Tuesday, May 31, 2005
In the Cutter case, the Justices unanimously (!!) upheld the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act, rejecting the claim that the Act -- by mandating a more religion-friendly standard in accommodation-of-religion cases arising in prisons -- violates the First Amendment's Establishment Clause. Justice Ginsburg wrote the opinion for the Court, and emphasized -- correctly -- that the government may accommodate religion, even when such accommodation is not required by the Free Exercise Clause, without violating the no-establishment rule.
Justice Thomas's separate concurrence is particularly interesting, since he re-presents, and elaborates upon, his view that the Establishment Clause was primarily a "federalism" provision.