Trump’s third new Justice he confirmed looked like one of Donald Trump’s biggest wins.
Amy Coney Barrett clerked for the late Justice Antonin Scalia. Many thought that was a good indication of how she’d rule.
But Amy Coney Barrett just stabbed conservatives in the back with this Supreme Court ruling.
Amy Coney Barrett was supposed to give conservatives a 6-3 majority on the Court.
But it’s starting to prove differently.
Fulton v. the City of Philadelphia, a case where the city refused to contract foster case work to the Catholic Social Services (CSS) because of CSS’s opposition to homosexual marriage, was one of the most contentious of the current Supreme Court term.
The case was expected to overturn the 1990 precedent established in Employment Division v. Smith, which allowed the government to discriminate against religious liberty as long as the law in question applied to everyone.
Conservatives anticipated that would be the result with good reason.
And that looked like a sure thing with Justices Samuel Alito, Neil Gorsuch and Clarence Thomas prepared to overturn the precedent established in Employment Division v. Smith.
However, Chief Justice John Roberts intervened.
The George W. Bush appointed Chief Justice convinced Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett to switch their votes in order to hand down a unanimous ruling that just said the City of Philadelphia violated the First Amendment in this specific case.
And John Roberts’ move infuriated Justice Samuel Alito after Kavanaugh and Barrett switched their votes.
“This decision might as well be written on the dissolving paper sold in magic shops,” Justice Alito wrote. “The City has been adamant about pressuring CSS to give in, and if the City wants to get around today’s decision, it can simply eliminate the never-used exemption power. If it does that, then, voila, today’s decision will vanish — and the parties will be back where they started… What is the point of going around in this circle?” Alito wrote.
It’s no wonder Alito was up in arms about them moving to side with Roberts.
Political Animal News will keep you up-to-date on any new developments in this ongoing story.