Supreme Court Religion Cases and the Future; High Court Takes up Clash between LGBTQ and Religious Rights; Religious Objection to COVID Mandate Rejected; Biden Nominates Ketanji Brown Jackson for High Court; From Vladimir the Great to Vladimir Putin — Religion and the Ukrainian War

Supreme Court Religion Cases and the Future
Trump’s Attorney Make Baffling Error About Islam To Supreme CourtThe High Court now is weighing a cluster of cases that could significantly alter the relationship between church and state for years to come. The four cases vary greatly in their specifics, but all involve challenges to government actions that the challengers say unfairly curtail their exercise of religious liberty. And at a deeper level, they raise the question of religion’s place in America — marginalized and thrust out of the cultural mainstream, or welcomed as a foundational institution of society?

High Court Takes up Clash between LGBTQ and Religious Rights
Christian Group Apologizes to LGBTQ Community at Filipino Pride MarchThe U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday took up a major new legal fight pitting religious beliefs against LGBT rights, agreeing to hear an evangelical Christian web designer’s free speech claim that she cannot be forced under a Colorado anti-discrimination law to produce websites for same-sex marriages. The justices agreed to hear Denver-area business owner Lorie Smith’s appeal of a lower court’s ruling rejecting her bid for an exemption from a Colorado law barring discrimination based on sexual orientation and certain other factors.

Religious Objection to COVID Mandate Rejected
Bishops Crackdown on Loopholes Devised by Doctors at Catholic Hospitals to Provide ContraceptionThe U.S. Supreme Court last week turned away a challenge to Maine’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate for healthcare workers, rebuffing for the second time a group of plaintiffs who sought a religious exemption. The justices rejected a request made on behalf of unnamed plaintiffs identifying themselves as Maine healthcare workers who objected to the vaccinations on religious grounds.

Ketanji Brown Jackson Professes Faith

Ketanji Brown Jackson (2016-2022) Rose Lincoln/Harvard Staff Photographer

Ketanji Brown Jackson (2016-2022)
Rose Lincoln/Harvard Staff Photographer

Immediately after President Joe Biden introduced Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson as his nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court at a White House event on Friday (Feb. 25), the federal appeals court judge stepped up to the podium and appealed to the divine. “I must begin these very brief remarks by thanking God for delivering me to this point in my professional journey,” she said. “My life has been blessed beyond measure, and I do know that one can only come this far by faith.” Jackson did not mention a specific faith tradition in her remarks, so it was not immediately clear whether she would alter the religious makeup of the Supreme Court.

From Vladimir the Great to Vladimir Putin: Religion and the Ukrainian War

The Russian Orthodox Church has long claimed the entire region as their canonical territory. However, Ukrainian Christians chafed at the Church’s increasingly political approach, which backs Putin and often preaches his ideals. “You can’t workably separate the Russian Orthodox Church from Putin’s government,” said one expert. The Ukrainian Orthodox Church declared independence in 2019, a move still not recognized by the Russian Orthodox Church.