Public assessments of the Supreme Court have reached a quarter-century low.
While most Americans say last week’s Supreme Court hearings on the 2010 health care law did not change their views of the law or of the Court, they did more harm than good to the image of both.
On Oct. 5, 2011, the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church and School v. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, a case that could help determine how much latitude religious organizations have in making employment decisions about clergy and others who perform religious duties.
Half of Americans (50%) say the Court's rulings should be based on its understanding of what the U.S. Constitution means in current times, while about as many (45%) say rulings should be based on its understanding of what the Constitution meant as originally written.
American religious institutions have been at the center of many legal controversies in recent years. These and related lawsuits raise complex constitutional questions that have been troubling American courts for more than a century. Are legal disputes involving churches and other religious institutions constitutionally different from those involving their secular counterparts, and if so, how?
Whenever churches or religious organizations find themselves involved in civil litigation, courts first must determine whether the First Amendment’s religion clauses bestow a unique legal status on religious organizations that puts some of their decisions and actions beyond the reach of civil laws.
A coming Supreme Court case on an Arizona law allowing funds donated to religious schools to be subtracted from state taxes owed by donors could severely limit future Establishment Clause challenges.
While legal scholars analyze Kagan's possible impact on the "Roberts court," most Americans have no idea who "Roberts" is. And as experts debate if the court has become more conservative, the public sees the court moving in the opposite direction.
Compared with July 2007, fewer people view the court as conservative and more see it as liberal. Americans are less negative toward Congress, and there has been an improvement in opinions of the Democratic Party.
A divided Supreme Court has ruled, 5-4, that a public law school can deny recognition to a student group that excludes gays and lesbians. In Christian Legal Society v. Martinez, the Court said the school could enforce a policy requiring official student organizations to accept all students who want to join.