Supreme Court religion cases in 2022: How did the Supreme Court rule?

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These days, it feels a bit like I’ve stepped out of a Tilt-A-Whirl ride and haven’t regained my grip on reality yet. My head is spinning as I try to determine the long-term significance of the Supreme Court’s recently concluded mandate.

To aid in my quest to feel grounded again, I typed up this guide to faith-related court decisions. Read it and let me know if there are any stories related to these decisions that you would still like to see!

Cases involving a religious freedom claim

Ramírez c. Collier: The Supreme Court ruled 8 to 1 in favor of a Texas death row inmate who fought for the right to touch and hear the prayers of his spiritual adviser in the execution chamber as he was put to death. The majority opinion said Texas officials could do more to accommodate requests for religious accommodation without compromising the safety and security of everyone involved in the execution process.

Shurtleff v. City of Boston: There was no dissent in this battle over access to a public mast in Boston, but not all judges joined the majority opinion. They all agreed that city officials were wrong to prevent a Christian group from flying its flag over City Hall, but differed on whether the court should do more to clear up confusion over the protections of free speech and religious freedom.

Carson v. Makin: In a 6-3 decision, the court said Maine officials must allow more faith-based private schools to receive public education funds. The majority justices said the decision should not have been surprising given other recent cases involving religious schools, while dissenters argued that Carson v. Makin represented a major breach in the wall between church and state.

Kennedy v. Bremerton: It was conservatives versus liberals in the final decision on religion. The 6-3 decision said a high school football coach can pray alone on the 50-yard line after games while other coaches check their phones and greet friends. Teachers do not lose their religious freedom rights when they walk through the schoolyard gates, the judges said.

Other religion-related cases

FBI v. Fazaga: Supreme Court rules unanimously against group of Muslims challenging FBI surveillance practices, ruling lower courts misapplyed federal law governing use of evidence gathered in surveillance operations . The Muslim men involved in the case vowed to continue fighting, and the majority opinion implied that the judges were willing to review the case in the future.

Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization: In this landmark abortion rights case, six justices voted to uphold Mississippi’s 15-week abortion ban and five voted to strike down Roe v. Wade. Now, the power to set abortion policy rests with each state. As more conservative religious groups applauded the court’s decision, more liberal groups prepared to file religious liberty lawsuits challenging the abortion bans.

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Term of the week: Eid al-Adha

Eid al-Adha is the Muslim holiday that commemorates the story of Ibrahim and Ismail (known to Christians as Abraham and Isaac). It begins on the third day of the hajj, the annual pilgrimage to Mecca in which all Muslims are expected to participate at least. once.

To celebrate the holiday, which began Friday night in the United States and spans four days, Muslims go to their mosques to worship, gather with family and friends for big meals and hand out toys and gifts. money to children. My colleague, Mya Jaradat, wrote an explanation of the holidays for the Deseret News.

What I read…

In response to recent Supreme Court rulings related to religion, a self-proclaimed “angry recovering atheist” wrote for Religion News Service about why it’s wrong to label judges “pro-religion.” This term oversimplifies the diverse world of faith, giving the impression that all religious believers have the same opinions on contentious issues, Allison K. Ralph said.

Members of the Church of Christ of Mariupol in Ukraine took shelter in their church during Russia’s worst attack on their city. The Christian Chronicle caught up with many of them in Poland to discuss those trying days and what lies ahead.

Texas officials are once again embroiled in a legal dispute over their approach to requests for religious accommodation from death row inmates. A district court judge has determined that an execution scheduled for next week can only proceed if the prison system grants the inmate’s request to hold the hand of his spiritual advisor at the time of his death.

According to the Associated Press, Disney is facing a religious liberty lawsuit over masking and vaccination policies that are no longer in place.


Thursday at 3 p.m. EST, I’m participating in a virtual panel on religious liberty and the Supreme Court hosted by the Religion & Society program at the Aspen Institute. The event is free. Use this link to register.

Don’t miss this powerful column about what one reporter learned about journalism when she stopped reading the news.

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