• 16 Chief Justice of the Supreme Court
• Died in office in 9/3/2005
• Considered conservative
• Specifically known for favoring state power
Ties in the Court
• Go to the previous ruling
Baker’s Strangers on a Hill
• Tensions exist between Congress and the Courts on moral issues due
o Constitutional differences
o Because of separation of powers and checks and balances
o Role differences between judge and member of Congress
• How have Congress and the Court dealt with freedom of religion?
o Supreme Court judges have the job for life and Congressmen have to be reelected
so that influences how they behave
o Congress has the obligation to defend the people
o Judges can protect minority rights while Congress will go for the majority so they
can be reelected
o “Congress shall make no law repsecting an establishment of religion, or
prohibiting the free exercise thereof”
• Marbury v. Madison 1803
o Established judicial review- because it is not in the Constitution!
o Marshall: If I decide my party on the way the federalists want me to decide it I’ll
be humiliated because executive branch will never carry out this decision. To
o William Marbury was appointed Justice of Peace byAdams midnight
appointment. Appointment was not delivered. Jefferson, anti-federalist became
president and ordered that Madison not deliver the confirmations. Marbury sued, based on JudiciaryAct of 1789. Marshall, a Federalist, ruled against Marbury,
saying the Congressional statute was unconstitutional
o 160 cases
• Humiliating judicial hearings in Senate
• Accusations of judges legislating
o Accusation that they’re overstepping their bounds, making laws instead of
• Congress changing size of court
• Congress decide on Court arises
• Congress passing legislation to contradict court ruling
What should you know about the cases?
• Who are each of the parties? What do they want?
• What does the Court decide?
• Why does it decide that way?
• What are the practical consequences of the decision?
• LOOK OVER SIERRACLUB CASE
• Reynolds v. US (1878)
o Religious observation is not an excuse for violating the law (MorrillAct)
o Distinguishes between thought and action
o Practicing polygamist, says it’s for his religion, US does not want him to do that
so passes the MorrillAct. Reynolds says that it is a violation of 1 amendment.
o 1 amendment protects the right to believe in whatever you want, but not act in
whatever way you want
• Cantwell v. Connecticut (1940)
o Bureaucrats determining legitimate religious solicitations violated the First and
o Selectively incorporated the 1 Amendment to the states o Affirmed again the absolute freedom of thought but the ability of the state to
o Connecticut wants to regulate solicitor
Everyone who is a solicitor needs a permit
o Cantwell is a Jehovah’s Witness and says that Catholics are bad people in a
Catholic neighborhood, charged for disturbing the peace
o Cantwell says that he should be able to go door to door without a permit
o Cantwell won
• Sherbert v. Verner
o Denial of unemployment benefits restricts her free exercise of religion
o Undercut distinction between belief and action laid down in Reynolds
o Moved from concept of rational justification to restrict religious practice (by
state) to a compelling state interest
o Greatly reduces state power
• Yoder v. Wisconsin (1972)
o Amish man who does not want his kids to go to school after 8 grade
o FirstAmendment rights outweighed the state’s need to ensure education for