Thursday, December 04, 2003

Just Case, Bad Trend, by E.J. Dionne Jr. - Washington Post

Dionne has a nice article on Locke v Davey, the religious scholarship case the Supreme Court heard this week. I also think a decision on fairly-narrow grounds is the best result - something closer to neutrality is in order, but the decision doesn't have to be radical. Plus, I don't think a radical decision will garner a majority; even a majority for a narrow decision is iffy, though I think you can make an argument that O'Connor and/or Breyer would sign on to it along with the usual bunch.

Dionne also notes many separationist laws like the Blaine Amendments (the root of Washington State's law in Davey) have anti-Catholic roots. Professor (and now 10th Circuit judge) Michael W. McConnell provides more insight into anti-Catholic bias in religious laws in Religious Participation in Public Programs: Religious Freedom at a Crossroads, 59 U Chi L Rev 115, 121 (1992). You can read more about the constitutional law of religious freedom and the Davey case in a First Things article written by a friend of mine from Salvatori, Philip Munoz, here. And you can always check out Professor Hamburger's work in this area: Separation of Church and State.

Lastly, as Thomas Friedman notes today, we aren't the only country with church/state issues.

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