams.
Your use of the word "establishment" is not one used by any dictionary or history. Having the Church of Maryland and taking your tax dollars to fund it would be an establishment of religion. Having the head of the Church of Maryland also being the Governor of Maryland would be an establishment of religion.

Erecting a cross to commemorate war dead is so minor and so trivial as to not even belong in the same sentence as "establishment" of religion. Your life is the same whether that cross is there or is torn down. Note that Breyer and Kagan agreed as well.

I'm with Gorsuch on this. The injury is so trivial and likely manufactured that these "offended plaintiffs" should not even have standing to sue on these grounds.
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Old 06-22-2019, 02:50 PM
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On the other hand, today they ruled, 7-2, to strike down the murder conviction of Curtis Flowers because the jury selection was tainted by racial discrimination. Kavanaugh wrote the opinion. Thomas and Gorsuch dissented.
What struck me about the case is something that I have not seen mentioned. Flowers has been in jail for the last 23 years and the state has tried him six times, two hung juries and now four reversals.

If the state cannot successfully convict you in 23 years, it is time for your case to be dismissed.
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Old 06-22-2019, 03:45 PM
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...

Erecting a cross to commemorate war dead is so minor and so trivial as to not even belong in the same sentence as "establishment" of religion. Your life is the same whether that cross is there or is torn down. Note that Breyer and Kagan agreed as well.

I'm with Gorsuch on this. The injury is so trivial...
I find it interesting that when a religious symbol is threatened, the proponents find it "trivial." If it is so trivial, why not placate opponents by removing it? Wouldn't that be equally trivial?

I subscribe to a Google search that notifies me of any Internet posting of "in god we trust," or similar constructs. I am struck by a common theme: mentioning "God" is so trivial that Christians don't see why it should invoke emotions from atheists, Hindus or Muslims. Conversely, it is so non-trivial that Christians insist that "in God we trust" appear prominently on money, city halls and cop cars; in municipal buildings, meetings and public schools.

So which is it? Trivial or not?

The Supreme Court just confirmed it. Apparently, you can have it both ways.

Last edited by Musicat; 06-22-2019 at 03:47 PM.
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Old 06-22-2019, 05:16 PM
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Your use of the word "establishment" is not one used by any dictionary or history. Having the Church of Maryland and taking your tax dollars to fund it would be an establishment of religion. Having the head of the Church of Maryland also being the Governor of Maryland would be an establishment of religion.

Erecting a cross to commemorate war dead is so minor and so trivial as to not even belong in the same sentence as "establishment" of religion. Your life is the same whether that cross is there or is torn down. Note that Breyer and Kagan agreed as well.

I'm with Gorsuch on this. The injury is so trivial and likely manufactured that these "offended plaintiffs" should not even have standing to sue on these grounds.
Thank you for your opinion. I hereby give you formal notice that it has been considered and tossed.
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Old 06-22-2019, 08:02 PM
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What struck me about the case is something that I have not seen mentioned. Flowers has been in jail for the last 23 years and the state has tried him six times, two hung juries and now four reversals.

If the state cannot successfully convict you in 23 years, it is time for your case to be dismissed.
Or, at least, you should be allowed bail at fairly nominal amounts.
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Old 06-22-2019, 08:07 PM
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The funny thing about this is that the court's decision was 7-2. Hardly a ringing endorsement of the "liberal" position that the Establishment Clause would preclude such a cross.

Note that the decision on the case may well have been dependent upon the simple factor that the cross was erected before the cemetery was owned by the "state". So the real question is: must the state tear down a cross in this situation? Contrast the question: can a state erect a cross on such a piece of state-owned land.
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Old 06-22-2019, 11:50 PM
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The possible biggest decision of the year is also coming up soon; the Census citizenship case. Originally looked set to be a 5-4 win for the Trump side, but now there is additional evidence coming out that may sway it over to the liberal side.
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Old 06-23-2019, 08:59 AM
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The funny thing about this is that the court's decision was 7-2. Hardly a ringing endorsement of the "liberal" position that the Establishment Clause would preclude such a cross.

Note that the decision on the case may well have been dependent upon the simple factor that the cross was erected before the cemetery was owned by the "state". So the real question is: must the state tear down a cross in this situation? Contrast the question: can a state erect a cross on such a piece of state-owned land.
I'm not sure why it would make a difference if the state purchased a piece of land with a cross already on it versus buying an empty parcel of land and building a cross. The end result is the same and it would seem overly formalistic to reach different results in each case.
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Old 06-23-2019, 09:34 AM
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Thank you for your opinion. I hereby give you formal notice that it has been considered and tossed.
Oh yes--the famous "living Constitution."

The example that UltraVires gave is exactly what "establishment of religion" meant when the Constitution was adopted. But you liberals find that meaning to be inconvenient, so you casually throw away important history like so much garbage.
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Old 06-23-2019, 10:04 AM
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I find it interesting that when a religious symbol is threatened, the proponents find it "trivial." If it is so trivial, why not placate opponents by removing it? Wouldn't that be equally trivial?

I subscribe to a Google search that notifies me of any Internet posting of "in god we trust," or similar constructs. I am struck by a common theme: mentioning "God" is so trivial that Christians don't see why it should invoke emotions from atheists, Hindus or Muslims. Conversely, it is so non-trivial that Christians insist that "in God we trust" appear prominently on money, city halls and cop cars; in municipal buildings, meetings and public schools.

So which is it? Trivial or not?

The Supreme Court just confirmed it. Apparently, you can have it both ways.
The injury is trivial. The right and freedom of people to exercise their religion is not.

If the people in a community through their elected representatives want to express a religious message in a non-intrusive way, people who do not subscribe to that religious belief have not suffered a tangible and concrete injury.

If you are an atheist, live in Bladensburg, and drive by this cross on your way to work every day, what injury have you suffered? You are free to remain an atheist; nobody is forcing you to tithe or go to church this Sunday. Nobody is saying that you must visit this monument. Nobody is punishing you if you say to anyone who will listen that you do not believe in God.

The injury alleged is some amorphous you feel bad or marginalized because you don't share the same religious beliefs as the majority of the community. This feeling is not protected by the First Amendment, nor is it rational or can be redressed by the courts.

When you drive by 15 churches and no centers for atheism, don't you already feel like you are in the minority? That Christianity is the majority belief in the community is not unknown and so long as there is no coercive element to get you to join up, you have suffered no harm other than what is implicit in being different from the rest of the gang. And it at least some things in our life, we are all different from the rest of the gang.

This effort to eradicate religion from the public sphere is as good or bad of a philosophy as any, but certainly not mandated by the Constitution.
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Old 06-23-2019, 10:21 AM
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Oh yes--the famous "living Constitution."

The example that UltraVires gave is exactly what "establishment of religion" meant when the Constitution was adopted. But you liberals find that meaning to be inconvenient, so you casually throw away important history like so much garbage.
Not only is this being tossed, but I am holding my nose while I toss it.

Seriously, how do originalists explain tossing away 230 years of history that has evolved the Constitution in several zillion ways while making a claim that their mind-reading of the founders is the only true history? The Walking Dead Constitution wouldn't even make a good tv show. As current reality it's risible.
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Old 06-23-2019, 11:47 AM
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I'm not sure why it would make a difference if the state purchased a piece of land with a cross already on it versus buying an empty parcel of land and building a cross. The end result is the same and it would seem overly formalistic to reach different results in each case.
As I understand it, they didn't purchase it, it was deeded to them.
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Old 06-23-2019, 03:32 PM
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The injury is trivial. The right and freedom of people to exercise their religion is not.
Correct. There is no injury. Freedom of religion is a right. There is no right to not have hurt feelings.
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Old 06-23-2019, 04:48 PM
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. . . Freedom of religion is a right. There is no right to not have hurt feelings.
No snark, but is freedom from religion a right? Should it be?

Bit of a hackneyed question, but I'll still ask - if someone else's religious beliefs limits my freedoms - prevents me from exercising my choices and my beliefs about my body - is that more than hurt feelings?
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Old 06-23-2019, 06:35 PM
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Bit of a hackneyed question, but I'll still ask - if someone else's religious beliefs limits my freedoms - prevents me from exercising my choices and my beliefs about my body - is that more than hurt feelings?
Religious beliefs themselves cannot limit your freedoms.
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Old 06-23-2019, 07:22 PM
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Religious beliefs themselves cannot limit your freedoms.
This seems a strange thing to say. If the government beliefs are at odds with yours, and they know it, you think they will still treat you fairly?
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Old 06-23-2019, 08:25 PM
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No snark, but is freedom from religion a right? Should it be?

Bit of a hackneyed question, but I'll still ask - if someone else's religious beliefs limits my freedoms - prevents me from exercising my choices and my beliefs about my body - is that more than hurt feelings?
If you could point to a law that has no secular justification at all and is merely a codification of a religious doctrine that forces you to practice it, then yes.

However, courts are pretty lenient about it. Even the Warren Court upheld Sunday closing laws which is something that even I would take a second look at, because as you probably agree, they are clearly religious laws and the secular justification for them are all ad hoc pretexts.

I believe (not entirely yet, but almost there) that they are unconstitutional because they harm adherents of faiths that practice the Sabbath on Saturday. They must conform to their own views by taking off Saturday and then the law by taking off Sunday. By doing that, they are at a one day work disadvantage to the rest of the people and impinge upon their free exercise of religion.
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Old 06-23-2019, 08:45 PM
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. . . Even the Warren Court upheld Sunday closing laws which is something that even I would take a second look at, because as you probably agree, they are clearly religious laws and the secular justification for them are all ad hoc pretexts.

I believe (not entirely yet, but almost there) that they are unconstitutional because they harm adherents of faiths that practice the Sabbath on Saturday. They must conform to their own views by taking off Saturday and then the law by taking off Sunday. By doing that, they are at a one day work disadvantage to the rest of the people and impinge upon their free exercise of religion.
This is a fine example and forced Sunday closings was one of things that cemented my view that religious dictates (or laws that derive from the religious precepts of others) have no place in a free society. In Ontario, not too long ago, even devout Jewish merchants were forced to shutter their shops on Sundays.

I found it inconceivable that a person's freedom to work (or play*) at the time of their choosing should somehow be contingent on the religious beliefs of others. You may disagree but I think the same logic applies for LGBT rights, physician assisted suicide, and of course a woman's right to have minor surgical procedures on her reproductive organs. Those who would limit (or forbid) such rights because of their religious beliefs, or their life philosophy, or simply their opinion, are forcing their world view - their religion - on others.

*many decades ago my father had his baseball confiscated by the police for playing pick-up ball on the Lord's day of rest.

Last edited by KarlGauss; 06-23-2019 at 08:45 PM.
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Old 06-23-2019, 09:05 PM
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This is a fine example and forced Sunday closings was one of things that cemented my view that religious dictates (or laws that derive from the religious precepts of others) have no place in a free society. In Ontario, not too long ago, even devout Jewish merchants were forced to shutter their shops on Sundays.

I found it inconceivable that a person's freedom to work (or play*) at the time of their choosing should somehow be contingent on the religious beliefs of others. You may disagree but I think the same logic applies for LGBT rights, physician assisted suicide, and of course a woman's right to have minor surgical procedures on her reproductive organs. Those who would limit (or forbid) such rights because of their religious beliefs, or their life philosophy, or simply their opinion, are forcing their world view - their religion - on others.

*many decades ago my father had his baseball confiscated by the police for playing pick-up ball on the Lord's day of rest.
But every law imposes an obstacle against what someone else would really like to do. Someone's opinion, or world view will have to have an impact on proposing those laws unless we just make up random laws. And if people are religious, their religion will impact that world view. It is impossible to separate the two. All the laws you mentioned have secular purposes as well.

Are laws against murder and thievery wrong because in addition to their secular purpose, some people find that they should be prohibited because of their inclusion in the Ten Commandments?

Further, note that I don't object to Sunday closing laws because they are an establishment of religion, but that they prevent the free exercise of it. Nobody's religious exercise is prevented by their prohibition.

If you want to be silly and say that your personal religious views require you to have an abortion, then we must invalidate every law because someone could claim a religious requirement to do it.
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Old 06-24-2019, 10:28 AM
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Some signal. The Court voted to allow Maryland to maintain a 40 foot cross on public land, as clear an establishment of one religion over the rest as can be imaged.

A complicated set of decisions were released, but the final vote was 7-2.

Approving: ALITO, ROBERTS, THOMAS, BREYER, GORSUCH, KAGAN, KAVANAUGH, THOMAS

Dissenting: GINSBURG, SOTOMAYOR

Do not put any hopes at all on the impossible chance that the Court won't be as conservative as Mike Pence's wet dry dreams.
What "public land" was this?
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Old 06-24-2019, 10:34 AM
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Court allows trademarks for scandalous or offensive names, like FUCT. That's okay with me, Victorian morality had its day.
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Old 06-24-2019, 10:39 AM
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Damn, missed the edit window. I was going to erase that because I read the rest of the thread.

Anyway, here's my question: if someone decides to honor the Muslim faith by putting a crescent next to the crucifix, is someone else allowed to squawk? Can they take their case to the Supreme Court? Are Thomas, Kavanaugh and Gorsuch going to decide that the Framers never intended the 1st to cover Islam as well as Christianity?
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Old 06-24-2019, 10:43 AM
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Hundreds of articles on this. Here's one.

Supreme Court rules that Maryland ‘Peace Cross’ honoring military dead may remain on public land

Here's an opinion piece on why this is a catastrophic repudiation of the establishment clause.

The Supreme Court’s Giant Cross Compromise Will Erode the Separation of Church and State

Those who were never black cannot understand the pervasiveness of racism. Those who were never female cannot understand the pervasiveness of sexism. Those who were never gay cannot understand the pervasiveness of homophobia. Those who were never not Christian cannot understand the pervasiveness of religion. White male straight Christians truly believe that they are the default norm in the U.S. and that the world is built for them and that the laws are made for them. It is a national tragedy. It must end. Fortunately, it is ending, albeit slowly. The not Christian aspect is dying slowest of all, but that will make no difference over time.
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Old 06-24-2019, 10:47 AM
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Anyway, here's my question: if someone decides to honor the Muslim faith by putting a crescent next to the crucifix, is someone else allowed to squawk? Can they take their case to the Supreme Court? Are Thomas, Kavanaugh and Gorsuch going to decide that the Framers never intended the 1st to cover Islam as well as Christianity?
Well, the facts of the matter would probably be relevant. Are there Muslim dead buried there? If not, some could consider the action of placing a "crescent next to the crucifix" an act of provocation, not veneration.
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Old 06-24-2019, 10:54 AM
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. . .Those who were never black cannot understand the pervasiveness of racism. Those who were never female cannot understand the pervasiveness of sexism. Those who were never gay cannot understand the pervasiveness of homophobia. Those who were never not Christian cannot understand the pervasiveness of religion. White male straight Christians truly believe that they are the default norm in the U.S. and that the world is built for them and that the laws are made for them . . .
As you know, this is not just the case in the US. I don't think the acronymic trope 'WASP' is unique to Canada.

That said, maybe better to update it a bit. Lose the P and add Straight and Male. How about SWASM?
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Old 06-24-2019, 11:17 AM
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Anyway, here's my question: if someone decides to honor the Muslim faith by putting a crescent next to the crucifix, is someone else allowed to squawk? Can they take their case to the Supreme Court? Are Thomas, Kavanaugh and Gorsuch going to decide that the Framers never intended the 1st to cover Islam as well as Christianity?
Along with the crescent, if a group ponies up the cash to erect a statue of Baphomet, that's cool as well, right?
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