The purpose of Our Conscience weblog is to facilitate a greater discussion and understanding of church and state separation in our community and in others. Underlying this is the value that each individual should be allowed to follow the dictates of his or her own conscience without influence, coercion, or direction from the State when it comes to matters of religion.

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Sotomayor Joins Liberal Bloc as SCOTUS upholds cross

Although on the losing side, Justice Sotomayor joined 4 Justices known to favor a strong Separation between Church and State. She joined Justice Stevens' dissenting opinion with whom Justice Ginsburg also joined stating the following:
In my view, the transfer ordered by §8121 would not end government endorsement of the cross for two independently sufficient reasons. First, after the transfer it would continue to appear to any reasonable observer that the Government has endorsed the cross, notwithstanding that the name has changed on the title to a small patch of underlying land. This is particularly true because the Government has designated the cross as a national memorial, and that endorsement continues regardless of whether the cross sits on public or private land. Second, the transfer continues the existing government endorsement of the cross because the purpose of the transfer is to preserve its display. Congress’ intent to preserve the display of the cross maintains the Government’s endorsement of the cross.
Summary of the break down by Justice:
Kennedy, J., announced the judgment of the Court and delivered an opinion, in which Roberts, C. J., joined, and in which Alito, J., joined in part. Roberts, C. J., filed a concurring opinion. Alito, J., filed an opinion concurring in part and concurring in the judgment. Scalia, J., filed an opinion concurring in the judgment, in which Thomas, J., joined. Stevens, J., filed a dissenting opinion, in which Ginsburg and Sotomayor, JJ., joined. Breyer, J., filed a dissenting opinion.


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