Supreme Court to rule on sinning vs. causing others to sin

Tomorrow the short-handed Supreme Court will hear arguments on the case brought by the Little Sisters of the Poor on whether they should be forced to go through the paperwork so that their employees can get free contraception and abortifacients under Obamacare.

The government says that the Roman Catholic nuns aren’t being forced to provide contraception.  Rather, they just have to declare that they are opting out so that their insurance company can provide the services for free.  Since they aren’t paying for the pills and devices, argues the government, they aren’t violating their religious beliefs.

But that shows complete ignorance of Roman Catholic moral theology.  For one thing, the morality of an action depends, in part, on the intention.  In this case, the intention of filing the paperwork would be to let employees commit a grave sin.  Also, it isn’t just sinful if an individual does something wrong.  Causing someone else to sin can be even worse. [Read more…]

The new Supreme Court nominee

President Obama nominated Merrick Garland to take the late Antonin Scalia’s slot on the Supreme Court.  Garland is a well-regarded Appeals Court judge, clearly well-qualified and with a reputation for moderation.

Republicans in Congress are refusing to even consider him, insisting that any appointment should wait until after the presidential election.

But couldn’t we expect Hillary Clinton to nominate someone even more liberal?  And who would Trump nominate?  His pro-abortion sister, as he said he might?  Also, pundits are now saying that there is now a good chance that in an anti-Trump landslide Republicans might lose the Senate.  Republicans might do a lot worse than Garland.

Obama is obviously proposing Garland as a safe choice and a way to coax Republicans into allowing him his appointment.  And to look pettily partisan if they oppose a well-qualified candidate with the full panoply of opposition research and personal attacks, as is planned.

Republicans should just praise the nominee but stand on the principle of letting the next president choose.

[Read more…]

Supreme Court to hear big abortion case–without Scalia

One of the most successful tactics of the pro-life movement has been to pass state laws requiring that abortion clinics measure up to the standards required of hospitals and other surgical centers.  Since most of abortion mills are unsanitary hell-holes, few can comply and they have to shut down.

Texas passed such a law, and half their abortuaries have shut down, going from 40 to 20.  But then the Supreme Court put a hold on the law; otherwise, only 10 would remain.

On Wednesday, the Supreme Court will hear the case.  It will do so, however, without the late Antonin Scalia, who was consistently pro-life.  But if there is a 4-4 split, the Texas law will stand, since it was upheld by an appeals court.  Similar laws in other states, though, have been overturned by courts, and a split decision will mean those overturns will also stand. [Read more…]

Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia dies

Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, arguably the most conservative member of the court, died Saturday at the age of 79.  Justice Scalia was a major influence in conservative jurisprudence.

With his death, President Obama would have the opportunity to extend his legacy with a Supreme Court appointment, one that would surely tip the balance towards the left.  But Republican lawmakers are saying they will block any Obama nomination, letting the next president make the appointment.

What will this mean for cases currently before the court, including those that have been voted upon but not publicly announced?  Lots.  See the details after the jump.

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LCMS congregation will go before the Supreme Court

The Supreme Court has agreed to hear a case from an LCMS congregation.  Trinity Lutheran Church in Columbia, Missouri, was denied a state grant to improve its school’s playground, in the name of the separation of church and state.  This could prove to be an important case in drawing those lines.  Watch for  Trinity Lutheran Church v. Pauley. [Read more…]

Supreme Court will rule on how much abortion can be regulated

The Supreme Court will take up its biggest abortion case in 25 years, promising to decide exactly to what extent abortion can be limited and regulated without violating a woman’s constitutional rights. [Read more…]