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Mon Apr 6, 2020, 01:02 PM

Supreme Court won't review ruling that Metro can ban religious advertising

Source: Washington Post

Courts & Law

Supreme Court won't review ruling that Metro can ban religious advertising

By Robert Barnes
April 6, 2020 at 10:00 a.m. EDT

The Supreme Court will not take up a lower court's decision that Washington's Metro system did not violate the First Amendment by banning religious advertising.

The court on Monday passed on reviewing a decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit that upheld the ban on religious messages on buses and trains and in stations as lawful and free from discrimination.

Two justices said the lower-court decision was wrong. But because Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh was recused after earlier work on the case, "it makes a poor candidate for our review," wrote Justice Neil M. Gorsuch, who was joined by Justice Clarence Thomas.

Nonetheless, he wrote, "The First Amendment requires governments to protect religious viewpoints, not single them out for silencing."

The WMATA system was sued by the Archdiocese of Washington for rejecting a proposed advertisement around Christmas 2017. The planned "Find the Perfect Gift" ads featured a biblical Christmas scene and a link to a website that encouraged people to attend Mass or donate to a Catholic charitable group.

{snip}

The case is Archdiocese of Washington v. WMATA. https://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/19pdf/18-1455_9h68.pdf

Ann E. Marimow contributed to this story.

Robert Barnes has been a Washington Post reporter and editor since 1987. He joined The Post to cover Maryland politics, and he has served in various editing positions, including metropolitan editor and national political editor. He has covered the Supreme Court since November 2006. Follow https://twitter.com/scotusreporter

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You'd think that in DC, of all places, anything would go. I'm pretty sure I could handle religious advertising, and I think my fellow passengers -- back when I had fellow passengers -- could handle this too.

Hat tip, Joe.My.God:

SCOTUS: No Religious Ads On DC's Metro System
April 6, 2020

https://www.joemygod.com/2020/04/scotus-no-religious-ads-on-dcs-metro-system/

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Supreme Court won't review ruling that Metro can ban religious advertising


24 replies, 1678 views

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Arrow 24 replies Author Time Post
Reply Supreme Court won't review ruling that Metro can ban religious advertising (Original post)
mahatmakanejeeves Apr 6 OP
oldsoftie Apr 6 #1
mahatmakanejeeves Apr 6 #2
oldsoftie Apr 6 #14
bucolic_frolic Apr 6 #3
DallasNE Apr 6 #19
Traildogbob Apr 6 #4
marble falls Apr 6 #5
JustABozoOnThisBus Apr 6 #6
marble falls Apr 6 #7
JustABozoOnThisBus Apr 6 #8
FBaggins Apr 6 #9
DallasNE Apr 6 #10
mahatmakanejeeves Apr 6 #13
DallasNE Apr 6 #18
oldsoftie Apr 6 #15
DallasNE Apr 6 #17
oldsoftie Apr 7 #20
mahatmakanejeeves Apr 7 #21
oldsoftie Apr 7 #23
mahatmakanejeeves Apr 8 #24
rpannier Apr 6 #16
mahatmakanejeeves Apr 7 #22
cstanleytech Apr 6 #11
mahatmakanejeeves Apr 6 #12

Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Mon Apr 6, 2020, 01:09 PM

1. I can see this. Because if you allow one, you must allow ALL.

And you can claim yourself as a "religion" with very little oversight. Scientologists call themselves a religion.

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Response to oldsoftie (Reply #1)

Mon Apr 6, 2020, 01:13 PM

2. So? NT

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Reply #2)

Mon Apr 6, 2020, 03:51 PM

14. So, I dont want to see some half-assed fake religion/cult advertising for more victims.

Might as well take ads for new porn actresses.

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Mon Apr 6, 2020, 01:18 PM

3. The Fake Justice was recused so it would have been a 4-4 tie

That's what they're saying. Sad to see the complete acceptance of pre-ordained outcomes based on political affiliation, but open minds are in the minority in most cases.

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Response to bucolic_frolic (Reply #3)

Mon Apr 6, 2020, 10:34 PM

19. Yes On 4-4 Tie

But it is wrong to say both sides consistently base things on political affiliation. On Roe v Wade, yes. But on a broad range of issues only one side is guilty. By your reasoning the 4 Democratic appointed Justices voted no on Citizens United based on political affiliation. I disagree strongly.

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Mon Apr 6, 2020, 01:20 PM

4. Go for it

Rastas and snake handlers. Advertise weed and snakes and Jim Jones flavored kool aid. Trumpism is a cult religion. And what about Muslims, would that particular one be singled out. Louisiana Baptist May all be dead.

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Mon Apr 6, 2020, 01:50 PM

5. Try advertising penis extenders on PTL Club.

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Response to marble falls (Reply #5)

Mon Apr 6, 2020, 01:57 PM

6. If they're advertised as a cure for "the gay", praise dog. nt

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Response to JustABozoOnThisBus (Reply #6)

Mon Apr 6, 2020, 02:00 PM

7. Maybe we need to advertise brain enhancers, first?

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Response to marble falls (Reply #7)

Mon Apr 6, 2020, 02:03 PM

8. If they got one of those, sign me up.

Oh hell, sign me up for both.

Throw in a coronavirus vaccine, might as well get three meds.

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Response to marble falls (Reply #5)

Mon Apr 6, 2020, 02:24 PM

9. Neither is a government body

Nor providers of a public forum.

But the point is still funny.

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Mon Apr 6, 2020, 02:36 PM

10. The Metro Is A Government Entity

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

Gorsuch needs to read the entire First Amendment. Prior court decisions have ruled that this type of advertisement on government premises constitutes an establishment of religion and is therefore not permitted. This case breaks no new ground. Also, both Gorsuch and Thomas are Catholic so they have that as a conflict as well.

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Response to DallasNE (Reply #10)

Mon Apr 6, 2020, 03:03 PM

13. "Gorsuch needs to read the entire First Amendment."

I'm going to take a wild guess here and suspect that he has.

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Reply #13)

Mon Apr 6, 2020, 10:27 PM

18. Then His Comprehension Stinks n/t

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Response to DallasNE (Reply #10)

Mon Apr 6, 2020, 03:54 PM

15. Why is Catholic a "conflict" compared to being Jewish or Methodist?

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Response to oldsoftie (Reply #15)

Mon Apr 6, 2020, 10:11 PM

17. Thomas & Gorsuch Are Unique On The Court

Clarence Thomas and justice Neil Gorsuch are an advocate of natural law jurisprudence. The Archdiocese of DC brought suit. To me that is a clear conflict - Indeed, I don't see how they can sit on the Court and not believe in the political rule of law. It seems to me that the First Amendment would make natural law jurisprudence a clear violation of the Establishment Clause. Justice Sotomayor does not have this conflict.

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Response to DallasNE (Reply #17)

Tue Apr 7, 2020, 05:27 AM

20. We do have the "We hold these truths to be self evident....." in the Constitution.

That specifically mentions rights granted by a creator.
People were afraid of what JFK would do if elected because he was a catholic too. I may not agree with these two on some of their decisions, but I doubt they're basing them solely on their religion

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Response to oldsoftie (Reply #20)

Tue Apr 7, 2020, 07:08 AM

21. No, we don't.

We do have the "We hold these truths to be self evident....." in the Constitution.

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Reply #21)

Tue Apr 7, 2020, 09:31 PM

23. well the Declaration of Independence carries a little weight

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Response to oldsoftie (Reply #23)

Wed Apr 8, 2020, 05:20 AM

24. I cannot argue with that. I've slipped up like that too. I once started a thread in which I

presented the preamble to the Constitution as part of the Declaration of Independence.

Been there; done that.

Best wishes.

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Response to DallasNE (Reply #10)

Mon Apr 6, 2020, 09:16 PM

16. Curious... Since Sotamayor is Catholic does that mean she has a conflict?

Does everyone with a religious belief automatically have a conflict because of their religion?

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Response to rpannier (Reply #16)

Tue Apr 7, 2020, 07:12 AM

22. Google "Vaughn Walker."

Vaughn Walker

{snip}

Hollingsworth v. Perry

On January 11, 2010, Walker began hearing arguments in Perry v. Brown. The case was a federal-constitutional challenge to California Proposition 8, a voter initiative constitutional amendment that eliminated the right of same-sex couples to marry, a right which had previously been granted after the California Supreme Court found that Proposition 22 was unconstitutional. On August 4, 2010, Walker ruled that Proposition 8 was unconstitutional "under both the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses" and prohibited its enforcement.

On April 25, 2011, supporters of Proposition 8 filed a motion in district court to vacate Walker's decision, citing Walker's own post-trial statement that he has been in a long-term relationship with another man. They argued he should have recused himself or disclosed his relationship status, and unless Walker "disavowed any interest in marrying his partner", he had "a direct personal interest in the outcome of the case." District Court Judge James Ware heard arguments on the motion on June 13 and denied it the next day, writing that "the presumption that Judge Walker, by virtue of being in a same-sex relationship, had a desire to be married that rendered him incapable of making an impartial decision, is as warrantless as the presumption that a female judge is incapable of being impartial in a case in which women seek legal relief." Legal experts noted that similar efforts to remove Hispanic judges from immigration cases or female judges from gender-discrimination cases have also failed in the past.

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Mon Apr 6, 2020, 02:52 PM

11. "The First Amendment requires governments to protect religious viewpoints" No, it merely

requires that it not interfere with a person expressing their religion or worshipping how they want though even there are limits to that.
For example if you can't cut out another living human's heart to use it in a ritual sacrifice.
Furthermore it does not require the federal government to carry any slogans for any religion on a government owned bus and in fact I would argue that doing so could and would cause the appearance of the government supporting said religion thus it should not be allowed.

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Mon Apr 6, 2020, 03:02 PM

12. How this started: 2018: Metro can ban all religious ads on buses and trains, court rules

In one of those "only in DC" twists, both sides had former solicitors general of the United States as counsel. Paul Clement, counsel for the Archdiocese of Washington, is a Nirvana fan.

Public Safety

Metro can ban all religious ads on buses and trains, court rules



The ad that prompted the legal challenge from the Archdiocese of Washington. (Archdiocese of Washington)

By Ann E. Marimow
July 31, 2018 at 2:50 p.m. EDT

The Washington region’s transit system can bar religious messages on its buses and trains and in its stations, a federal appeals court ruled Tuesday as it upheld Metro’s policy prohibiting issue-oriented advertisements.

The ruling in Metro’s favor from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit came in response to a lawsuit from the Archdiocese of Washington, which said the transit system’s policy had gone too far in rejecting its religious-themed ad campaign.

{snip}

In December, the federal judge rejected the request for a preliminary injunction.

On appeal, lawyers for the archdiocese, including former solicitor general Paul D. Clement, told the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit that the policy violates the First Amendment and the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. The archdiocese also had the support of Attorney General Jeff Sessions. The Justice Department had argued that the policy was applied inconsistently.

Metro’s outside counsel, Donald B. Verrilli Jr., another former solicitor general, told the court that accepting the archdiocese’s ads would force the agency to accept other religious-themed ads that could cause “tension and divisiveness” and interfere with the agency’s ability to run the system.

At oral argument, the archdiocese said Metro’s policy unfairly and unconstitutionally singled out the church by allowing secular advertisers to promote Christmas shopping and charitable giving.

{snip}

Ann Marimow
Ann Marimow covers legal affairs for The Washington Post. She joined The Post in 2005 and has covered state government and politics in California, New Hampshire and Maryland. Follow https://twitter.com/amarimow

You don't believe me, do you? While working at home, I'm also throwing out old papers. I ran across this. Read it and be amazed:

Opinion
DOWNLOAD

Paul Clement
By Kate Murphy
April 7, 2012

Paul Clement is a former United States solicitor general and current partner with the Washington law firm Bancroft P.L.L.C. He recently received widespread praise even from opponents for his nimble oral arguments before the Supreme Court against the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act, a law that if left intact would extend health care coverage to more than 30 million uninsured Americans.

READING Mostly briefs, old Supreme Court cases and the Federalist Papers, so when I get a chance to unwind I grab novels like “True History of the Kelly Gang,” by Peter Carey, which is beautifully written and completely evocative of the early days of Australia. Or I’ll read travel writing, like a bunch of Norman Lewis classics, or humor, like an old P. G. Wodehouse book.

The only legal book I am reading is Chuck Lane’s book on the death penalty. “The Day Freedom Died,” about the Colfax massacre, is one of the best legal books I have read. I am also reading “The Trumpet of the Swan,” by E. B. White, but only out loud and at bedtime to my 9-year-old.

?q

Credit...Carolyn Kaster/Associated Press

LISTENING It is hard to beat Nirvana’s “Complete Sub Pop Singles.” And I’m a big fan of the Kooks. It’s very catchy and a little less loud than Nirvana and a little more family-friendly.

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