Tag Archives: dissent

Scalia Dissents

I have spent a lot of time this summer reading cases about religious liberty and the role of the First Amendment. Some rulings I agree with; others I strongly do not. The best feeling in the world, however, is reading a case I adamantly disagree with, noticing the year, and realizing Justice Scalia was on the court. His dissents are the best. Just take this line (internal citations removed): 

“Our cases in no way imply that the Establishment Clause forbids legislators merely to act upon their religious convictions. We surely would not strike down a law providing money to feed the hungry or shelter the homeless if it could be demonstrated that, but for the religious beliefs of the legislators, the funds would not have been approved. Also, political activism by the religiously motivated is part of our heritage. Notwithstanding the majority’s implication to the contrary, we do not presume that the sole purpose of a law is to advance religion merely because it was supported strongly by organized religions or by adherents of particular faiths. To do so would deprive religious men and women of their right to participate in the political process. Today’s religious activism may give us the Balanced Treatment Act, but yesterday’s resulted in the abolition of slavery, and tomorrow’s may bring relief for famine victims.” 

Edwards v. Aguillard, 482 U.S. 578, 615 (1987).