With conservative Supreme Court, religion always wins | The Hill – Column

These days, the Supreme Court presents itself as faithfully following the law, while it does pretty much whatever it wants. For example, it invokes tradition as a constraint on its discretion, while manipulating its meaning to avoid enforcing constitutional provisions it doesn’t like — such as the Establishment Clause. In Kennedy v. Bremerton, the Court recently overruled…

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The continuing, destructive power of libertarianism | The Hill – Column

At a recent conference on conservative philosophy, I told another professor that I’d just written a critical history of libertarianism. “You’re too late,” he said. “After Trump, libertarianism is dead in American politics.” Would that it were so. The Libertarian Party is indeed in deep trouble, torn apart by factionalism. Despite the increasing ubiquity of communitarian, nationalist rhetoric, however,…

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The Libertarian Party is collapsing. Here’s why | The Hill – Column

Only a few years after its greatest triumph, the Libertarian Party is collapsing, torn apart by an insurgency of alt-right sympathizers with racist tendencies. Libertarianism, the idea that state power must be absolutely minimized, relies on ideas of individual rights that seem flatly inconsistent with racism. And yet libertarian rhetoric has always had powerful attractions…

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Elena Kagan and the Supreme Not-A-Court | The Hill Column

  The Supreme Court is supposed to decide questions based on the law, not public opinion. Yet its power consists solely in its ability to issue pieces of paper, which have no effect unless other officials, the ones with guns and money, respect it and are willing to enforce its decisions. Justice Elena Kagan and Chief Justice John…

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Religion and Samuel Alito’s time bomb | The Hill Column

  An irresponsible sentence that Justice Samuel Alito wrote eight years ago may now excuse religious people from nearly every legal obligation they have, so long as a hypothetical, nonexistent government program could substitute for it. That became clear this week when Judge Reed O’Connor declared in Braidwood Management v. Becerra that employers with religious objections may offer health plans…

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The abortion emergency in the federal courts | The Hill Column

  It is now notorious that the criminalization of abortion, in the wake of the Supreme Court’s overruling of Roe v. Wade, doesn’t do much to lower the abortion rate but has had devastating effects on the ability of doctors to treat pregnancies that go wrong.  Horror stories accumulate. Opponents of abortion have claimed that the press has exaggerated the…

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Religion and the wrong defense of abortion rights | The Hill Column

  It is commonly claimed that restrictions on abortion illegitimately impose some people’s religious beliefs on the rest of us. This is the wrong way to defend abortion rights. It implies that religious motives have no legitimate place in lawmaking. In fact, we all have normative commitments that we have trouble articulating – you could call them matters of…

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Climate change and the Supreme Court’s version of police abolitionism — The Hill Column

    West Virginia v. Environmental Protection Agency, which in June gutted the Biden administration’s ability to reduce the electrical power industry’s carbon emissions, may be the Supreme Court’s most reckless and lawless decision (in an extremely competitive field). The court comes close to anarchism, crippling Congress’s capacity to protect the country from disaster and undermining the…

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The neglected common ground on abortion — The Hill Column

  Abortion is one of the most polarizing issues in American politics, made even more toxic by the Supreme Court’s decision to overrule Roe v. Wade. It doesn’t need to be. Pro-life and pro-choice people should be able to agree on policies that would actually reduce the abortion rate. To accomplish that, though, opponents of…

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The Supreme Court and the new religious aristocracy — The Hill Column

The Supreme Court has effectively authorized schoolteachers to pressure their students to pray. Kennedy v. Bremerton held that football coach Joseph Kennedy had the right to engage in what Justice Neil Gorsuch called a “short, private, personal prayer” on the 50-yard line after games. The court held that forbidding that prayer improperly discriminated on the basis of religion,…

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