Supreme Court Says Prayer at Public Schools is Fine - The Tuesday AM Quickie 6/28/22

The Supreme Court's last day of decisions in this session is Wednesday, but we've got one big one to talk about before then. I'm off after today, you're in good hands with Corey.  - Jack

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Supreme Court Comes Down in Favor of 50-Yard-Line Prayers

The case was a strange one: a high-school football coach suspended from his job for holding prayers on the 50-yard-line after games, who sued the school and ran it all the way up to the Supreme Court, where it became a landmark decision that throws the future of the separation of church and state into doubt.

The court ruled 6-3, along the lines you by now can expect on basically every decision, that the First Amendment protected the coach's right to perform Christian prayers with his students after the game. To be honest, the infraction itself seems innocuous enough – particularly if, in a perfect world, it was applied fairly to coaches who wished to offer uh... non-Christian prayers with their team. But that's not what was on the table, and we certainly don't live in a perfect world. Here's Justice Sonia Sotomayor, who wrote the dissent, breaking it down via the NYT:

In dissenting from Monday’s decision, Justice Sonia Sotomayor wrote that the majority had gone astray by prioritizing the religious rights of a school official over those of his students, who could feel pressure to take part in religious activities.

“In doing so,” she wrote, “the court sets us further down a perilous path in forcing states to entangle themselves with religion, with all of our rights hanging in the balance.”

That's precisely what this means. The ruling, taken in context with the Court's enforcement of federal private school funding going to religious schools, is another step in the fraying of the separation of Church and state and instituting a system in which religious institutions have more and more influence over formerly secular aspects of life, like our education system. And you can bet that these rules won't be fairly applied for all religions as we go forward – the system is designed so that America's Christian right always comes out on top, and they have a 6-3 majority on the highest judicial body in the country in order to enforce it.

The court plans to hold its next opinion day of this session on Wednesday, so if you're waiting for what will surely be a dismal EPA decision... welp. It's probably coming then.


Louisiana Judge Defies S.C., Blocks State's "Trigger Law"

The Supreme Court may be the highest in the land, but that doesn't mean that judges with a less fascist interpretation of the law are simply going to let everything the SC's ruling on Dobbs means go into effect without a fight. In Louisiana, Judge Robin M. Giarrusso of the Orleans Parish Civil District Court, granted lawyers for one of the state's three remaining abortions clinics an emergency temporary restraining order blocking the state's trigger law, and set a hearing for the case for July 8. The clinic's lawyers said it would resume providing abortions in the mean time; their case argues that Louisiana's trigger law violates the state’s constitution and is "void for vagueness" because of its imprecise language.

Russian Airstrike Hits Busy Shopping Market, Death Toll Still Unknown

A Russian airstrike hit a bustling shopping mall on Monday afternoon in the southern city of Kremenchuk, engulfing the complex in flames and killing an indeterminate amount of civilians. As of Monday night, regional authorities put the death toll at 16, and the Times reports that first responders are still sorting through the rubble. Dozens are reportedly injured. Russia has stepped up its long range missile attacks on targets around Ukraine recently, hitting both military installations and civilian areas; one strike also killed five people in the northern city of Kharkiv on Monday.

Quickest Quickies

  • The Treason Show: Special Episode Planned For Today Kyle Cheney at Politico reports that the January 6 commission has called an emergency hearing for today to share "recently obtained evidence." Interesting! more info via NYT here.
  • Primary Day in Colorado, Illinois, New York and More Here's what to watch and a rundown of some of the major races, via AP.
  • Kamala Harris Still Plans to Do Nothing on Abortion I'm losing my dang mind here. On CNN today Harris said she "wouldn't go there" in response to a limited filibuster carve-out in the Senate to codify abortion. via CNN.
  • Update on RudySlapGate: There's Video I'm sorry, they're charging this guy with assault??? He slaps him gently on the back! Incredible stuff. video here via Twitter, and also on the show yesterday.



Approximate number of missiles Russia has fired across Ukraine over the weekend, a tally that was increased on Monday as the long-range bombardment of civilian and military targets in the country increased.


6/28: Sam hosts William Forbath, Associate Dean for Research at the University of Texas at Austin Law School, and Joseph Fishkin,  Professor at the UCLA School of Law, to discuss their recent book The Anti-Oligarchy Constitution: Reconstructing the Economic Foundations of Democracy.

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“And in the White House, Mike Pence provided the guidance and advice to the president to select Justices Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh, and Amy Coney Barrett, three of the five votes making this incredible moment possible. Lives will be saved.”

-- excerpt from a video posted by Mike Pence's organization Advancing American Freedom that perfectly encapsulates the former VP's "lean-in" moment to the Christian fascist takeover he's always wanted. Pence is trying to claim credit and perhaps wiggle the evangelical vote away from Trump if they both run in 2024.

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