WASHINGTON (BP) – Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell said the U.S. Supreme Court not only rightly ruled in the Dobbs decision to change the landscape of abortion but also made two giant leaps for religious liberty during its most recent term.
McConnell, speaking to colleagues in the Senate on Monday, July 11, said the Supreme Court’s term was its greatest in almost 70 years, since Brown overturned Plessy in 1954.
On July 12, McConnell addressed religious liberty victories.
“In the space of one week, the Court took two huge leaps forward for religious liberty,” he said. “Two big steps to restore and strengthen Americans’ First Amendment right to pray and worship how they choose and raise their kids accordingly. Time and again, we’ve seen opponents of religious diversity argue that government ought to discriminate against faith-based undertakings and organizations.
“These efforts have spanned from the anti-Catholic ‘Blaine amendments’ of the 1800s to today’s efforts by the secular left to chase religion out of the public square.”
McConnell said the Court took on the case of Carson v. Makin because Maine had established a school voucher program that tried to uniquely discriminate against faith-based schools.
“In effect, the government was using taxpayer money to nudge families away from faith-based education and toward secular private schools instead.
“The Court rightly struck down that law. Chief Justice Roberts explained that Maine could not exclude accredited and otherwise eligible schools purely because they are religious. That’s not government’s choice to make. It’s up to parents.”
The other religious liberty case involved another “important and commonsense ruling” that involved a high school football coach from Washington State praying on the field.
“Joseph Kennedy, a high school football coach from Washington state, was fired simply because he quickly and quietly offered a simple prayer on the field after games.
“Let me say that again. A man was fired by government bureaucrats for praying. This is America we’re talking about.
“The Court ruled for Coach Kennedy under both the Free Speech and Free Exercise clauses of the First Amendment.
“In the process, Justice Gorsuch and his colleagues cleared away many years of phony, made-up legal tests that made our laws needlessly hostile to religion and turned back to what the Constitution actually says.
“So the Court’s term was an exciting one for Americans of faith who simply want to be allowed to live out their faith and raise their kids.
“But this was a win for the entire country.”