The establishment clause prohibits congress from mandating a state
Although they almost always vote in lock step, the members of the Roberts Court majority bloc differ in their judicial philosophies.Most notably, Scalia and Thomas fashion themselves as “originalists.” They purport to divine the intent of the Constitution’s framers on the issue at hand, and then implement that intent in their decisions. And they see it through a prism of thinly veiled personal and political values.The “No Agenda” Roberts Court No such timidity inhibits the Roberts Court.Its rulings suggest a “pro-church” bias, and have enfeebled and muddied the meaning of the Establishment Clause. Freedom from Religion Foundation case, the Court denied the taxpayer’s right to challenge government expenditures funding the Bush administration’s “faith-based initiatives.” In the 2011 Arizona Christian School Tuition Organization v.The Roberts Court has diminished the free speech rights of government employees and students, in Garcetti v. Frederick (2007), respectively, while extending speech rights to corporations in Citizens United v. Roberts famously promised during his confirmation hearings, “I have no agenda, but I do have a commitment.If I am confirmed, I will confront every case with an open mind…I will remember that it’s my job to call balls and strikes and not to pitch or bat.” The statement stands in stark contrast with his Court’s broad and rapid revisionism.Cohen, the Warren Court facilitated its enforcement with a remarkable and unique sanction: it ruled that every taxpayer has legal standing to challenge, as a violation of the Establishment Clause, the appropriation of congressional funds to finance religious instruction in schools.At other times, however, the Court has shown timidity in applying the Establishment Clause. Newdow case, for example, the federal Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals held that the words “under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance commonly recited in public schools violated the Clause.
Heller case (2008), which held that the Second Amendment protects an individual’s right to possess a firearm.In appearance, they differ; in effect, they are identical.Rulings on the First Amendment are often useful in revealing the philosophical orientation of a Supreme Court.He believed the attempt to “employ religion as an engine of good citizenship” to be “an unhallowed perversion of the means of salvation.” With Madison’s writings as its polestar, the Supreme Court has long interpreted the Establishment Clause as barring laws that favor one religion over another, or even religion in general over secularism.Government cannot declare any single religion to be the “true” religion; it cannot cede civil power to religious bodies; it cannot fund religious education directly or discriminate between religions in the distribution of funds.