The existence of objective moral truth that is knowable by reason does not imply that people generally, much less particular public officials, will in fact know and embrace that truth. Very often, they won’t, and that is why systematic limits on government power, such as the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, are good laws.
Legislators and judges not only can but must gauge the moral justification of every law.
When the law limits the courts’ power to inquire into the truth or reasonableness of religious views, this is not because the law is assuming that religious beliefs lack rational foundation. Rather, it’s because allowing courts to exercise this power on a large scale would be too dangerous.
Confronted with its legislative weaknesses, defenders of Obamacare are appealing to the law’s intent instead of its text. This is a dangerous approach that the founders clearly rejected.
The Court’s decision in the Hobby Lobby case missed an important point. As with churches, the government has no compelling interest in coercing businesses and organizations with religious objections to carry out the HHS mandate.
Contra Justice Ginsburg, the Hobby Lobby decision is no cause for alarm. Yet we should acknowledge and address a fear she highlights: the serious obstacles women face today in the realms of sex, marriage, and parenthood.
The contradictory reasoning of Justice Sotomayor’s Wheaton dissent exposes a glaring weakness in the legal argument requiring religious non-profits to comply with HHS’s regulatory scheme.
The right to religious freedom is for everyone, not just those with the “right” beliefs.
According to the structure of the Court’s logic, all objecting employers should receive the same religious freedom protection given to churches and religious orders.
Yesterday’s decision demonstrates that the Supreme Court understands what Congress set out to do when it passed the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. Religious freedom is for all, regardless of the popularity of the belief. Congress, in passing RFRA, has said that if the belief can be accommodated, then it must be.
Respect for religious conscience is not an afterthought or luxury, but the very essence of the American political and social compact. Adapted from testimony presented before the House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution and Civil Justice.
Common sense can tell us whether particular citizens should be exempt from certain government policies for religious reasons. Codifying such instinctive judgments into formal statutes is more difficult.
It’s time to realize that ACOG’s priority is not medical fact but thwarting protection for the unborn.
Justice Kennedy’s opinion in Greece v. Galloway is the Court’s best piece of Establishment Clause work in decades—and a happy omen for religious liberty in our country.
The new world of civil rights turns the old one on its head.
Conservatives must defend marriage for both principled and practical reasons. The Republican Party cannot surrender the cause of marriage without also surrendering the cause of life.
Abolitionism provides the example for how to fight for a cause: underscore the humanity of those whose humanity is denied, provide compassionate care for those affected, name the lies that dehumanize and kill, and tirelessly argue for the truth about “who counts.”
In staying out of the legislative fray, the Fifth Circuit humbly recognized the limits of its due process jurisdiction. Now it’s up to the Supreme Court to do the same.
A business owner brings his values and his entire self—his faith no less than his race—to his daily work. The government shouldn’t force him to violate his conscience.
For Justice Clarence Thomas, the foundation of all our law lies in the self-evident truths of the Declaration of Independence, beginning with human equality.
State lawmakers should make it clear that religious and moral reasons are rational and legitimate, and that property owners may act or refrain from action in obedience to conscience.
The unchecked progress of sexual liberalism means that we cannot say what kind of moral culture our children will inhabit as adults or, accordingly, what kind of moral culture will form our grandchildren. No responsible person can support such a movement.
Conservatives must resist the temptation toward “big-government conservatism.” Easy acceptance of extra-constitutional federal powers betrays the philosophical roots of the conservative movement.
The age in which all states were united in understanding marriage as the exclusive union of man and woman for life has passed away. Now, new legislation seeks to protect the right of each state to define marriage for those who reside within its borders.
“Informed choice” legislation does not impede a woman’s ability to choose abortion. Such laws enlighten the abortion choice by making clear exactly what it is that is being chosen.
In both Dred Scott and Roe, the justices of the Supreme Court had to decide what it means to be a person, whether human beings can be considered property, and what it means to be deprived of liberty. They got it wrong both times.
Strict separation of church and state would require us to throw out Thanksgiving as a religious holiday proclaimed by the president. Instead, we should embrace Thanksgiving and throw out strict separationism as a misguided interpretation of the Constitution.
Governor Jerry Brown’s recent veto of a California bill seeking to extend the statute of limitations for certain sex abuse cases reminds us of a basic principle of law: like cases must be treated alike.
California and New Jersey’s new laws banning talk therapy to address same-sex attraction in minors violate the rights of parents and children to seek counseling that conforms to their values. They also endanger First Amendment rights.
Judicial precedent, historical awareness, and the very nature of prayer all make it clear: legislators have the right to begin their assemblies with a prayer.
We have the worst of both worlds: a Prohibitionary State that gives license to all kinds of evil, but that regulates and restricts actions that are not evil, to manage the chaos that results from the license.
A New Jersey judge’s contorted and nonsensical decision that the state is responsible for the federal government’s failure to recognize same-sex marriage highlights the irrationality that permeates the campaign for “marriage equality.”
Current jurisprudence protecting pornography as “artistic expression” contradicts the Founders’ understanding and the underlying purposes of the First Amendment’s protection of speech, and it fails to protect Americans from the social and personal trauma caused by pornography. The second in a two-part series.
Our president’s assumption that he should punish Syria for a moral, but not legal, transgression undermines international law.
The president and Congressional supporters of attacking Syria suggest by their actions a strong disregard for public opinion and self-government.
Without authorization from Congress, American presidents can only start unconstitutional wars, even if they are motivated by good intentions.
Lincoln’s Order of Retaliation—a command to kill Confederate prisoners as punishment for the South’s massacre of black Union soldiers—can help frame our view of presidential military power today.
Since our culture has embraced Justice Kennedy’s “mystery of life” philosophy, we lack a coherent framework for making laws that don’t just cater to personal preferences.
The Employment Non-Discrimination Act would equate sexual orientation and gender identity, ambiguous and malleable concepts, with immutable features like race, color, and ethnicity as classes worthy of special legal protection.
For its protection and flourishing, religious freedom needs not only limited government but also a social order that gives plenty of room to civic institutions and associations.
The process that killed Prop 8 in California should concern anyone who cares about democracy and the rule of law. The cheaters won.
When Justice Anthony Kennedy writes a majority opinion for the Supreme Court, he is famous for baffling his fellow justices (particularly Justice Antonin Scalia) as well as lower court judges.
There is nothing in the text, history, or tradition of the U.S. Constitution that precludes extending the most basic protections of the law to twenty week-old (or older) unborn children who are capable of experiencing pain. Adapted from testimony delivered on July 8th before the Texas State Senate Committee on Health and Human Services.
What future does democratic self-government have in our country if same-sex marriage supporters are willing to undermine it through the courts?
Just as Lincoln rejected the Supreme Court’s reasoning in the Dred Scott decision, so too conservative leaders need to reject the Court’s faulty reasoning about DOMA. Anti-democratic judicial activism has become habitual only because our elected leaders have declined to respond to it with Lincoln’s clarity and firmness.
We don’t need a new resolution from Congress to address the wrongs of clinics like Kermit Gosnell’s—the Born-Alive Infants Protection Act already serves that purpose, and we should restore the civil penalties originally attached to it.
The Gosnell case shows us that a society’s laws teach, and if they teach a lesson of injustice they will corrupt its people over time. Indeed, contemporary abortion jurisprudence undermines the very notion of natural rights and constitutional government.
No-fault divorce hurts women, men, and children. So why is it still legal?
During oral arguments on Prop 8, Justice Kennedy alluded to the views of children of same-sex couples as if their desires and concerns are identical to and uncritical of their parents’ decisions. But the reality is far more complicated.
Proposition 8 does not, contrary to Judge Vaughan Walker’s claims, treat equals unequally.