SCOTUS allows lower court to ban prayer from public square

Daniel Horowitz – June 29, 2018

In case you thought that the potential to flip Justice Kennedy’s seat alone will bring us back to the constitutional promised land, think again. So long as the lower courts are not restrained, we will never return to the Constitution and the principles of the Declaration of Independence.

There is nothing more radical than a lower court granting standing to random plaintiffs to sue against non-coerced public prayer in county government meetings, prayers that have been going on since our founding. Yet a district judge in 2015 and the en banc decision of the radical Fourth Circuit in 2017 barred Rowan County, North Carolina, from opening council sessions with a prayer, similar to what our federal Congress does every day. Yesterday, the Supreme Court refused to grant certiorari to the appeal from Rowan County, despite three years of being under a tyranny that the judges know is unconstitutional.

We shouldn’t even need to get into court precedent to understand our heritage and the true meaning of the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment. But just four years ago, in Town of Greece v. Galloway, Justice Kennedy wrote for the majority that as long as the prayer “comports with our tradition and does not coerce participation by non-adherents,” there is no room for judicial intervention. “To hold that invocations must be non-sectarian would force the legislatures sponsoring prayers and the courts deciding these cases to act as supervisors and censors of religious speech,” Kennedy wrote in the 2014 case.

SCOTUS: Members of the Military Have No Religious Liberties

Bob Eschliman – June 5, 2017

The Supreme Court on Monday effectively announced that those who put on the uniform of the U.S. military and swear an oath to support and defend the Constitution of the United States themselves have no support or defense from one of the document’s greatest protections against government overreach.

Former Marine Lance Cpl. Monifa Sterling and her attorneys at the First Liberty Institute were hoping the high court would take up her case after the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces returned a decision that upheld her court-martial for refusing to take down a Bible verse from her work-space. By refusing to take the case, the lower court decision remains in place for all members of the military.

Click here to learn more about Sterling’s case.

“Because the Supreme Court did not decide to review the case, the travesty below by the Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces will now stand,” President, CEO, and Chief Counsel for First Liberty Institute Kelly Shackelford said. “The military court’s outrageous decision means federal judges and military officials can strip our service members of their constitutional rights just because they don’t think someone’s religious beliefs are important enough to be protected. Our service members deserve better.

Is the U.S. at Risk of Losing Religious Freedom?



Charlene Aaron – September 21, 2016

A report from the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights appears to place “nondiscrimination” above religious liberty.

A commission report released Sept. 7 says, “Civil rights protections ensuring nondiscrimination, as embodied in the Constitution, laws, and policies, are of preeminent importance in American jurisprudence.”

Charles C. Haynes, founding director of the Religious Freedom Center of the Newseum Institute, found the report deeply troubling.

“If we accept this assertion, it means that conflicts between religious freedom and nondiscrimination principles are resolved by denying accommodation for religious conscience — except perhaps in very rare and narrow circumstances,” he wrote in a Washington Post op-ed.

DOJ lawyers argue feds can limit religious speech


Supreme Court Plaza

Bob Unruh – September 1, 2016

The Supreme Court recently exempted itself from the First Amendment in a fight over a protest sign on the public plaza outside its front doors, simply refusing to consider arguments that the Constitution’s protection of that right should apply.

But the pesky issue of what people can say on the plaza is coming up again, this time with a fight over religious speech that already is taking up the time of the U.S. District Court in Washington.

Over the years, the plaza at the court has been used for public events such as news conferences and for “commercial or professional films relating to the court.” Some 200 protesters surged up onto the plaza in 2014 to protest a Missouri grand jury’s decision not to indict a police officer who fatally shot a teenager, and nothing happened, even though the demonstration went on for 15 minutes.

US judge blocks state law allowing discrimination of same-sex couples


Two hands joined

DW – July 2, 2016

A federal judge’s ruling prevented a state law from going into effect Friday that would allow those with certain religious objections to deny wedding services to same-sex couples and impose dress and bathroom restrictions on transgender people.

US District Judge Carlton Reeves wrote that the law was unconstitutional because “the state has put its thumb on the scale to favor some religious beliefs over others.” He also wrote that it violates the Constitution’s equal protection guarantee.

Judge scorched for saying ignore U.S. Constitution



WND – June 28, 2016

Legal expert Daniel Horowitz is blasting Judge Richard Posner for his jaw-dropping admission he doesn’t think judges should spend “one second” studying the Constitution of the United States.

“It’s like being a member of the Armed Forces and supporting ISIS instead of America,” thundered Horowitz. “A judge swears an oath to uphold the Constitution, yet Judge Posner has, in the past, said that the oath is now applied to the precedent from the Supreme Court, not the Constitution as written.”

In a recent contribution at the left-wing publication Slate, Posner, chief judge of the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, argued judges should not spend any of their time studying the original intent of the Constitution.