Supreme Court Backs Christian Group in Boston Flag Flap

  
Via:  XXJefferson51  •  2 months ago  •  18 comments

By:   Thomson/Reuters

Supreme Court Backs Christian Group in Boston Flag Flap
The Supreme Court, which has a 6-3 conservative majority, has taken an expansive view of religious rights and has been increasingly receptive to arguments that governments are acting with hostility toward religion. Biden's administration argued in court papers that because Boston treated the flagpole as a forum that private speakers could access, it had unlawfully discriminated against the Christian group based on viewpoint.

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The unanimous Supreme Court got this exactly right.  Boston engaged in anti religion bigotry and bias.  They committed viewpoint discrimination by refusing to allow the Christian flag after allowing hundreds of others.  


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Supreme Court Backs Christian Group in Boston Flag Flap


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Boston violated the free speech rights of a Christian group by refusing to fly a flag bearing the image of a cross at City Hall as part of a program that let private groups use the flagpole while holding events in the plaza below, the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously ruled on Monday.

The 9-0 decision overturned a lower court's ruling that the rejection of Camp Constitution and its director Harold Shurtleff did not violate their rights to freedom to speech under the U.S. Constitution's First Amendment. President Joe Biden's administration backed Camp Constitution in the case.

Boston's flag-raising program was aimed at promoting diversity and tolerance among the city's different communities. In turning down Camp Constitution, Boston had said that raising the cross flag could appear to violate another part of the First Amendment that bars governmental endorsement of a particular religion.

As a result of the litigation, Boston last October halted the program to ensure that the city cannot be compelled to "publicize messages antithetical to its own." Boston has said that requiring it to open the flagpole to "all comers" could force it to raise flags promoting division or intolerance, such as a swastika or a terrorist group.

The Supreme Court, which has a 6-3 conservative majority, has taken an expansive view of religious rights and has been increasingly receptive to arguments that governments are acting with hostility toward religion.

Biden's administration argued in court papers that because Boston treated the flagpole as a forum that private speakers could access, it had unlawfully discriminated against the Christian group based on viewpoint.

The dispute arose over Boston's practice of allowing private groups to hold flag-raising events using one of three flagpoles on the plaza in front of City Hall. From 2005 to 2017, Boston approved all 284 applications it received before rebuffing Camp Constitution. The vast majority of flags were those of foreign countries, but also included one commemorating LGBT Pride in Boston.

At issue was whether the flagpole became a public forum meriting free speech protections under the First Amendment to bar discrimination based on viewpoint, as the plaintiffs claimed, or whether it represented merely a conduit for government speech not warranting such protection, as Boston claimed.

Camp Constitution, whose stated mission is "to enhance understanding of our Judeo-Christian moral heritage" as well as "free enterprise," sued in 2018 over its rejection. It was represented in the case by Liberty Counsel, a conservative Christian legal group.

Among other topics, Camp Constitution's website posts materials questioning the effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines, claiming that last year's U.S. Capitol attack was actually a cover up for "massive" 2020 election fraud and calling Japan's 1941 Pearl Harbor attack and al Qaeda's Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the United States "carefully orchestrated false flags."

The Boston-based 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the city's control of the flag-raising program made it government speech.

© 2022 Thomson/Reuters.


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XXJefferson51
Senior Guide
1  seeder  XXJefferson51    2 months ago
camp-constitution-flag.jpg
 
 
 
XXJefferson51
Senior Guide
1.1  seeder  XXJefferson51  replied to  XXJefferson51 @1    2 months ago
Boston approved all 284 applications it received before rebuffing Camp Constitution The vast majority of flags were those of foreign countries but also included one commemorating LGBT Pride in Boston

At issue was whether the flagpole became a public forum meriting free speech protection under the First Amendment to bar discrimination based on viewpoint as the plaintiff claimed or whether it represented merely a conduit for government speech not warranting such protection as Boston claimed

Camp Constitution whose stated mission is to enhance understanding of our Judeo-Christian moral heritage as well as free enterprise sued in 2018 over its rejection It was represented in the case by Liberty Counsel a conservative Christian legal group
 
 
 
Texan1211
Professor Principal
2  Texan1211    2 months ago

I think this will get some anti-Christians' panties all twisted up.

 
 
 
Dismayed Patriot
Professor Participates
2.1  Dismayed Patriot  replied to  Texan1211 @2    2 months ago
I think this will get some anti-Christians' panties all twisted up.

I rather doubt it as the liberals on the court also agreed and the Camp Constitution case was backed by the Biden administration.

Much like there is no one actively trying to get women to have abortions, aka "pro-abortion" folk, there are also few if any actual "anti-Christians", just many who want religious freedom for all faiths and freedom from religion for those who don't believe in any of the many religious doctrines or God's humans worship.

The ruling was clearly correct since if you allow one partisan group to fly their flag on government property, you must allow all partisan groups to fly their flag. It would be interesting to see how right wing conservatives react if the Church of Satan flies their black pentagram flag with the image of Baphomet on it, perhaps the city/State will decide letting any flag fly on government property isn't the best choice and will go back to only allowing government flags.

 
 
 
Texan1211
Professor Principal
2.1.1  Texan1211  replied to  Dismayed Patriot @2.1    2 months ago
I rather doubt it as the liberals on the court also agreed and the Camp Constitution case was backed by the Biden administration.

What I have seen posted here before leads me to believe you are wrong.

 
 
 
XXJefferson51
Senior Guide
2.1.2  seeder  XXJefferson51  replied to  Texan1211 @2.1.1    2 months ago

It seems that they have no ground to stand on so they have left this well enough alone.  

 
 
 
XXJefferson51
Senior Guide
2.2  seeder  XXJefferson51  replied to  Texan1211 @2    2 months ago

It shouldn't be.  It was a clear case of content control and censorship based on viewpoint. A unanimous decision in favor of free speech and that a view can’t be excluded because it’s a religious expression. 

 
 
 
Greg Jones
Professor Guide
3  Greg Jones    2 months ago

"Boston approved all 284 applications it received before rebuffing Camp Constitution. The vast majority of flags were those of foreign countries, but also included one commemorating LGBT Pride in Boston."

Discrimination, pure and simple.

 
 
 
XXJefferson51
Senior Guide
3.1  seeder  XXJefferson51  replied to  Greg Jones @3    2 months ago

Exactly, thus the unanimous decision.  

 
 
 
Dismayed Patriot
Professor Participates
4  Dismayed Patriot    2 months ago

" The Supreme Court, which has a 6-3 conservative majority, has taken an expansive view of religious rights and has been increasingly receptive to arguments that governments are acting with hostility toward religion."

They make it sound as if this was a battle that conservatives won because of their 6-3 majority on the court, but the decision was 9-0 and was about inclusion. Personally, I would not support any other flag than those of our federal government, military or States on government property but when they decided to allow other nations and lgtbq pride flags to fly they opened the door to any flag including specific religious and/or faith flags or symbols. Just like if you allow a statue of the ten commandments in front of a courthouse it opens it up for a statue of Baphomet and the SCOTUS unanimously agreed.

" The 9-0 decision overturned a lower court's ruling that the rejection of Camp Constitution and its director Harold Shurtleff did not violate their rights to freedom to speech under the U.S. Constitution's First Amendment. President Joe Biden's administration backed Camp Constitution in the case ."

So why aren't conservatives thanking the liberals on the court as well as their conservative justices for upholding the law here and instead pointing out the 6-3 divide? Why not give credit to the backing given from the Biden administration? No doubt that's because right wing conservatives would rather die than admit they appreciate their ideological opponents support in defending religious freedom. They've all been told the 'leftists' are trying to destroy religious freedom even though the vast majority on the left are religious and have always defended religious freedom.

" Most Democrats — 76 percent — are absolutely certain or fairly certain about their belief in God"

 
 
 
Texan1211
Professor Principal
4.1  Texan1211  replied to  Dismayed Patriot @4    2 months ago
They make it sound as if this was a battle that conservatives won because of their 6-3 majority on the court, but the decision was 9-0 and was about inclusion.

Clickbait to get progressives all riled up is all.

 
 
 
XXJefferson51
Senior Guide
4.2  seeder  XXJefferson51  replied to  Dismayed Patriot @4    2 months ago
They make it sound as if this was a battle that conservatives won because of their 6-3 majority on the court, but the decision was 9-0 and was about inclusion.

The “they” here is Thomson/Reuters as this was their hard news article, not an op-Ed piece.  

 
 
 
Tacos!
Professor Expert
5  Tacos!    2 months ago

From the sound of the facts, it seems like the Court made the right call.

In situations like these, I’m hesitant to blame the administration right away. The caselaw in this area can be so confusing and very often turns on fine details of the facts. And that’s if you’re a lawyer. Most school administrators are not lawyers, so they err on the side of extreme caution to avoid any accusations of Establishment Clause violations.

 
 
 
XXJefferson51
Senior Guide
5.1  seeder  XXJefferson51  replied to  Tacos! @5    2 months ago

In this case it was a city administration rather than a school.  

 
 
 
Tacos!
Professor Expert
5.1.1  Tacos!  replied to  XXJefferson51 @5.1    2 months ago

Ok. Same issue, though.

 
 
 
XXJefferson51
Senior Guide
5.1.2  seeder  XXJefferson51  replied to  Tacos! @5.1.1    2 months ago

In that both can be considered government yes.  The city doesn’t have the “captive” audience that a school district does thus has more flexibility in accommodation of all opinions and shouldn’t have discriminated against just one. 

 
 
 
Tacos!
Professor Expert
5.1.3  Tacos!  replied to  XXJefferson51 @5.1.2    2 months ago

My point is there is a lot of litigation in this area and many decision makers end up erring on the side of caution - which they generally consider to be excluding something religious from the public sphere.

 
 
 
XXJefferson51
Senior Guide
5.1.4  seeder  XXJefferson51  replied to  Tacos! @5.1.3    2 months ago

It is the default position of many in government and education to side against religion to avoid the pestilence and scourge of being legally harassed by the evil people at the wicked FFRF and their shock troop assault lawyers

 
 

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