As we await word of President Obama’s nominee to succeed Justice Antonin Scalia on the U.S. Supreme Court, we are seeing the first troubling signs of how the court may reshape the future of religious liberties. For the Orthodox Jewish community, and other American faith communities, no issue handled by the court is more important.
Last week, the court declined to take a religious liberty case. While it isn’t unusual for the court to decline cases — it turns down far more than it accepts — what was unusual was the lengthy dissent penned by Justice Samuel Alito. Written dissents over court decisions not to take a case are indeed uncommon.
Also rare was the case itself, in which a Jewish inmate in a North Carolina prison had been denied the right to engage in Jewish religious study based initially on a prison warden’s interpretation of Jewish law.
Continue reading at the Washington Times.