Every Wedding Florist, Baker Will Love What Kavanaugh Said About Religious Freedom


U.S. Court of Appeals Judge Brett Kavanaugh, President Donald Trump’s nominee to be the next Supreme Court justice, is under heavy criticism from those on the left.

Which has many people on the right believing the president made the right pick.

Granted, Trump probably could have nominated Thurgood Marshall and taken heat from liberals who believe the court is already too male dominated. But what really scares those on the left is the thought of another justice who supports religious freedom when such cases come before the court.

Justin Walker, writing at National Review, said Kavanaugh has a long history of supporting religious freedom.

“Kavanaugh has been a steadfast and fearless supporter of religious liberty for decades,” Walker wrote. “When he was in private practice in the 1990s, he chaired the Federalist Society’s Religious Liberty practice group and worked pro bono on cases defending religious freedom. He wrote pro bono amicus briefs defending religious believers in high-profile Supreme Court cases. He represented a synagogue pro bono in a local zoning dispute. He advocated for the selection of judges who protect religious liberty.

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“And as a judge, his record of defending religious liberty is unparalleled,” Walker added.

First Liberty Institute president and CEO Kelly Shackleford penned an Op-Ed for  that also lauded Kavanaugh’s defense of religious liberty.

“His opinions have consistently adhered to our founding principles that government exists to protect the God-given rights of the people and that the Constitution exists to prevent government from infringing on the rights it is entrusted to defend,” Shackleford said.

In writing a dissenting opinion for Priests for Life v. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services — a petition the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit refused to hear in 2015 — Kavanaugh cited the Supreme Court’s ruling in the Burwell v. Hobby Lobby case demanding employers pay for birth control for employees as part of the Obamacare mandate.

Are you happy with the selection of Brett Kavanaugh for the Supreme Court?

Kavanaugh wrote that the contraceptive regulations stipulated in Obamacare “substantially burden the religious organizations’ exercise of religion because the regulations require the organizations to take an action contrary to their sincere religious beliefs.”

In a statement that can have impacts for cases beyond the Hobby Lobby ruling, such as the mandate that Christian business owners be compelled to provide services to same-sex weddings, Kavanaugh added that “judicially second-guessing the correctness or reasonableness (as opposed to the sincerity) of plaintiffs’ religious beliefs is exactly what the Supreme Court in Hobby Lobby told us not to do.”

He has also written in defense of the unborn in matters related to abortion.

Last year, Kavanaugh wrote a dissenting opinion in a case in which the appellate court ruled an illegal immigrant teenage girl had the right to obtain an abortion. “The government has permissible interests in favoring fetal life, protecting the best interests of a minor, and refraining from facilitating abortion,” Kavanaugh wrote.

He added that the Supreme Court has “held that the government may further those interests so long as it does not impose an undue burden on a woman seeking an abortion.”

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Shortly after Trump announced Kavanaugh as his Supreme Court selection, Ed Stetzer wrote at that the selection of a judge with the beliefs of Kavanaugh is the basic reason many Christians voted for Trump in 2016.

“If the election had gone the other way and Hillary Clinton was president, you would now have a generational majority that would not be sympathetic to concerns for religious liberty, issues related to life or abortion, or on many other topics of concern,” Stetzer wrote.

“For evangelicals, this is an important nomination if you want Christian colleges to teach and function according to their faith,” he added. “Allowing higher education institutions to hold to biblical beliefs in the way they engage students is one all evangelicals ought to care about.”

Many liberals believe Trump’s selections of Kavanaugh and Neil Gorsuch are designed with only one thing in mind: overturning Roe v. Wade. While its hoped the court can do more to protect the unborn, simply returning religious considerations to cases like those in which people can freely make choices based on their religious convictions is something that will make conservatives feel better about the future.

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Scott Kelnhofer is a writer for The Western Journal and Conservative Tribune. A native of Milwaukee, he currently resides in Phoenix.
Scott Kelnhofer is a writer for The Western Journal and Conservative Tribune. He has more than 20 years of experience in print and broadcast journalism. A native of Milwaukee, he has resided in Phoenix since 2012.
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