Arguments will be heard before the Supreme Court over whether a Christian flag should be flown outside Boston’s City Hall.
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According to the city of Boston, flying a Christian flag on a municipal flagpole represents government endorsement of religion.
Attorneys for Harold Shurtleff, whose request to fly a Christian flag was denied in 2017, noted that it had never denied one of the 284 proposed events in the 12 years before his request.
“‘The flagpole that stands prominently at the city’s seat of government is the means by which the city communicates its own messages,’ The lawyers for Boston told the Supreme Court this. The city uses it as a political platform and will not relinquish it ‘to private parties as a forum to pronounce their own messages,’” they said.
According to the normally left-leaning American Civil Liberties Union, the flag should not be banned.
“When the government opens its public property for private speakers, it has to treat everybody equally,” ACLU national legal director David Cole said. “This case is really about private citizens’ access to government property to express themselves. And that access is critical to our ability to speak to each other, to express our views and the like.”
In contrast, the Anti-Defamation League supported the city.
“The value to such groups of the ‘photo op’ of a Nazi flag, the Confederate flag, or some other white supremacist banner flying over Boston City Hall should not be underestimated,” the group stated.
Shurtleff made his request on behalf of Camp Constitution, which he founded and whose aim is “to enhance understanding of the country’s Judeo-Christian heritage.”
“It’s a public access flagpole,” Shurtleff told ABC News.
“It’s kind of ludicrous to think flying a flag on a flagpole for maybe an hour or two will somehow get people to think, ‘Oh my goodness, look at the city of Boston now endorsing the Protestant or the Christian faith.”
“The city, for its own speech, does not want to get into the issue of religion,” Doug Hallward-Driemeier, who is representing Boston in the case, told the press. “It’s said that it didn’t want to fly a flag that was offered as ‘the Christian flag,’ because that wasn’t the message that the city itself wanted to communicate.”
“I don’t know of any white nationalists carrying Christian flags. That may have happened, but I don’t know. But this flag certainly represents Christianity and was designed by a couple of Sunday school teachers. Not exactly white supremacists,” Shurtleff responded.
“We’re optimistic that they will rule in our favor and that we will be allowed to raise the flag, although I understand the city will most likely cancel its flag-raising events. So we’ll see what happens,” he concluded.
The Supreme Court announced this week that it will hear the case of a former football coach in Seattle. The former coach was fired from his job for praying on the field.
After learning that Joe Kennedy was praying with the team, administrators told him he could pray separately from the students. In response to Kennedy’s refusal to change his practice, he was put on paid leave and sued.
In the lower courts, the school district won. This case now stands in front of the nation’s highest court.
Ketanji Brown Jackson was nominated to the Supreme Court by President Joe Biden on Friday, making her the first black woman chosen to serve on the high court.
Furthermore, she would be the first former public defender to sit on the high court, although the Harvard graduate does possess the elite legal background that other justices possess.
CNN reported that due to the situation with Ukraine, the exact timing of the announcement remains fluid.
It is exactly two years to the day since Biden pledged to nominate the first black woman to the Supreme Court. That pledge came during a South Carolina primary debate.
He had narrowed his search to three candidates: Jackson, 51, Childs, 55, and Kruger, 45.
To begin the process, Biden must make the formal offer to the nominee, which was expected to happen either Thursday night or Friday morning. Chuck Schumer, Majority Leader of the Senate, promised to confirm justice lifetime as quickly as possible.
The conservative court’s tilt is not expected to change with his choice, but his focus on younger nominees ensures that his choice will have a lasting impact.
Senator Ted Cruz drew attention to Biden last Sunday, as he ramped up his attacks against the president’s strategy for choosing a Supreme Court nominee, claiming that it’s illegal for anyone else to specify the race and gender of job applicants.
‘Democrats today believe in racial discrimination,’ Cruz said Sunday on Fox News.
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‘They’re committed to it as a political proposition. I think it is wrong to stand up and say, ‘We’re going to discriminate.’
‘If he happened to nominate a justice who was an African-American woman, great,’ he continued.
‘But you know what, if Fox News put a posting, we’re looking for a new host for Fox News Sunday and we will only hire an African American woman or a Hispanic man or a Native American woman, that would be illegal.’
The Republican Party’s top conservatives – including Mike Pence – have voiced concerns over Biden’s promise, saying he may be overlooking the most qualified candidate for the job.