Yesterday, the US Supreme Court ruled 5-4 to uphold the constitutionality of prayer before legislative bodies in Town of Greece v. Galloway. Although complainants Susan Galloway and Linda Stephens argued that the prayers before town council meetings in Greece, NY—led by invariably Christian chaplains —violated the establishment clause of the First Amendment, the court’s conservatives found that they served a largely ceremonial purpose. I mean “they” the prayers, not “they” the court’s conservatives—one of whom, Clarence Thomas, also opined that the First Amendment “probably prohibits Congress from establishing a national religion.” That’s not even the marquee quote from this case, though. The big one is from Anthony Kennedy’s majority opinion, and it’s the subject of today’s Close Reading. Primary text after the jump.
The Supreme Court is hearing arguments on the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act, so it’s time for another edition of Kombat! Kourt for Kids. In today’s meeting of the KK—dammit! Okay, Kombat! Kourt for Kids is now called Kombat? Judiciary for Kids, and today’s meeting of K?JK is about Antonin Scalia. He is still waiting for someone to bring him Solo and the Wookie. He also did not realize that being a Supreme Court justice would require so much reading. In an exchange with Deputy Solicitor Edwin Kneedler last week, Scalia expressed his incredulity that people might expect him to read the entire Affordable Care Act before ruling on it. “Is this not totally unrealistic?” Scalia said. “That we’re going to go through this enormous bill item by item and decide each one?”
Like Liberace’s dry cleaner, regular readers of Combat! blog may be at risk of Santorum fatigue. I feel your pain, but at the rate Santorum is producing stunning statements, he is either going to be out of the race soon or the most historically significant president of the modern era. This weekend, the Penn State alum and holder of two postrgraduate degrees called President Obama “a snob” for saying that all Americans should be able to attend college. He also said that John F. Kennedy’s famous 1960 speech on the separation between religion and politics made him want to throw up. Even if you can’t bear to hear any more about Santorum, the Times article is worth reading for the part where Mitt Romney bonds with fans at the Daytona 500 by mentioning that several of his friends own NASCAR teams.