Religious Entities Flex Their Muscles Through the Roberts Court, Playing Both Sides of the Discrimination Coin - 2020-08-04
Religious litigants were successful this Supreme Court Term wielding their religious identity as both a shield and a sword. The Roberts Court delivered just what they ordered: ever more expansive rights to government funding, based on their right not to be discriminated against, and mounting immunity from the employment discrimination laws. Thanks to President Trump, the Court now has a conservative, religious majority—which is composed of four Catholic men (Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito, and Brett Kavanaugh) and Justice Neil Gorsuch, who is apparently Episcopalian. They were a well-oiled machine delivering for religious believers with nary a concern about who might be harmed.
As religious litigants succeed in expanding their opportunities for government-sourced income streams, and eschew the legal obligations on everyone else, they also persist in their expectations of no public accountability about their finances. Unlike other nonprofits, they maintain their tax-exempt status without having to truthfully disclose their actual finances, donors, or lobbying activity. The result is a greater capacity to pursue government funds under cover, e.g., the PPP loans through which the Catholic dioceses and parishes raked in $1.4 billion, and an ever-increasing power to impose their beliefs on their employees, whether co-believers or not.
The "Equality" That Increases Religious Entities' Fortunes