Few Red Flags Found in Sotomayor's Religion-Related Cases
May 29, 2009
0 Comments »
From Christianity Today:
As churches and religious groups eye President Obama's Supreme Court pick, U.S. Circuit Judge Sonia Sotomayor, they will likely take keen interest in her religious freedom cases. During her career, Sotomayor has written several decisions that involve religious freedom and church and state conflicts; these appear to support the position of many churches, or, at the very least, raise few red flags.
Sotomayor's position on the First Amendment is perhaps clearest in her lone dissent in Hankins v. Lyght (2006). In this case, John Paul Hankins, a United Methodist minister, was forced to retire because he was 70 years old. He sued, arguing that this was a violation of federal law barring age discrimination in employment. The court ruled that the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) gave religious groups an exemption from such laws. In her dissent, Sotomayor made arguments that provide a window into her interpretation of the First Amendment.