Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

Roberts on the First Amendment religion clauses

Christopher Levenick has a very nice piece in the current Weekly Standard contrasting Sandra Day O’Connor and John Roberts on church/state matters. Here’s a telling paragraph:

O’Connor’s endorsement test ultimately relies on how people perceive themselves, whether they sense themselves as outsiders or full members of the political community. Her overwhelming concern is how people feel, rather than how they are actually treated. Unfortunately, subjective feelings are a notoriously unreliable legal criterion, and one that inevitably leads--as O’Connor herself learned in the Pledge case--to a tyranny of the easily offended. Roberts, in marked contrast, proceeds on the basis of tradition and of common sense, both of which suggest that religious establishments trespass the Constitution only when they preferentially receive public funds, or rely on the force of the state.

Read the whole thing.
   

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