The First Amendment is very clear on the government’s role in religion. Since the founding of this nation the design was intended to prohibit the establishment of a state religion, and neither could the government prohibit the free exercise of anyone’s religion – so long as that exercise did not supercede the broad public good, a view that was reaffirmed in 1905 with Jacobson vs. Massachusetts.
It appears that Clarence Thomas, a conservative appointee, has thrown away all his common sense along with his knowledge of the history of the nation and case law. You would expect more from a Supreme Court Justice but in today’s polarized political climate many of the conservative justices are projecting their own personal viewpoints into law, completely absconding the judicial jurisprudence that was necessary for all judicial nominees prior to their entrance into this hallowed court.
Stating that the Federal Government can “probably” not establish a state religion is only the tip of the iceberg for Thomas, as he refutes the common sense that state and local governments should not establish a religion also. He thinks it entirely acceptable to establish a religion at the state and local level, so long as it is Christianity.
As much as the right rails about “activist judges” (which is entirely a fabrication by the right towards those on the left – as those left-leaning justices are enacting the same jurisprudence set forth in over 200 years of case law) they fail to seem to keep their own house in check.
When will the madness end? It is my personal and professional opinion that the Justices of the Supreme Court should be held to a standard of ethics. They are the only court in the nation that is exempt from this code– presumably because in order to make it to that court they would have had to prove themselves ethically compliant up to that point. A poor standard of measure by my count as is obvious by this current partisan court which rules in the favor of their personal preference, not by adjudicating according the document upon which our republic was founded.