Even though President Donald Trump’s re-election chances are still uncertain, one thing that is locked in is a conservative majority on the Supreme Court.
Daily Beast columnist Jay Michaelson argues that the Supreme Court, which has been swung to the right by Trump appointees, is about to implement some legal doctrines that will radically reshape the law in the United States.
In particular, Michaelson cites how the Trump-appointed justices have written about the issues surrounding the Fulton v. City of Philadelphia case that the court is expected to take up this week.
“To give you a sense of how out of step this conservative-packed, minority party-packed, and religious extremist-packed institution really is, consider this week’s major case… about whether taxpayer-funded adoption and foster care agencies should be able to discriminate against would-be parents,” he writes. “Here’s how Justices Gorsuch, Kavanaugh, Alito, Thomas and Barrett (and sometimes Chief Justice Roberts) see the Fulton case, based on their past votes and writings: this is about religious freedom.”
What this means, he writes, is that adoption agencies could cite religious beliefs to deny letting LGBT couples adopt children.
“According to this line of thinking, once marginal but now espoused by a majority of the Supreme Court, to participate in the adoption and foster care business, individuals and organizations (and businesses) shouldn’t have to compromise their religious beliefs,” he writes. “It’s wrong for the government to force them to choose between their work and their faith.”
He also argues that this case could hold larger implications for other First Amendment cases argued before the court.
“In fact, Fulton could be the biggest ‘religious freedom’ case of them all, because it may change the standard for how the court evaluates First Amendment cases of all types — making it much easier for religious claimants to win, and for everyone else to lose,” he writes.