The Supreme Court and What Is Next

Posted on December 5, 2019 by Diana Roberts

 

The great fear of many Americans is that the newly converted majority of SCOTUS is going to make America a Christian dominated theocracy and started with these cases that are about to be presented before it:

 

Government Funding of Religious Education

Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue, the most prominent state/church case so far accepted by the Court. Basically, the case is an attempt to compel states to fund religious education. The plaintiffs argue that a state constitution that prohibits funding to religious schools violates the Free Exercise Clause of the U.S. Constitution. If the plaintiffs prevail, taxpayers will be forced to fund religious education in Montana and the decision will directly affect the enforcement of state/church separation nationwide in the realm of funding religious schools.

Abortion regulations

Scotus announced that it will hear June Medical Services v. Gee, making this the first abortion case the court will hear since Justice Brett Kavanaugh replaced Justice Anthony Kennedy, who voted in several cases to protect Roe v. Wade.

The case centers around a 2014 Louisiana law requiring that doctors at abortion clinics have admitting privileges at a local hospital. This regulation and ones like it in Southern states are an insidious attempt by anti-choice legislators to impose such burdensome, medically unnecessary restrictions that are more than women health clinics can afford that they are forced to close. In spite of the health freedom Roe v. Wade protected, such regulation makes it impossible for many women to access health services including abortion. The admitting privilege requirement was declared unconstitutional by the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals sitting in New Orleans, which ruled it imposed an “undue burden” on abortion access.

 

LGBTQ discrimination

The Supreme Court is hearing three landmark employment discrimination cases, a commercial area where the Christian Religious Right has excelled. The court will address whether it is legal to fire workers because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. Altitude Express, Inc. v. Zarda, Bostock v. Clayton County and R. G. & G. R. Harris Funeral Homes v. EEOC all center on whether the existing federal ban on sex discrimination similarly forbids employment discrimination against LGBTQ workers.

Very often, the religious beliefs of employers are used as justification for discrimination against LGBTQ employees. In Harris Funerals Homes, Aimee Stephens, a transwoman, was fired from her job because her boss argued, it would violate “God’s commands” if he allowed Stephens “to deny her sex while acting as representative of the organization.”

The cases will not only determine the future of discrimination protections for LGBTQ employees, but have the potential to determine much of America’s existing workplace anti-discrimination law and lay the dangerous groundwork for the expansion of “religious liberty” being invoked as a legal justification for discrimination.

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