SCOTUS Unanimous For Religious Freedom – UPDATED

The Supreme Court of the United States has ruled unanimously in favor of a church's right to be itself, and its freedom to assign its ministries:This is an enormous and timely victory for religious freedom:In a groundbreaking case, the Supreme Court on Wednesday held for the first time that religious employees of a church cannot sue for employment discrimination.But the court’s unanimous decision in a case from Michigan did not specify the distinction between a secular employee, who c … [Read more...]

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Breyer and Scalia Worth Watching -UPDATED

This article in Slate was intriguing:The bear joke is a Scalia classic...“The story is about the two hunters who are out in the woods in their tent and there's growling in the brush near them,” Scalia told the committee. “And they open the tent flap and there is a huge grizzly bear and they start running. … And—and the guy who's a little heavier and he's running behind, he says, ‘It's no use. We're never going to outrun that bear.’ And the guy who's running in front says, ‘I don't have to out … [Read more...]

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'Lanie's Got a Gun & Other Smart Things

Color me amused:According to two witnesses, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia took fellow Justice Elena Kagan out for a lesson in skeet shooting at his shooting club in Virginia last week.The witnesses saw Scalia at the Fairfax Rod and Gun Club, where he is a member, around noon on Wednesday of last week. He was with a woman who was noticeably diminutive in height, like Kagan, who stands at about five feet three inches. The witnesses, who got a very close look at the pair, say that the … [Read more...]

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Reasoned Loyalty; the Tuesday Column

My Tuesday Column is up, wherein I wonder about whether an adult and fully-formed faith should rest upon reason or loyalty, and decide that, well...it requires both:Reasonable Catholicism is reasoned loyalty, or sometimes even loyalty with gritted teeth; it is loyalty that insists upon the application of reason lest its value be questioned. By the same token, intellectualism that is not tempered with loyalty ends up pickling itself in its own ego. Either one, by itself, is incomplete. Both … [Read more...]

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Kagan not an automaton but…UPDATED

A morning email from a good friend:You predicted Bush would pick Bernard Kerik for Homeland Security (that didn't work out). You predicted Bush would pick Harriet Miers for the Court (also, ahem, didn't work out). You predicted Hillary would cry before the New Hampshire primaries in '08 (things...did not work out for her) and on In the Arena last week, you predicted Obama would choose Kagan. I think your successful predictions are like a kiss-of-death, and Kagan should be worried! Please … [Read more...]

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90 Minutes with Clarence Thomas

Whenever I watch or read Justice Thomas, I always come away liking him even more. He is authentic, down-to-earth and credible and human. I almost never watch longer online videos because I have such a deplorable attention span, but this Q&A between him and a bunch of law students was worth watching, all 90 minutes of it.Thomas has a lot of really good things to say about the self-destructive nature of cynicism (about an hour and 6 minutes in), the Constitution, how he chooses his clerks … [Read more...]

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Quotes of the Day

Actually, they've both been hanging around my tab bar for a couple of days, and they're both brought to my attention thanks to Deacon Greg Kandra. And they're both Must Reads:1) "The news media, despite their claims of impartiality, and despite the good work they often do accomplish, are just as prone to prejudice, ignorance, bad craftsmanship and tribalism as any other profession. But unlike other professions, the press has constitutional protections. It also has real power in shaping how we … [Read more...]

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Sotomayor for SCOTUS? (UPDATED)

Bench Memos is the place to go for constant updates on Sonya Sotomayor, who President Obama just nominated to the Supreme Court. Ed Morrissy has a quickly pasted video with Karl Rove suggesting that Sotomayor could be perhaps more liberal than David Souter, whom she would replace. Rove also feels the nomination will probably go through. I tend to agree with that. For the most part, Republicans believe a president is entitled to his nominees (except, of course, when their own President, Bush, … [Read more...]

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Souter will scooter…(round-up)

Obama gets his first nomma...neeAlthough it was an empty moment of glory, I do believe I may have been the first to Twitter about Souter retiring from the SCOTUS at the relatively young age of 69. You can't blame him. It's so arduous, being a Supreme Court Justice. He wants some downtime before he dies.Obama gets his first Supreme Court nominee. I am frankly surprised. I was under the impression that John Paul Stevens had been sucking formaldehyde every day in an effort to outlast … [Read more...]

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