Sunday, April 13, 2008
According to a report published in last Friday's Daily Progress (Charlottesville, VA), Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia on Thursday told an audience at the University of Virginia School of Law that the wall separating church and state is not inviolable.
According to Justice Scalia, the judicial system has too often gone overboard in its interpretation of the First Amendment’s establishment clause (which forbids any “law respecting an Establishment of Religion”). Justice Scalia told his audience that the courts' "guiding light" in many religious freedom cases is the neutrality principle: government cannot favor one religion over another and also cannot favor a religious group over a secular group or vice versa. Accordingly, said the Supreme Court Justice, court rulings that seek to totally separate religion and government run counter to the Constitution’s meaning.
“If you want to enact a statute that says the president can never say ‘God bless America,’ then I have no problem with that,” he said. “Just don’t tell me that the Constitution prohibits it.”