Wednesday, October 04, 2017

Supreme Court Now In Session--Religious Freedom On Docket

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With the nation's attention turned toward the tragedy in Las Vegas, many may have missed the fact that the United States Supreme Court is back in session.

However, the impact of their rulings will not be missed. Among what the press is calling "hot button" issues are several that include the First Amendment---religious freedom.

A bakers right to decline a so-called "same-sex marriage" and a city council's or state legislature's right to pray are included in the "hot button" issues. Birth control is also on the docket.

Monday was the first day on the benches for the justices since June when they issued rulings that essentially redefined marriage.

You will recall that Jack Phillips, a biblical Christian who believes in biblical marriage, declined to create a "wedding cake" for a same-sex couple, who then sued Phillips. The case has progressed through the courts, and will now be heard by the Supreme Court.

With the addition of President Trump's appointee, Justice Gorsuch, to the Court, the secular Left activists are concerned about how the Court will now rule on this case.

The far Left Daily Beast published this:

It’s not clear how important Masterpiece Cakeshop is from a judicial standpoint, but as a flashpoint in the culture war, it’s probably the most recognizable case on the fall docket.
The facts are simple: conservative Christian owns a cakeshop, refuses to bake a wedding cake for a same-sex couple. But the conflict is complicated. If the baker wins, that’s like putting a “No Gays Allowed” sign on the storefront window. How can that be OK? But if the baker loses, the government is basically forcing an artist to compromise his religious beliefs. Indeed, if this particular baker is to be believed, it’ll put him out of business, since he’s said he’d rather quit than violate his religious beliefs.
Of course, it’s not just about cake. If a baker can turn away a gay couple, why not a government employee, a hotelier, or a doctor? Are the constitutional rights of a gay person less equal than those of, say, a black person? The question is not rhetorical; it was only a few decades ago that segregationists claimed a religious justification for not seating whites and blacks together. They lost, but Leonard Leo, the right-wing ideologue directing Trump’s judicial picks, has said that such cases should be overturned. Today’s anti-gay baker is tomorrow’s (or yesterday’s) anti-black restaurateur.
In other words, it’s about a lot more than cake.

This article reflects the homosexual activist talking points and will likely reflect the case made against Phillips to the Supreme Court.

The case will include claiming ethnicity and sexual behavior are equal.

Ken Klukowski, writing for Breitbart News, says many of the issues the Court will rule on will "impact the nation for many years to come."

He lists these 5 cases among the most important to Christians and conservatives:

  1. Perhaps the most talked-about case for the term at the moment is Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, where the Supreme Court will consider whether the government’s forcing a Christian baker to customize the design of a wedding cake to celebrate same-sex marriage violates that Christian’s rights under either the Free Speech Clause or the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment.
  2. In Janus v. AFSCME, the Court will determine whether forcing government employees to pay union fees that go to collective-bargaining arrangements violates their free-speech rights under the First Amendment. If the Court sides with the employees (as is expected), this will be a major blow to unions and overrule a major 1977 pro-union case. This case has significant implications for unions’ ability to fund left-wing political activities as well.
  3. In Carpenter v. United States, the justices will decide whether taking without a search warrant the cell phone tower data that records the movements of individual cell phone users violates the Fourth Amendment. This could be a seminal case in determining what the Constitution requires in terms of personal privacy in light of newer technologies.
  4. In Gill v. Whitford, the Supreme Court will examine at what point politics play such a large role — when lawmakers make political calculations in drawing legislative redistricting plans after each census — that the plan is a “political gerrymander” that violates the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. Another issue in that case is whether such claims are never justifiable in court because it is impossible to effectively remove politics from politicians’ decision-making.
  5. In Collins v. Virginia, the justices will determine whether the Fourth Amendment allows police officers to approach a vehicle parked next to a house on private property without a search warrant. The Court has previously held that there is an “automobile exception” to the Constitution’s usual warrant requirement because it would be impractical to get a judge to issue a search warrant every time a police officer approaches a car. The question here is whether that exception applies when the car is actually next to a home that would clearly be protected by the Fourth Amendment.

I would add the case involving the cabinet making company Conestoga.

The Justice Department has asked the Supreme Court to consider the birth control mandate. The company owners say the policy requires them to violate their Mennonite faith.

Much hangs in the balance. Pray that our justices will make decisions consistent with the Constitution, and with God's Laws.

Be Informed. Be Vigilant. Be Discerning. Be Prayerful.