Yesterday was a good news/bad news kind of day after decisions by the Supreme Court dealing with the First and Second Amendments of the Constitution.
The good news comes to us in a surprising 7-2 ruling in favor of religious freedom in the case of Trinity Lutheran Church of Columbia, Inc. v. Comer. In that case, the state of Missouri had excluded Trinity Lutheran from a government program that provides grants to preschools and daycare centers to purchase rubberized surface material designed to make playgrounds safer. The sole reason Missouri denied the highly qualified center because it is run by a church.
Writing for the majority, Chief Justice Roberts explained the decision:
“The express discrimination against religious exercise here is not the denial of a grant, but rather the refusal to allow a church—solely because it’s a church—to compete with secular organizations for a grant . . .
“In this case, there is no dispute that Trinity Lutheran is put to the choice between being a church and receiving a government benefit. The rule is simple: no churches need apply.”
Now the bad news.
The Supreme Court took a pass on hearing an appeal of the case Peruta v. California, a case involving the right to carry firearms—particularly concealed firearms—in public. By declining to hear the appeal, a decision by the almost-always-overturned Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals was allowed to stand.
The result of the Court’s non-decision means California can arbitrarily deny its citizens the right to bear arms unless they provide “good cause” for needing to carry a concealed weapon. What is “good cause?” It’s vaguely defined as “a set of circumstances that distinguishes the applicant from other members of the general public and causes him or her to be placed in harm’s way.”
And guess what? Self-defense doesn’t meet the “good cause” criteria.
It’s been said that a broken clock is right twice a day, and just like that watch, the Supreme Court gets it right once in a while; but they also get it wrong. With the Court also announcing that it will now hear the case involving the Christian baker in Colorado who refused to design a cake for a homosexual wedding, we can’t afford for the Court to be wrong again.
And if you think the Court can’t get it wrong, just remember that yesterday was the two-year anniversary of the Obergefell decision “legalizing” homosexual marriage.
David Leach is the owner of The Strident Conservative, your source for opinion that’s politically incorrect and always “right.” His articles are also featured on RedState.com.
His daily radio commentary is nationally syndicated via Salem Radio Network and can be heard on stations across America.