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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Biden’s gay rights/religious liberty opportunity — The Hill Column

  Democrats need another political win — preferably one that appeals to wavering Republican voters. The fraught issue of gay rights and religious liberty offers an opportunity, one that could also help fix the toxic polarization of American politics. Sooner or later the extremists who now dominate the U.S. Supreme Court will confront that issue, and will almost certainly…

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Originalism and the football coach’s prayer — The Hill Column

  Amid the recent Supreme Court argument over a high school football coach’s demand to lead his players in prayer, the judges lost sight of one of the central purposes of the First Amendment’s prohibition on “establishment of religion” — a purpose that should be of particular concern to the court’s self-styled originalists. The justices’ questions…

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Cancelling Russians is Putinist – The Hill Column

    Russian artists and performers are being cancelled out of revulsion against the Ukraine invasion, including many who have denounced Russian President Vladimir Putin.  These cancellations perversely presuppose Putin’s own collectivist vision of what nationhood means — a vision that has American fanboys, notably Donald Trump. Nations, strictly speaking, do not exist outside of people’s minds. In Perry Anderson’s famous…

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Ketanji Brown Jackson’s originalism – The Hill Column

    Constitutional originalists have been doing a victory lap after Ketanji Brown Jackson declared, in her confirmation hearing, “I believe that the Constitution is fixed in its meaning. I believe that it’s appropriate to look at the original intent, original public meaning, of the words when one is trying to assess because, again, that’s a limitation on my authority to…

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Bad political philosophy can kill you – The Hill Column

    Political philosophy sounds abstract and nerdy, but it is inescapable. If you have any political opinions, then you have a philosophy and are probably acting in accordance with it. Administrative regulations are even more boring. Recent developments in the administration of ObamaCare – are you bored yet? – show how much it matters. The…

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