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Kavanaugh Defends Religious Liberty


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Kavanaugh Defends Religious Liberty

Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh has come out strongly in favor of religious liberty. He wrote about it when explaining why the Supreme Court did not take a case.

According to The Washington Free Beacon:

Newly minted Supreme Court justice Brett Kavanaugh issued a comment Monday signaling his commitment to the court's pro-religious-liberty jurisprudence, a move that may signal his views on a major religion case likely to be decided later this term.

The court declined to hear two related cases—Morris County v. Freedom from Religion Foundation and The Presbyterian Church in Morristown v. Freedom from Religion Foundation—on Monday, both of which related to whether or not Morris County, N.J., could disburse funds for historical preservation to religious institutions. New Jersey state law appeared to prohibit giving public funds in this way to a religious body, but both the county and the church argued that this violated the First and 14th Amendments' prohibition on religious discrimination by states.

Kavanaugh agreed with the court's decision to decline to hear the case, noting that factual uncertainty and the recency of his colleagues' decision in Trinity Lutheran meant that neither the time nor the case was right for consideration. However, in a statement regarding the denial of certiorari, Kavanaugh and colleagues Justices Alito and Gorsuch made clear that they thought the general principle of religious non-discrimination was a well-supported and important one.

"The New Jersey Supreme Court concluded that the State's discrimination [in blocking funding] did not violate the First and Fourteenth Amendments," Kavanaugh wrote. "In my view, the decision of the New Jersey Supreme Court is in serious tension with this Court's religious equality precedents."

Kavanaugh is pushing for churches to be treated fairly regardless of their affiliation. This is a standard equal protection argument and he is adamant about it.