There’s been a horrible mistake.
Trump should reconsider the Kavanaugh nomination. That’s how bad this ruling is. Look what I found in one of Kavanaugh’s old opinions:
“It is a permissible reading of the [free exercise clause]…to say that if prohibiting the exercise of religion is not the object of the [law] but merely the incidental effect of a generally applicable and otherwise valid provision, the First Amendment has not been offended…. To make an individual’s obligation to obey such a law contingent upon the law’s coincidence with his religious beliefs, except where the State’s interest is “compelling”–permitting him, by virtue of his beliefs, “to become a law unto himself,”–contradicts both constitutional tradition and common sense. To adopt a true “compelling interest” requirement for laws that affect religious practice would lead towards anarchy.”
Here’s what that means in plain English: as long as the government passes a law that applies to everyone (instead of intentionally targeting one religious group), then the First Amendment has not been violated. That’s a hole big enough to drive a truck through. Can you even imagine how many “generally applicable” laws liberals can dream up to ban basic Christian practices?!?
This opinion effectively destroys religious freedom in America. If this sort of reasoning is handed down by the Supreme Court, the results would be horrific. Free exercise would be dead. If you’re still reading, I should probably tell you that I misled you at the beginning of this post. The words in this opinion are real, and they actually were handed down by the Supreme Court. But Kavanaugh didn’t write that paragraph above.
Antonin Scalia did.
This is precisely the reason that both Gorsuch and Kavanaugh are more conservative than Scalia. There’s no way in a million years that either of them would write an opinion like that (it’s from Employment Division v. Smith, if you’re curious). Scalia was the greatest Supreme Court Justice in history, but it’s not because he was the most conservative SC Justice ever. He certainly wasn’t. And this is why conservatives need to relax and recognize how much progress the conservative legal movement has made. We’re in good hands. They know what they’re doing. So don’t obsess over 3 lines from an opinion 15 years ago that have been ripped out of context. Don’t worry that Kavanaugh said what he had to say to get confirmed to the DC Circuit. He’s a conservative. We won. Take “yes” for an answer.