Perhaps NPR’s Nina Totenberg put it best when she said the docket for the 2021-2022 U.S. Supreme Court term is “a humdinger with major cases involving the biggest social issues of the day.”
With a notably altered composition after the addition of three Trump appointees, the court now features six reliably conservative members. With that makeup, SCOTUS is set to decide on significant social controversies related to abortion, the separation of church and state, government surveillance and normative clarity around the scope of free expression.
The news cycle on these cases started back in October as oral arguments began and three decisions were already issued. The churn of news is picking back up again as some cases are just now being argued and other rulings are handed down.
Just as this edition of ReligionLink was about to go to press, the decision on Shurtleff v. Boston came out. Then, quite dramatically, a draft opinion from Justice Samuel Alito was leaked to Politico, wherein he writes that the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion is “egregiously wrong.” The leak is unprecedented and if the draft is issued as a majority ruling, it would overturn the constitutional right to abortion in the U.S.
This ReligionLink will get you up to speed with background explainers, resources and experts for covering the most relevant, religion-related cases the Supreme Court is set to decide on this term — or for which it already issued judgment.
The cases in question
By our count, six separate cases have had religious aspects and angles to them in SCOTUS’ 2022 term. Among them are “issues that for years have been among the country’s most heated political debates,” said NPR’s Totenberg. The number and scope of them mean that SCOTUS decisions on these cases could result in precedent-flipping, life-changing and policy-transforming ramifications once decisions are handed down.
Given the tilt of the court in a more conservative direction in recent years, the high-stakes cases have taken on increased political heat. Pundits on both sides are ramping up for the aftermath and the next battle lines, whatever the rulings may be.
Below are a few summaries to get you up to speed on the six cases ReligionLink identified as particularly relevant for religion reporters and other “religion nerds.”
General overviews and background:
- Boston University School of Law professors discuss SCOTUS’ major 2022 cases and the potential implications of their decisions: “Guns, God, Abortion, Affirmative Action: US Supreme Court’s Historic 2022.”
- Writing for Northeastern University, Tanner Stening offers a review of the cases, with religion taking center stage: “Abortion, Guns, Religion: Here are the Major U.S. Supreme Court Cases for 2022.”
- Former ReligionLink editor Kelsey Dallas (Deseret News) offers her overview of the term’s major religion-related cases: “The faith-related cases to watch in the Supreme Court’s new term.”
A rundown of religion-related cases:
Each of these cases will get more in-depth treatment below (with related stories and potential sources), but here are some quick summaries to get you started:
- Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization — The scope of the constitutional right to abortion — and the fate of the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade decision — is at stake in this case, which involves an appeal by Mississippi to revive the state’s Republican-backed law that bans abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy. (From SCOTUSblog.com)
- Carson v. Makin — The possibility of expanding — or restraining — religious rights is at issue in this case, which involves a challenge to a Maine tuition assistance program that bars taxpayer money from being used to pay for religious instruction in schools. (From SCOTUSblog.com)
- Shurtleff v. Boston (DECIDED) — The Supreme Court ruled unanimously on May 2, 2022, that the city of Boston violated the Constitution when it rejected an application to fly a Christian flag on one of the three flagpoles in front of City Hall. (From SCOTUSblog.com)
- Kennedy v. Bremerton School District — This case will decide whether a public-school employee who says a brief, quiet prayer by himself while on school property and visible to students is engaged in government speech that lacks any First Amendment protection; and whether, assuming that such religious expression is private and protected by the free speech and free exercise clauses, the establishment clause nevertheless compels public schools to prohibit it. (From SCOTUSblog.com)
- Ramirez v. Collier (DECIDED) — The Supreme Court ruled on March 24, 2022, that a man on death row in Texas could have his pastor touch him and pray out loud during the prisoner’s execution. The decision came after an almost three-year-long dispute over the presence of spiritual advisers at executions. The ruling, which urged states to adopt clear rules for the future and instructed courts to allow executions to go forward with religious accommodations when necessary, brought together justices from both ends of the ideological spectrum. (From SCOTUSblog.com)
- Federal Bureau of Investigation v. Fazaga (DECIDED) — The Supreme Court decided in March that a provision of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act does not trump the “state secrets” privilege, a doctrine that allows the government to withhold information in litigation when disclosing it would compromise national security. The ruling was a blow for the three Muslim men who filed a lawsuit claiming they were targeted by an FBI counterterrorism investigation because of their religion and numerous other Muslim Americans who faced what they deemed unreasonable and illegal surveillance in the wake of 9/11. Broader questions about the interpretation of FISA remain for another day. (From SCOTUSblog.com)
Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization
It is almost impossible to overstate the impact of Roe v. Wade on American public life. The Supreme Court decision on Jan. 22, 1973, upheld abortion rights and prohibited states from banning abortions before fetal viability (roughly 23 weeks).
The ruling, along with Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania v. Casey in 1992, transformed American politics. The ongoing debate about these rulings’ legacies is set to be decided — at least for the foreseeable future — in the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization case.
At issue is a challenge to an abortion law enacted by Mississippi in 2018. The law bans most abortions after 15 weeks and is opposed by abortion rights advocates as a violation of the precedent set by Roe v. Wade.
To say the least, the debate around Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization has been heated. As if the case were not already dramatic enough, an unprecedented leak of a draft opinion by conservative Justice Samuel Alito signaled SCOTUS is likely to overturn Roe v. Wade. Draft opinions can change, but many are assuming that the leak will soon become the law of the land.
Numerous states already have laws that limit access to abortions, prohibit the procedure outright or otherwise curtail what supporters regard as the constitutional protections enshrined in the landmark 1973 SCOTUS decision.
If Roe v. Wade is indeed rolled back, 22 states will immediately make abortion illegal through so-called trigger laws. More could quickly follow with additional restrictions.
The leaked opinion, and the subsequent reaction to it, signals that the ruling will become a vicious political tussle in the upcoming midterm elections.
- Read “Supreme Court has voted to overturn abortion rights, draft opinion shows,” from Politico on May 2, 2022.
- Read “Report suggests Supreme Court will overturn Roe v. Wade,” from Deseret News on May 3, 2022.
- Read “Roe v Wade: US Supreme Court leak suggests abortion law repeal,” from BBC News on May 3, 2022.
- Read “Leaked Supreme Court Draft Would Overturn Roe v. Wade,” from The New York Times on May 3, 2022.
- Read “Harvard Law professor says leaked SCOTUS draft opinion on Roe v. Wade looks legitimate, but opinions can change,” from The Boston Globe on May 3, 2022.
- Read “Report: A leaked draft opinion suggests the Supreme Court will overturn Roe v. Wade,” from The Associated Press on May 3, 2022.
- Read “Opposition to abortion doesn’t stop some Americans from supporting friends and family who seek one,” from The Conversation on April 22, 2022.
- Listen “Prepping For A Post-Roe America,” from The Diane Rehm Show on April 15, 2022.
- Read “Access to pregnancy options in Wisconsin: Big opportunities, big challenges,” from the Wisconsin Examiner on April 15, 2022.
- Read “As Supreme Court weighs abortion, Christians challenge what it means to be ‘pro-life’” from the Los Angeles Times on April 14, 2022.
- Watch “Florida’s 15-week ban on most abortions could face legal challenges,” from WTSP Tampa Bay on April 14, 2022.
- Read “It’s now practically impossible to get an abortion in Kentucky,” from Vox on April 14, 2022.
- Read “California improves abortion access as Republican-controlled states rollback,” from the Daily Sundial on April 14, 2022.
- Read “The future of abortion access is concerning, even in Maine,” from the Bangor Daily News on April 14, 2022 (Opinion).
- Read “Yelp, Citi, Apple and more are expanding employee benefits to cover abortion care,” from CNBC on April 13, 2022.
- Read “The current and future state of abortion access in North Carolina,” from NC Policy Watch on April 13, 2022.
- Read “Where will abortion still be legal after Roe v. Wade is overruled?” from Vox on April 12, 2022.
- Read “Co-lead counsel in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization shares legal insights on the fight for abortion access,” from The Emory Wheel on April 8, 2022.
- Read “Red and blue states chart opposite courses as Dobbs v. Jackson looms,” from the Washington Examiner on April 7, 2022.
- Read “Escaping an Abortion Desert Isn’t as Simple as Crossing State Lines,” from Bloomberg on April 6, 2022.
- Read “A covert network of activists is preparing for the end of Roe,” from The Atlantic on April 4, 2022.
- Read “Catholic moral tradition more nuanced than anti-abortion slogans or extreme bills,” from the National Catholic Reporter on March 31, 2022 (Opinion/Analysis).
- Read “The Satanic Temple’s Lawsuit Against Texas Abortion Restrictions Stayed Pending Supreme Court Ruling on Dobbs v Jackson Women’s Health Organization,” from Yahoo! Finance on Jan. 24, 2022.
- Read “The Faith-Based Case for Saving Abortion Rights,” from Slate on Dec. 10, 2021 (Interview and Commentary).
- Read “Religious abortion rights supporters fight for access,” from Religion News Service on Nov. 29, 2021.
Potential sources and experts:
Tricia C. Bruce is a sociologist with the University of Notre Dame’s Center for the Study of Religion and Society and University of Texas at San Antonio’s department of sociology. She is the author of several award-winning books on religion and society (Faithful Revolution; Parish and Place; American Parishes; Polarization in the US Catholic Church); her forthcoming book examines ordinary Americans’ abortion attitudes.
Charlie Camosy is an associate professor of theology at Fordham University. He writes regularly on abortion rights, medically assisted suicide and other political issues, including paid family leave.
Catherine Glenn Foster is president and CEO of Americans United for Life, which uses legal action and legislative advocacy to oppose abortion rights and medically assisted suicide. She is an attorney and previously worked for the Alliance Defending Freedom, a high-profile law firm that specializes in religious freedom cases.
Latishia James-Portis is a ministry and spirituality coach, program director for Move to End Violence and a member of the Planned Parenthood Clergy Advocacy Board. Contact through Move to End Violence.
Jes Kast is a minister in the United Church of Christ, a relatively small, progressive denomination with a little less than 1 million members. Kast serves on the clergy-advocacy board of Planned Parenthood.
Rabbi Danya Ruttenberg is scholar-in-residence at the National Council of Jewish Women. She is also an award-winning author and writer and was named by Newsweek and The Daily Beast as one of 10 “rabbis to watch.”
Karma Lekshe Tsomo is a professor of Buddhist studies in the department of theology and religious studies at the University of San Diego. Her research interests include women in Buddhism, death and dying, Buddhist feminist ethics, Buddhism and bioethics, religion and politics, and Buddhist transnationalism.
The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops is an organization that works “to unify, coordinate, encourage, promote and carry on Catholic activities in the United States.”
Carson v. Makin
Though many are focused on the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization case, it is probably Carson V. Makin that is “the most significant religious freedom case of the term,” said Amanda Tyler of the Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty in an interview with the Center for American Progress.
Maine law entitles every child to a free, public education. However, half of Maine’s school districts do not run their own high schools. Therefore, Maine’s State Legislature created a tuition assistance program to pay for students to attend public or private schools inside or outside of the state. The catch is that the tuition-assistance program only allows the funds to be used at “nonsectarian” schools. Certain private schools were labeled as sectarian and not approved to receive funding. The state views this practice as “religiously neutral.”
Three sets of parents filed a complaint in 2018 at the U.S. District Court level, alleging that the program requirement infringed on their First Amendment rights, including the free exercise of religion. Interestingly enough, the parents cited Cardigan Mountain School, a private boys’ school in New Hampshire attended by the son of Chief Justice John Roberts, as an example of a “nominally religious” school that was approved to participate in the program. The case was argued before the Supreme Court on Dec. 8, 2021.
On face value, at issue is whether Maine violated the Religion Clauses or the Equal Protection Clauses in prohibiting students and their families from using available student-aid to attend schools that provide religious — or “sectarian” — instruction. In other words, does a state violate the Constitution when it operates a program that provides students with money to attend private schools, but bars them from attending schools that provide religious instruction?
The BJC’s Tyler said, “the court seems poised to say that the Free Exercise Clause requires Maine to use its public education dollars to fund religious schools.
“What will be telling, of course, is how narrowly written the opinion is—whether it applies to the peculiar facts of the Maine public school system or whether the court is paving the way for much more government funding of religious schools and, therefore, religion,” she said.
Thus, on a deeper level, SCOTUS is revisiting a question left unresolved from a previous case (Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue in 2020): whether public education funding can be more broadly used for religious education.
- Read “The Supreme Court Can End a Century of Anti-Religion Discrimination,” from Newsweek on April 6, 2022 (Opinion).
- Read “Chemerinsky: Supreme Court reflects nation’s deep divide over Constitution and religion,” from ABA Journal on April 4, 2022 (Analysis).
- Read “Religious Schools Anticipate Landmark U.S. Supreme Court Ruling” from New York Law Journal on March 4, 2022 (Analysis).
- Read “Supreme Court examines whether religious schools in Maine should get state funding,” from the Los Angeles Times/High School Insider on Feb. 12, 2022.
- Read “Separation of church and state? Let’s get real — that’s over. So what do we do now?” from Salon.com on Feb. 12, 2022 (Opinion).
- Read “The Supreme Court is leading a Christian conservative revolution,” from Vox on Jan. 30, 2022 (Opinion).
- Read “The Supreme Court Is Poised to Make Critical Decisions in School ‘Culture War’” from Truthout on Jan. 13, 2022 (Opinion).
- Read “The Supreme Court Could Let Religious Schools Take Taxpayer Money. LGBTQ Alumni Say That’s a Mistake,” from Time magazine on Jan. 4, 2022.
- Read “Religious Freedom Gets Its Day in Court,” from the National Catholic Register on Dec. 30, 2021.
- Read “Public funding of religious schools is coming. The first lesson is compromise,” from Religion News Service on Dec. 14, 2021 (Opinion).
- Listen “Student Aid, Religious Education, and the First Amendment,” from the “We the People” podcast on Dec. 9, 2021.
- Read “SCOTUS hears arguments in Maine tuition assistance program case,” from News Center Maine on Dec. 8, 2021.
- Watch “Supreme Court Carson v. Makin arguments: Justices offer support for religious rights in Maine education case,” from Fox News on Dec. 8, 2021.
- Read “Carson V. Makin Explained: What’s At Stake For Religious Schools, LGBTQ Kids,” from Religion Unplugged on Dec. 7, 2021 (Analysis).
- Read “The Supreme Court’s New Religious Liberty Case Could Destroy Public Education,” from Slate on Dec. 7, 2021.
- Read “Supreme Court preview: Carson v. Makin,” from Harvard Law Today on Nov. 29. 2021.
- Read “Money, schools and religion: A controversial combo returns to the Supreme Court,” from The Conversation on Nov. 29, 2021.
- Read “Carson v. Makin: Another key First Amendment case — with the potential to affect churches, church schools — is on the horizon,” from Church Executive on Oct. 18, 2021 (Opinion).
- Read “US Supreme Court to take up religious school dispute next term,” from Al-Jazeera on July 2, 2021.
- Read “The Supreme Court Has Unfinished School-Choice Business,” from The Wall Street Journal on March 17, 2021 (Opinion).
Potential sources and experts:
Montse Alvarado is the vice president and executive director of the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, which has represented a wide variety of religious ministers, schools, prisoners and hospitals before the Supreme Court. Arrange an interview through Ryan Colby.
The Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty is an umbrella organization of 15 Baptist bodies that work to promote religious liberty. They advise member denominations on religious liberties issues. It is based in Washington, D.C. Its executive director is Amanda Tyler, with J. Brent Walker serving as a consultant to the organization.
Michael Bindas is a senior attorney with the Institute for Justice, which is representing the parents suing to reinstate Montana’s tax credit program. He specializes in cases related to educational choice and freedom of speech.
Caroline Mala Corbin is a law professor at the University of Miami who specializes in First Amendment issues, including free speech and religious freedom. She regularly joins amicus briefs on religious issues that are filed with the Supreme Court.
Shirley Hoogstra is president of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities. She has argued that expanding nondiscrimination protections for the LGBTQ community without expanding religious freedom protections would threaten the future of religious schools.
Alice O’Brien serves as general counsel for the National Education Association, which filed a brief opposing tax credit programs that benefit private schools in Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue.
Donna Orem is president of the National Association of Independent Schools. The association includes more than 1,600 independent private K-12 schools in the U.S.
Christopher C. Taub is Maine’s chief deputy attorney general. He has litigated numerous cases in state and federal court in matters involving federal civil rights laws, employment discrimination, federal environmental laws, the Maine Tort Claims Act, the First Amendment, federal preemption, the Freedom of Access Act, breach of contract, the Americans With Disabilities Act and Medicaid law. Taub represented the respondent, A. Pender Makin, in Carson v. Makin.
Shurtleff v. Boston
There are three flagpoles in front of Boston’s brutalist City Hall.
One bears the Stars and Stripes, another Massachusetts’ state flag. Over the last several years, Boston city officials have allowed some 284 private groups to fly their flag on the third pole — for Veterans Day, Pride Month or various cultural events and communities.
In July 2017, Harold Shurtleff filed a request with the city of Boston to fly a “Christian flag,” one designed with a white banner bearing a red Latin cross and adopted by many traditions as a symbol of U.S. Protestant Christian faith.
Shurtleff is the founder and director of Camp Constitution, whose stated mission “is to enhance understanding of the country’s Judeo-Christian heritage, the American heritage of courage and ingenuity, the genius of the United States Constitution, and free enterprise.”
The city denied Shurtleff’s application, the first denial in over hundreds of applications. The city said its policies forbid promotion of religion on its flagpoles and that doing so would violate separation of church and state.
Shurtleff sued, the city prevailed in the district court and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit. The case ran all the way up the appeals flagpole to the U.S. Supreme Court and was argued on Jan. 18, 2022.
On Monday, SCOTUS ruled unanimously that flying the “Christian flag” should not be considered government speech since the flag belonged to a private organization. Thus, Boston’s city government was held to have violated Shurtleff’s free speech rights when it denied his request to fly the “Christian flag.” Boston must now permit Camp Constitution to fly its flag outside City Hall.
Experts are now parsing out how the decision could set precedent for religious expression on government properties across the U.S.
- Read “Supreme Court rules against Boston in Christian Flag case,” from Politico on May 2, 2022
- Read “The Supreme Court hands the Christian right a victory it actually deserved to win,” from Vox on May 2, 2022
- Read “SCOTUS unanimously rules Boston violated group’s rights by refusing to fly Christian flag,” from Fox News on May 2, 2022.
- Read “Shurtleff v. Boston: America’s Struggle With Secularism,” from Brown Political Review on May 1, 2022.
- Read “Bristol looks to potentially adopt a flag policy set by Berlin,” from The Bristol Press on March 21, 2022.
- Read “How the Supreme Court could rule on key free speech questions,” from The Salina Post on March 12, 2022 (Analysis).
- Read “Can a Christian flag fly at City Hall? The Supreme Court will have to decide,” from The Conversation on Jan. 18, 2022.
- Watch “Supreme Court takes up dispute over Boston flagpole and Christian flag,” from ABC News on Jan. 18, 2022.
- Read “Supreme Court seems to think Boston erred by denying Christian group that wanted to fly flag at city hall,” from The Washington Post on Jan. 18, 2022.
- Read “Supreme Court Justices Grapple with Complex First Amendment Case Over Christian Flag Flown at Boston City Hall,” from Law and Crime on January 18, 2022.
- Read “Boston was right to refuse to fly Christian flag,” from The Boston Globe on Jan. 15, 2022 (Opinion).
- Read “Supreme Court preview: Shurtleff v. Boston,” from Harvard Law Today on Jan. 7, 2022.
- Read “A Public Flagpole, a Christian Flag and the First Amendment,” from The New York Times on Nov. 29, 2021.
- Read “Religious Liberty Initiative files amicus brief in Supreme Court case Shurtleff v. Boston,” from University of Notre Dame Law School on Nov. 24, 2021.
- Read “Supreme Court to hear case over Boston’s refusal to fly Christian flag,” from Politico on Sept. 30, 2021.
Potential sources and experts:
Steven K. Green is a law professor at Willamette University in Salem, Oregon. He has written law review articles about the church-state issues that voucher programs raise and has filed amicus briefs in both the Florida and Cleveland school voucher cases.
Douglas Hallward-Driemeier leads law firm Ropes & Gray’s appellate and Supreme Court practice. He has presented nearly 100 appellate arguments, including 18 times before the U.S. Supreme Court and before every federal circuit court of appeals. He advocated for the respondents in Shurtleff v. Boston.
Farrah Raza is a lecturer in public law at Pembroke College, University of Oxford. Her research includes law and religion, public law, human rights and discrimination law.
The Religious Liberty Initiative at the University of Notre Dame School of Law promotes religious freedom for people of all faiths through scholarship, events and the Law School’s Religious Liberty Clinic.
Mark Satta is a professor of philosophy at Wayne State University. He focuses on epistemology, philosophy of language and philosophy of law.
Mathew D. Staver is an American lawyer and former Seventh-day Adventist pastor. Formerly, he was dean of Liberty University’s Law School. He founded Liberty Counsel in 1989 and serves as chairman. He advocated for Harold Shurtleff in Shurtleff v. Boston.
Kennedy v. Bremerton School District
Joseph Kennedy is a high school football coach. Kennedy is also a Christian.
Pulling from both playbooks, he made it a habit to pray at the 50-yard line at the conclusion of team games.
Bremerton School District, where Kennedy was employed, told the coach this violated school policy. They required him to cease his midfield prayers to not violate the Constitution’s establishment clause.
Kennedy made it clear he would not comply, and when the suburban Seattle district tried to negotiate, Kennedy took a stand — or, rather, a knee — praying on the field after two additional games. He was then placed on administrative leave. In turn, he sued the school on the basis of free speech.
The case made its way through the appeals system and the U.S. Supreme Court decided to tackle the case and offer a ruling on religious expression in public schools. Oral arguments were delivered on April 25, 2022. During the proceedings, Justice Stephen Breyer remarked that while there have been numerous rulings on prayer in schools before, this case “seems like a line-drawing problem.”
Justices are now considering where to draw that line or whether to move the goal posts yet again on prayer in public schools. At issue is whether a public-school employee who prays at school and is visible to students is engaged in government speech that lacks First Amendment protection, regardless of how long, short, private, loud or quiet that prayer is. Also to be considered is whether, assuming that such private action is protected by the free speech and free exercise clauses, the establishment clause nevertheless compels public schools to prohibit religious expressions.
The court is expected to rule in Kennedy v. Bremerton School District early this summer.
- Read “The Court and the Culture Wars,” from The New York Times on May 2, 2022.
Read “Op-Ed: Jesus said to pray in a ‘closet,’ not on the 50-yard line,” from the Los Angeles Times on April 27, 2022.
- Read “LA Times op-ed slams coach fired for on-field prayers, claims ‘separation of church and state,’” from Fox News on April 27, 2022.
- Read “What Did the Justices Say About Football Prayer? The Oral Argument in Kennedy v. Bremerton School District,“ from Verdict on April 26, 2022 (Analysis).
- Read “US Supreme Court: Should this coach have been punished for praying?” from BBC News on April 26, 2022.
- Read “What Christians singing on an airplane and a coach praying on the 50-yard line have in common,” from Baptist News Global on April 26, 2022 (Opinion).
- Listen “The Supreme Court ponders the right to pray on the 50-yard line,” from NPR on April 25, 2022.
- Read “Supreme Court leans toward Bremerton coach in case on school prayer,” from the Seattle Times on April 25, 2022.
- Watch “Supreme Court likely to rule for high school coach forced out for praying on the field,” from NBC News on April 25, 2022.
- Read “Fox’s Kennedy suggests getting rid of public schools amid school prayer fight,” from The Hill on April 25, 2022.
- Listen to “Supreme Court hears arguments on case over high school coach’s on-field prayers,” from PBS News on April 25, 2022.
- Read “SCOTUS Tackles Arguments over Prayer at the 50-Yard Line,” from Christianity Today on April 25, 2022.
- Read “Prayer By A High School Coach At The 50 Yard Line … The Supreme Court Hears The Case,” from Stateline Sports Network on April 25, 2022.
- Read “The Supreme Court’s evolution on the separation of church and state,” from CNN on April 25, 2022 (Analysis).
- Read “Supreme Court conservatives appear sympathetic to former high school coach who led prayers after games,” from CNN on April 25, 2022.
- Read “A praying football coach makes his case,” from Deseret News on April 20, 2022.
- Read “U.S. Supreme Court taking on case of high school football coach fighting for right to pray on 50-yard line,” from Newsweek on April 14, 2o22.
- Read “How the Right Is Bringing Christian Prayer Back Into Public Schools,” from Slate on April 14, 2022 (Opinion).
- Read “The Supreme Court’s ‘praying coach’ case, explained,” from Vox on April 12, 2022.
- Listen “School Prayer at High Court, Next on Judges for Biden,” from Bloomberg Law on April 8, 2022.
- Read “Can a public high school coach pray publicly on the job?” from Religion News Service on April 6, 2022 (Opinion).
- Read “Supreme Court to decide whether a public school football coach can pray on the field,” from The Edwardsville Intelligencer on April 1, 2022.
Potential sources and experts:
Katherine M. Franke is a law professor at Columbia University, where she also serves as faculty director of the Law, Rights and Religion Project.
Richard B. Katskee is legal director at Americans United for Separation of Church and State and is the attorney representing the suburban Seattle school district in Kennedy v. Bremerton.
Rachel Laser is the president and CEO of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, an advocacy organization that seeks to reduce entanglement between the government and faith groups. She previously served as deputy director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, where she worked on social justice issues, including gun control, abortion rights and reproductive rights. Arrange an interview through Liz Hayes.
Ian Millhiser is a senior correspondent at Vox, where he focuses on the Supreme Court, the Constitution, and the decline of liberal democracy in the United States.
Kelly J. Shackelford is president and CEO of First Liberty Institute.
Nomi M. Stolzenberg holds the Nathan and Lilly Shapell Chair in Law at the USC Gould School of Law. Her research spans a range of interdisciplinary interests, including law and religion, cultural pluralism, law and liberalism, and law and literature. She helped establish the USC Center for Law, History and Culture.
Related ReligionLink source guides
- Seven religion stories to cover (and 21 experts to turn to) in 2022
- What’s next? Experts on LGBTQ rights vs. religious protections after Supreme Court foster-care ruling
- Changes on the Supreme Court
- 25 experts on the establishment clause — and why you need them
- Forty years of Roe v. Wade: Covering the ongoing debate over abortion
- The Supreme Court — a new session and a new justice