The First Amendment Defense Act

Pursuant to the recent Supreme Court decision, Rod Dreher, a senior editor and blogger at The American Conservative, stated: “…when a Supreme Court majority is willing to invent rights out of nothing, it is impossible to have faith that the First Amendment will offer any but the barest protection to religious dissenters from gay rights orthodoxy.” (Time, Orthodox Christians Must Now Learn To Live as Exiles in Our Own Country)

In anticipation of the potential that judicial activists might, once again, choose to legislate from the bench, Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) and Rep. Raul Labrador (R-ID) recently introduced a bill called The First Amendment Defense Act, that would “prevent any agency from denying a federal tax exemption, grant, contract, accreditation, license, or certification to an individual or institution for acting on their religious belief that marriage is a union between one man and one woman.” (Conservative Review, How Conservatives Should Respond To The Court’s Marriage Decision).

Another Case of Judicial Activism

Following a second case of judicial activism in as many days, the Supreme Court’s 5-4 decision to approve same-sex marriage in all 50 states is an affront to religious liberty and has surely set the stage for widespread societal unrest.

Here are selected quotes from three of the four dissenting Justices:

Antonin Scalia:

  1. I write separately to call attention to this Court’s threat to American democracy.
  2. This practice of constitutional revision by an unelected committee of nine, always accompanied (as it is today) by extravagant praise of liberty, robs the People of the most important liberty they asserted in the Declaration of Independence and won in the Revolution of 1776: the freedom to govern themselves.
  3. The five Justices who compose today’s majority are entirely comfortable concluding that every State violated the Constitution for all of the 135 years between the Fourteenth Amendment’s ratification and Massachusetts’ permitting of same-sex marriages in 2003.

Clarence Thomas:

  1. Since well before 1787, liberty has been understood as freedom from government action, not entitlement to government benefits.
  2. Aside from undermining the political processes that protect our liberty, the majority’s decision threatens the religious liberty our Nation has long sought to protect.
  3. In our society, marriage is not simply a governmental institution; it is a religious institution as well.

Samuel Alito:

  1. The Constitution leaves that question to be decided by the people of each State.
  2. For millennia, marriage was inextricably linked to the one thing that only an opposite-sex couple can do: procreate.
  3. If a bare majority of Justices can invent a new right and impose that right on the rest of the country, the only real limit on what future majorities will be able to do is their own sense of what those with political power and cultural influence are willing to tolerate.

Source: the Supreme Court decision of June 26, 2015