The Court’s Unanimous Decision On Jan. 11, the Supreme Court issued a ruling in a significant church employment dispute, giving religious organizations wide latitude in hiring and firing clergy and other employees who perform religious duties. In its unanimous decision, the high court explicitly recognized a legal doctrine known as the “ministerial exception.” Lower courts […]
As the Supreme Court’s current term concludes, public opinion is evenly divided about how the justices should interpret the Constitution when determining their rulings. 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 […]
In an ongoing series of occasional reports, “Religion and the Courts: The Pillars of Church-State Law,” the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life explores the complex, fluid relationship between government and religion. Among the issues to be examined are religion in public schools, displays of religious symbols on public property, conflicts concerning the free […]
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.
On Nov. 3, 2010, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in a pair of related cases involving a constitutional challenge to an Arizona tax policy aimed at providing scholarships for children to attend private – often religious – schools.
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.
Overview Republicans’ opinions of the Supreme Court have become less favorable during the Obama administration. As a result, more Democrats than Republicans now express a positive opinion of the Supreme Court – the first time this has occurred since the Clinton administration. Overall opinions of the Supreme Court are unchanged since February, at 58% favorable, […]
A divided Supreme Court today ruled, 5-4, that a public law school can deny recognition to a student group that excludes gays and lesbians. The Court said the school could enforce a policy requiring official student organizations to accept all students who want to join. The case, Christian Legal Society v. Martinez, arose in 2004 […]
Overview The public remains doggedly downbeat about the condition of the national economy, even as many experts and economists see signs of recovery. As has been the case for most of the past two years, about nine-in-ten (88%) rate national economic conditions as only fair or poor, and over the past year there has been […]