Whose Religious Liberty Is It Anyway?

Whose Religious Liberty Is It Anyway?
AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin

On day two of the confirmation hearings for Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh, President Trump's second nominee to the Supreme Court, Senator John Cornyn of Texas brought up the 2000 case Santa Fe Independent School District v. Doe, in which the court ruled that sectarian prayers at high school football games violated the clause of the First Amendment that prohibits the establishment of religion.

Mr. Cornyn repeated Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist's complaint that the decision “bristle[d] with hostility to all things religious in public life.” In fact, the plaintiffs in the case identified as Catholic and Mormon, and it is safe to say that they were not hostile to religion, but to the presumption that one religion speaks for all.

Judge Kavanaugh, eager to signal his agreement with Mr. Cornyn, tossed back the catch phrase that Mr. Cornyn appeared to be fishing for: “religious liberty.”

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