First Amendment free exercise of religion

A divided U.S. Supreme Court struck down California’s “Tier 1” total ban on indoor religious services, while allowing a 25% capacity limitation. Most of the state is currently under Tier 1 COVID-19 restrictions. It also allowed California’s to continue banning singing and chanting during indoor services.

While a number of Justices issued opinions, the Court issued no majority opinion.  Chief Justice Roberts’ two-...

In Danville Christian Academy v. Beshear the U.S. Supreme Court allowed a Sixth Circuit decision to remain in place which upheld Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear’s executive order closing all K-12 schools, including religious schools, from November 18 until January 4 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The governor’s “school” executive order temporarily closed all elementary, middle, and high schools but allowed preschools, colleges, and...

In a 5-4 decision in Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn, New York v. Cuomo, the Supreme Court has prevented New York’s governor from enforcing certain restrictions on attendance at religious services due to COVID-19. Until this decision, the Supreme Court had allowed all challenged stay-at-home orders which it reviewed on an emergency basis to remain in effect. The Chief Justice dissented as did Justices Breyer, Sotomayor, and Kagan.     

The...

The confirmation hearings for Judge Amy Coney Barrett begin on Monday. Judge Barrett undoubtably will be asked about her views on the Affordable Care Act, guns, and abortion. Like her predecessors, she will try to say as little as possible about her views on hot button issues.

But what about her thoughts on less controversial topics the Supreme Court decides on a more regular basis, upon which states and local governments may...