Justice Roberts Splits The Baby, by Thomas FitzGerald

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(By Rob Crandall/Shutterstock)

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Thomas FitzGerald writes from Texas. You can follow him on Twitter at @tmacgearailt

The U.S. Supreme Court’s Chief Justice, John Roberts, has taken upon himself the Solomonic role of American philosopher king left vacant at Justice Anthony Kennedy’s retirement. Seemingly committed above all to the institutional legitimacy of the Court, Roberts has in the last few weeks cast a series of votes in the BostockEspinoza, and June Medical Services cases that appear to show him to be trying to placate both sides of America’s culture wars by offering something to each.

By joining the Court’s four liberals in endorsing Justice Neil Gorsuch’s majority opinion in the Bostock v. Clayton County LGBT civil rights case, Roberts has endorsed a strained reading of the 1964 Civil Rights Act’s prohibition on sex discrimination as prohibiting discrimination based upon sexual orientation—a reading that may be “textualist,” but certainly isn’t originalist. This is a victory for LGBT activists comparable to the epochal Obergefell decision on same-sex marriage, and a catastrophe for social conservatives, as described by Helen Andrews in the pages of TAC.

By authoring the conservative majority’s opinion in Espinoza v. Montana, Roberts has handed social conservatives a significant victory, holding that states violate the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment when they withhold from parochial and other religious schools aid that they had made available to non-religious schools.  …

Read more here:  https://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/justice-roberts-splits-the-baby/