58 Matching Annotations
  1. Jan 2020
    1. And the answer to that is, for example, even though the motivation behind operating this preschool is a religious motivation, doesn't mean that every single activity that occurs there happens to be religious.

      I believe that David suggesting that every single activity happening at the preschool has to be religious , is him suggesting that these kids deserve the playground regardless. I believe that he would have voted with the majority.

    2. There's a constitutional principle. It's as strong as any constitutional principle that there is, that when we have a program of funding -- and here we're funding playground surfaces -- that everybody is entitled to that funding, to -- to that particular funding,

      Elena is showing that she is for the group getting the money for the playground, and she makes this point very clear in stating that it is a constitutional principle, and that everyone is entitled to these principles.

    3. This is a New York City program that provides security -- money for security enhancements at schools where there's fear of shooting or other school violence.

      Through the three rounds of questions asked by Alito I believe he was a part of the majority because he tried to poke holes in Layton's understanding and representation of the Missouri constitution and whether or not they should give Money to places that need the safety/ protection

    4. hat means what your position is, if there is no Establishment violation, there can never be a distinction based on religion.

      I think this entire portion about Establishment between Kennedy and Cortman makes me believe Kennedy was in the majority, he took the focus off of the religious aspects and on to safety and that was quite a distinction from what the justices that had spoke before made

    5. all we're talking about is a -- is a surface, a safer surface on the playground for when -- when kids p

      I think Cortman is in the majority of passing for the church to receive benefits from the recycle program. He states several times that it is for a safe play surface, not necessarily a religious surface.

    6. But -- see, but that's what makes the case a -- just a little bit -- in -- in -- in my last hypothetical about earthquake safety, any problem there with giving the money to a church and spending extra money for the cross in the window? It's all -- it's for public safety.

      I think this statement shows that Kennedy is in favor of Trinity Lutheran because he puts his hypothetical situation under the same umbrella as the current case and says "it's all for public safety". This shows that he is less worried about the religious aspect and more worried about the safety of the children.

    7. t the beginning of the line of questioning that Justice Sotomayor just finished, she began with the suggestion that perhaps this amendment reflects an admirable historical tradition that should be respected. Do you think that that is the proper way to analyze this question?

      Alito seems to be disagreeing with Sotomayor and giving Cortman another chance to look at this question a different way, so I think that he is also in favor of Trinity Lutheran.

    8. Well, discrimination on the basis of status of religion, there's no -- no line-drawing problem there. We know that's happened in this case, right?

      I believe this is pointing to Neil Gorsuch voting yes with the majority. He is making the case a point of discrimination and the fact the church could not receive funding for a playground simply because of their religious beliefs. He's recognizing that the playground is not promoting religion, it's merely an addition for the school, the same as many public schools have.

    9. It's as strong as any constitutional principle that there is, that when we have a program of funding -- and here we're funding playground surfaces -- that everybody is entitled to that funding, to -- to that particular funding, whether or not they exercise a constitutional right; in other words, here, whether or not they are a religious institution doing religious things.

      This points to the fact that Elena Kagen is in favor of the church and will vote with the majority. She is recognizing that the funding is going towards a playground, which funding should be available for whether religious or not. The church is not trying to take money to promote their religion or for their beliefs, it is just for the playground for the children.

    10. And -- and so long as the money is granted based on neutral criteria that are faithfully applied, I don't know how you can draw a distinction between a program that's open to everybody and a selective program

      In one long example, I think Alito showed his support for cert here. He's trying to show Layton the state is not being selective and showing favoritism. Instead, there might be a perception of favoritism. I think Alito is trying to ask Layton to make something of that distinction

    11. Stephen G. Breyer Have they ever said that it prevents the State from, say, having a -- a border guard, you know, crossing guards or fire protection? Or, let's say, health inspections?

      Breyer seems to be building an argument here that churches and religious institutions have always been given basic safety rights like police protection and health inspections. I believe he's affirming and building the argument for it here.

    12. You have to have a position. And -- and it seems to me that if you can't answer the question whether or not you could prohibit tours for religious schools while allowing tours for other schools, I don't understand the basis of your program -- your position

      This points towards Justice Roberts being in favor of the church. My takeaway is that he feels that if the State can't have a position on refusing tours to religious schools then they don't truly have a position in this matter.

    13. Very well. If it does not permit a law that pays money out of the treasury for the health of the children in the church, school, or even going to church, how does it permit Missouri to deny money to the same place for helping children not fall in the playground, cut their knees, get tetanus, break a leg, et cetera? What's the difference?

      This points to Justice Breyer being in favor of the church. He points out that there is no difference in providing money in health context then there is in this case as this new surface could be construed in a health conscious way.

    1. ut the question is, how are we going to interpret the constitutional right? What are we -- so -- so I guess what I'm asking is, do you see value in the other side in having some flexibility here for States to make these sorts of choices?

      I think Elena Kagan is trying to state her belief on the states constitutional rights. That the states should have some flexibility within these rights to have choices.

    2. Let's suppose that the public school sometimes uses its playground for things other than children playing, whatever they're going to have, a -- you know, an auction or anything else.

      I think Justice Roberts is supporting the church receive funding for the recycle playground surface. He states that even though the playground is located on a religious property, this does not mean it will be used for religious activities.

    3. They don't think they should -- David A Cortman They should be able to deny it on that ground. And the reason I say that is, is all we're talking about is a -- is a surface, a safer surface on the playground for when -- when kids play

      I think Cortman is in the majority of passing for the church to receive benefits from the recycle program. He states several times that it is for a safe play surface, not necessarily a religious surface.

    4. Everson also said that we have to be careful in not establishing a church not to deprive religious people or organizations of general government benefits.

      Cortman is trying to explain that there is a necessity in taking steps to protect the equality of not depriving things from religious group of organization based on that reason along.

  2. Sep 2019
    1. Then you have to do it.

      I think what Justice Breyer is arguing here is that health and safety is the responsibility of the public/state, therefore it should be funded on this notion. This leads me to believe that he is another justice who voted in the majority.

    2. As long as you're using the money for playground services, you're not disentitled from that program because you're a religious institution doing religious things. And I would have thought that that's a pretty strong principle in our constitutional law.

      This statement points me to believe that Kagan was one of the justices who voted in favor of the church, as she defends it's right not to be excluded from funding based solely on the fact that they are a religious institution doing religious things.

    3. So what is the definition of a church? So a religiously-affiliated school is not a church under the -- under the Missouri constitution?

      Based on the direction of Justice Alito's questioning in this exchange, he seems to be intentionally leading Mr. Layton down a path of why there seems to be a double-standard between this case and a previous case argued in the Missouri Supreme Court. This leads me to believe that Justice Alito's mind is already made up in which way he is leaning in this case.

    4. Has the -- has the -- the State courts, have they ever said the amendment prevents the State from giving grants or from spending money on police protection for churches

      Based on this line of questioning, Justice Breyer seems to show his opinion of the case that the church should be entitled to the money because of his references to other ways that the state spends its money on other programs that benefit the church, such as police and fire protection, something that people would generally not bat an eye at.

    5. This is a Federal program that provided grants for the repair of buildings near the Federal building in Oklahoma City that were damaged by the bombing there. Would that be permitted?

      I believe that Alito is one of the majority members for this case. He brings up a good point here of possible discrimination against institutions solely based on their religious affiliation. If a bomb (or fire) had damaged a row of both non-religious as well as religious buildings, would it be unfair if the religious buildings were denied money to help repair their structure?

    6. it's separate from the religious instruction that might be carried out over those computers.

      I think Kagan is included in the majority vote. While she isn't necessarily taking sides here, I think she is comparing this to a previous case where a religious institution was able to receive funds because they were able to show the separation between education and their religious intent.

    7. Very well. If it does not permit a law that pays money out of the treasury for the health of the children in the church, school, or even going to church, how does it permit Missouri to deny money to the same place for helping children not fall in the playground, cut their knees, get tetanus, break a leg, et cetera? What's the difference?

      I believe the this statement identifies Justice Breyer as part of the majority, in support of the church. If we are unable to say that we can withhold funds for fire protection and public health protection, how can we deny money to the same place for the playground? A place where a child could potentially injure themselves or a fire could break out.

    8. So one of them is a Federal nonprofit security grant program providing grants through the Department of Homeland Security to harden -- harden nonprofit organization facilities that are deemed to be at high risk for terrorist attacks.

      I believe this statement by Justice Alito identifies him as part of the majority for he inquires about certain federal grants that are in-place to provide security to organizations deemed high risk of terrorism attacks, asking if the state of Missouri would permit these grants to a Synagogue. The nature of his question I believe supports the church because it is showing federal grants that are currently being used to fund places of worship within the United States.

    9. I think this answer by Cortman may have swayed Roberts. Im putting Roberts on the side of the majority as a result of this exchange.

    10. It would depend on the nature of the two.

      I believe that Justice Layton is also apart of the majority. Due to him saying that it "depends on the nature of the two". He is saying that depending on what the private school is asking, one may be eligible to funding and another may not.

    11. Kennedy is showing support for the church, it seems his overwhelming concern is for safety and doesnt believe the church should be excluded because of previous decisions as is RBG.

    12. Let's suppose that the public school sometimes uses its playground for things other than children playing, whatever they're going to have, a -- you know, an auction or anything else. Isn't it the consequence of your argument that the church can use the playground for more religious activities if the public school can use the playground for other non-playground activities?

      I believe Roberts is part of the majority. He is claiming that if a public school can use their playground for something other than what it is intended, why can't a private school also do that?

    13. And why shouldn't this be one of those cases?

      I think that Judge Kagan is trying to get all the other judges to understand where Mr. Cortman is coming from. It also seems like she is allowing more time for Mr. Cortman to get himself together and get himself back on track.

    14. But still the question is whether some people can be disentitled from applying to that program and from receiving that money if they are qualified based on other completely nonreligious attributes, and they're disqualified solely because they are a religious institution doing religious things.

      This is pointing towards the fact that it isn't fair to basically deny somebody because of their religious beliefs and this goes the same towards an religious institution.

    15. So it's -- it's not -- now your line is the benefit, if the benefit is physical, that's okay; but if it's not, it's not?

      I think here Justice Roberts raises a good point about the almost arbitrary distinction between funding that effects the physical realm and funding that does not

    16. One would be eligible, one would not be eligible?

      Justice Alito is trying to force the State to answer the question about why it's so different to give to churches for this particular reason when religiously affiliated schools can receive public funds which supports the Lutheran Church's argument.

    17. -- not under -- not under Locke, right? Locke drew a distinction between assistance for devotional, theological education and scholarship and others.

      Chief Justice Roberts, as well as other Justices who are leaning toward the majority, have pointed out several times that the playground and the church building itself are different entities, Therefore, there is no violation because so long as the money is used for repairing the playground and not repairing the church itself, the state is not using religion with state funds. By pointing out the distinction Locke drew, Chief Justice Roberts further supports his view.

    18. Justice Anthony Kennedy is hinting in favor of Trinity Lutheran here, again safety is his concern. He is pointing out that religion could be practiced anywhere, and just because its practiced doesn't mean that the government shouldn't contribute to the safety of the building or in this case the playground.

    19. I believe that this justice is hinting in favor of Trinity Lutheran by pointing out that both public school playgrounds and non-public school playgrounds are able to use the playground for practices other than school and other than practicing religion. I feel that he's concerned with safety at any playground.

    20. We don't want -- we don't -- we don't want to because they're a church. That's why not. Same with fire protection. Same with vaccination programs. Same with public health. Same with helping children who get sick at school. Okay? You know, the hypotheticals are obvious.

      I feel like Justice Breyer voted in the majority for the church. This statement seems like he is very defensive about the state not providing what I assume he thinks are proper funds.

    21. So suppose you -- we have the -- a school that's run by the Trinity Lutheran Church of Columbia. And then next to it we have a -- a Jesuit elementary and secondary school. One would be eligible, one would not be eligible?

      Here, Justice Alto Jr. is supporting the Lutheran Church because he is trying to point out the hypocrisy of providing for some religiously affiliated schools but not others.

    22. Here, the justice strengthens the argument for the church by giving an example where the computers would be used for more than just religious instruction.

    23. States have their own very longstanding law.

      I have a feeling that the only reason they have to have this court case is because of just a law that has been going on for decades, but not something that she actually believes in.

    24. Okay. Last one. This is a New York City program that provides security -- money for security enhancements at schools where there's fear of shooting or other school violence.

      I think here Alito is attempting to show how this law is unjust in some ways. On a moral view, if children are at risk of getting hurt and the state does nothing to help, the state is in the wrong morally, but not wrong legally. I believe this possibly shows Alito leaning towards the majority.

    25. It's an issue on which I -- I guess I'm going to say nobody is completely sure that they have it right. And -- and so I guess there's something attractive about having some play in the joints where States can go their own way and make their own choices. And why shouldn't this be one of those cases?

      I think this section highlights where Elena Kagan is trying to clarify the churches point a little. It almost seems like a set up questions so that Mr. Cortman can explain himself a little more. I think this shows that Kagan is leaning towards the majority.

    26. We don't want -- we don't -- we don't want to because they're a church. That's why not. Same with fire protection. Same with vaccination programs. Same with public health. Same with helping children

      I think Stephen Breyer voted in the majority because he feels as though he is attacking the idea of not funding the church in any sense. Because he is talking about protection and helping people and it feels as though the service of providing a pavement could go along with these other fundings. He has clearly showed this pavement will protect children and we should help children.

    27. But the State is entitled to say you can't use this money for religious activity, and maybe I'll bring you a little bit further, we're entitled to take certain prophylactic measures to make sure that you don't use the money for religious activity.

      Here I think Elena may be moving towards agreement with the church because she is talking about how regulation could be used so she could possibly be in the majority.

    28. So if it's controlled.

      I think Samuel A. voted in the majority because his questions are very much searching for an answer and feel as though he is not asking difficult questions that will stick him in an awkward place, but to help him move his point along.

    29. I'm asking, does the Constitution of the United States permit a State or a city to say, we give everybody in this city police protection, but not churches? We give everybody fire protection, but let the church burn down. We give everybody public health protection, but not a church. That's -- that's the law in my imaginary State. And I'm saying, does the Constitution, which guarantees free exercise of religion, permit such laws?

      I think that Breyer is another Justice that sides with the church in this case. He keeps referring to points that circle around the fact that a playground is a public benefit and the fact that children who go to a religious school use it, but not for a religious activity. These kids use it just to run around as kids and get some energy out and that it should not be a religious funding issue because religious activites are not happening on it.

    30. Oh. So suppose you -- we have the -- a school that's run by the Trinity Lutheran Church of Columbia. And then next to it we have a -- a Jesuit elementary and secondary school. One would be eligible, one would not be eligible?

      I believe that Alito is a majority in this case ruling. He is drilling Mr. Layton about the differences in religious groups and buildings and the question about different fundings given. I believe he thinks there is no overlapping issue with the seperation of church and state with the money given to a playground that is not being used for a religious purpose.

    31. Very well. If it does not permit a law that pays money out of the treasury for the health of the children in the church, school, or even going to church, how does it permit Missouri to deny money to the same place for helping children not fall in the playground, cut their knees, get tetanus, break a leg, et cetera? What's the difference?

      MAJORITY I feel like the way Justice Stephen G Breyer is phrasing his questions and leading this conversation in a way that he is definitely voting in the way of the church. I say this because he is trying to find the weak spot in Laytons argument and to make a point that he can't win the argument and be a good man in the eyes of the people.

    32. As long as you're using the money for playground services, you're not disentitled from that program because you're a religious institution doing religious things. And I would have thought that that's a pretty strong principle in our constitutional law.

      MAJORITY Justice Elena Kagan is stating that even if the playground is built on a churches ground that they should still be allowed to get the money because the main purpose of that playground is not based on religious attitudes or actions.

    33. What if you had a program at the -- the State capital? You had tours for school groups, and you had someone who, you know, coordinated, tied it into the social studies program; school groups can come in, but no religious schools. Is that okay?

      I think Justice Roberts is another Justice in the majority. He seems to be poking holes in Layton's argument about how this is conditional issue. He then rips into Layton for having two competing lines, and Layton changing those lines as he is trying to respond to Roberts.

    34. that when we have a program of funding -- and here we're funding playground surfaces -- that everybody is entitled to that funding, to -- to that particular funding, whether or not they exercise a constitutional right; in other words, here, whether or not they are a religious institution doing religious things.

      I think Justice Kagan is part of the majority. She states that everyone is eligible and entitled to the funding whether or not the group is participating in religious activities. And she backs it up by saying that the money is not being put toward religious activities, it's just going to the playground, regardless of who uses it.

    35. So if you have a -- a synagogue that is at high risk for an attack by an anti-Semitic group or a mosque that is considered to be at high risk for attack by an anti-Muslim group, would the Missouri constitution permit the erection of bollards like we have around the court here?

      I believe Samuel A. Alto, Jr. makes a good point here and almost seems like he is seeing the side of the church. He is talking about all of the terrorist attacks pointed towards religious buildings and asking how it is fait that government buildings are protected by religious buildings are not.

    36. The problem is this church has come in with a very competitive application. We want to give money to this church. Let's say, you know, a Protestant church. There's a Catholic church across the street. Catholic church applies, doesn't get money, this happens five years running. And people start thinking, well, why is the Protestant church keeping on getting the money and the Catholic church never gets the money? And the State says, we just won't -- don't want to sow that kind of division, that kind of mistrust, that kind of

      I think here Elena Kagan might be looking at the side of the church. I think this because she is talking about the church is competitive and how there could be problems in the way. One of these problems is that the Catholic church get no funding. What if a Protestant church ends up getting funding then the Catholic church is going to be upset. So she is looking at it more in a way of "how would this work?".

    37. Let's suppose that the public school sometimes uses its playground for things other than children playing, whatever they're going to have, a -- you know, an auction or anything else. Isn't it the consequence of your argument that the church can use the playground for more religious activities if the public school can use the playground for other non-playground activities?

      Justice Roberts brings up a great point. A public school could use a non-playground activity, which could be a religious activity, does that mean they do not deserve funding from a public program. Even though, the church is a religious organization it does not necessarily mean that the playground is going to be used for religious activities.

    38. I don't think it does. Everson also said that we have to be careful in not establishing a church not to deprive religious people or organizations of general government benefits

      I believe that what Justice Cortman is saying is that the Court cannot deprive a church or any organizations of general government benefits. Which means that the program money could go towards the church, because it would be discriminatory towards the church, and in turn would make it harder for this church to provide for their community. Which might led to the church from performing its religious duties. A clear violation of Free Exercise Clause.

  3. Jun 2016
    1. Title: House Democrats Stage a Sit-in on the House Floor on Gun Control - The Atlantic

      Keywords: john lewis, democratic majority, wednesday afternoon

      Summary: He tweeted during the sit-in Wednesday afternoon that GOP leaders should put his proposal to prohibit suspected terrorists from buying guns on the floor.<br>Politico reports that Speaker Ryan’s office does not seem amenable to Democrats’ move.<br>This is reminiscent of when Republicans staged a protest against the Democratic majority during the summer recess in 2008, speaking in a darkened chamber to demand action on energy legislation.<br>Can we see?<br>CSPAN is still not broadcasting a live feed of the chambers, but the network is replaying members’ speeches online.<br>John Lewis has championed nonviolent protest his entire career.<br>House Democrats, led by civil-rights pioneer and Georgia Representative John Lewis, are staging a sit-in on the House floor to protest what they see as congressional inaction on gun control.<br>“We have to occupy the floor of the House until there is action,” Connecticut Democrat John Larson said, as his fellow members began to sit down late Wednesday morning.<br>Members have instead taken to Twitter to spread awareness of their action, tweeting statements and pictures from the floor.<br>#NoBillNoBreak #DisarmHate pic.twitter.com/C7BZpzNvxL<br>The 15-hour Senate filibuster led to votes Monday on four gun-control-related measures, but all failed.<br>Connecticut Democratic Senator Chris Murphy is reportedly headed to the House floor to join his House counterparts.<br>Mr. Speaker, not one thing.”<br>She said a minority of pro-gun voices “are forcing a false choice between constitutional rights and safe streets.”<br>—Nora Kelly<br>

  4. Feb 2014
    1. Majority Reasoning: (Justice Blackmun) A. Rule: The State of Texas asserts it’s rule (a law banning all abortions) is furthered by 2 interests: (1) Protecting prenatal life and (2) the medical safety of woman. The court accepts these interests, but rejects Texas’s absolute rule because: 1. There are 2 counter-weighing interests of the woman: a. The woman has a privacy right grounded in a "penumbra" of Amendments 1, 4, 5, 9, 14, because "activities relating to marriage, procreation, family relationships, and child rearing and education" are "fundamental" and "implicit in the concept of ordered liberty." b. The woman also has an interest in avoiding possible severe physical and psychological harm if an abortion is denied. 2. Also, a fetus is not a "person" within the meaning of the constitution, so it doesn’t get protection as a person. 3. Therefore, a proper rule balances the interests of the state v. the interests of the woman: in the early stages of pregnancy, the woman has stronger interests than the state, but as a fetus becomes more advanced, the state interests in prenatal life and a woman’s health grow to be "compelling," thus overriding the woman’s interests. This results in a 3-part RULE (trimester framework) the court announces: a. first trimester of pregnancy: no/little state interest in regulating abortion, so most abortion regulations are invalid. b. second trimester: moderate state interest (medical health of woman) so most medical regulations are okay. c. third trimester: Compelling state interest (fetal viability) so can outlaw abortion except to save woman’s life. B. Application: Here (in this case) Texas’s law violates this framework, because it outlaws abortions not just in the third trimester, but also in the first and second trimesters of pregnancy.
  5. Oct 2013
    1. We must not, therefore, start from any and every accepted opinion, but only from those we have defined -- those accepted by our judges or by those whose authority they recognize

      "Truth" as defined by social opinion.