Last week, Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito gave a speech to a group of Catholic lawyers that didn’t get as much attention as it should have.
President Donald Trump this evening nominated Neil Gorsuch to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Trump had promised to fill the open slot on the high court with someone who holds “similar views and principles” to the late Justice Antonin Scalia. Unfortunately, it appears that Trump has acted to fulfill that promise. Like Scalia, Gorsuch has exhibited hostility to church-state separation, which is the foundation of religious freedom. That is why Americans United opposes this nomination.
The 115th Congress convenes today with the swearing in of both new and returning members. The Democrats picked up a few seats in both the House and Senate, but the Republicans will maintain their majorities in both chambers.
Come Jan. 20, the Republicans will also have control of the White House. Congressional leaders, however, aren’t waiting for Inauguration Day to start pushing through the agenda of President-elect Donald Trump and Vice President-elect Mike Pence. Congress is going to move full speed ahead starting on day one. And Americans United will push back.
In late December, you start seeing “Top Ten” lists for the year that was. So without further ado, here are the Top Ten Church-State Stories from 2016 (in my humble opinion, at least):
Given the events of the past few days, there was relatively little hope that last night’s presidential debate would turn into a substantive discussion of policy issues. Indeed, The Washington Post noted that the night was dominated by insults, and its print edition called the event a “dark, bitter faceoff.”
In an election year, many issues will vie for the attention of American voters.
This year, there’s one issue that isn’t getting the focus it deserves: the composition of our federal court system.Congress (or a state legislature) can pass a law, and it can be signed by the president or a governor – but if the law fails to comport with the U.S. Constitution, it will be struck down. Courts, therefore, are often our last line of defense in protecting religious freedom and the separation of church and state.
Your mother probably taught you that it’s impolite to say something negative when a person dies.
There’s some truth to that, but in the case of public figures whose actions and decisions affect the lives of others, we must not don blinders. Such individuals deserve a frank assessment of their legacy.
It’s imperative that members of the Senate Judiciary Committee closely question President Barack Obama’s U.S. Supreme Court nominee on church-state issues, Americans United said in March.
Judge Merrick Garland is Obama’s choice to replace Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, who passed away in February. Garland has spent 19 years on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. He clerked for former Supreme Court Justice William Brennan and is a graduate of Harvard Law School.
Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonin G. Scalia left no doubt about where he stood on the constitutional principle of church-state separation.
“To tell you the truth, there is no place for that in our constitutional tradition,” Scalia said a little over one month before he passed away Feb. 13 at the age of 79. “Where did that come from? To be sure, you can’t favor one denomination over another but can’t favor religion over non-religion?”
Americans United for Separation of Church and State today said that it is imperative that members of the Senate Judiciary Committee closely question Judge Merrick Garland on church-state issues.