Overruled


Roy Moore’s Revenge
February 23, 2009, 10:55 am
Filed under: Ian | Tags:

cross1The Roberts Court’s first full term with Justice Alito holding the O’Connor seat felt like one big giveaway to Bush’s social conservative supporters.  In one term, the Supreme Court cut back drastically on reproductive freedom, it issued an absurd decision holding that when the President violates the Establishment Clause, there’s nothing you can do about it, and it held that it is unconstitutional for school boards to racially integrate schools (seriously!).   Since that one awful term, however, the Court has stayed relatively quiet on cultural issues.

Looks like that’s about to change, however, the Court just granted cert in Salazar v. Buono.  For folks who are unfamiliar with the case, take a look at the picture of the cross over on the right there.  That cross sits alone on a rock in the middle of a federal land preserve, which is a fairly textbook violation of the Establishment Clause—at least as the law exists right now.

When Justice O’Connor was still on the Court, she was the all-important fifth vote for the notion that government cannot erect whatever monuments to religion it chooses.  Four of her colleagues had no problem with, say, massive displays of the Ten Commandments in the middle of a state courthouse.

Anyone want guess how Justice Alito’s going to vote, now that he has the chance to destroy almost fifty years of precedent holding that government is not in the business of endorsing a state religion?

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[…] reason why a big ol’ hunk of an establishment of religion in the middle of a public park couldn’t possibly violate any other part of the Constitution. Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)Government Speech or Public Forum?Supreme Court […]

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