A church-state case may be an early test for Neil Gorsuch

A RECENT ruling by the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals in Ohio could set up the first major religious-liberty case Neil Gorsuch may help resolve if the Senate confirms his nomination to the Supreme Court this spring. The Sixth Circuit case concerns a dispute over legislative prayer, a topic Mr Gorsuch has never weighed in on. But in other cases touching on the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment, Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee has shown little inclination to buttress America’s wall of separation between church and state.

A few years into his stint as a judge on the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals, Mr Gorsuch gave his view on a challenge to a ten commandments display on a courthouse lawn in Oklahoma. The plaintiff in Green v Haskell County said he feared that the county board of commissioners—the body that gave the go-ahead to erecting the monument at the site—would treat him “differently and more harshly” because he did not “subscribe to a particular faith that is represented by [the] monument”. After a three-judge panel sided with the plaintiff, finding the ten commandments display to violate the Establishment Clause, the Tenth Circuit…Continue reading
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