A Leading Contender for the Supreme Court Once Took a Strong Stance against Religious Liberty

The California supreme court justice Leondra Kruger is widely considered to be a possible successor to Stephen Breyer, who recently announced his imminent retirement from the U.S. Supreme Court. Around a decade ago, Ed Whelan notes, Kruger forcefully argued against the idea of a “ministerial exception” to employment-discrimination laws:

As an assistant to the solicitor general, Kruger argued on behalf of the Obama administration in Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church and School v. EEOC. The brief that she and other Obama administration lawyers submitted took a surprisingly aggressive stance against the very existence of a general “ministerial exception” to employment-discrimination laws. According to her position, religious organizations are limited to the right to freedom of association that labor unions and social clubs enjoy.

Kruger maintained that position at oral argument, to the amazement of even Justice Kagan. . . . The Obama administration’s position, [Chief Justice Roberts explained], “is hard to square with the text of the First Amendment itself, which gives special solicitude to the rights of religious organizations. We cannot accept the remarkable view that the Religion Clauses have nothing to say about a religious organization’s freedom to select its own ministers.”

To be sure, Kruger might contend that she was simply representing the position of her client. But it would be entirely proper for the White House and, if she is nominated, for senators to probe whether she in fact helped form the government’s “amazing,” [in Kagan’s words], position against religious liberty.

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Read more at National Review

More about: American law, Elena Kagan, Freedom of Religion, Supreme Court

Terror Returns to Israel

Nov. 28 2022

On Wednesday, a double bombing in Jerusalem left two dead, and many others injured—an attack the likes of which has not been seen since 2016. In a Jenin hospital, meanwhile, armed Palestinians removed an Israeli who had been injured in a car accident, reportedly murdering him in the process, and held his body hostage for two days. All this comes as a year that has seen numerous stabbings, shootings, and other terrorist attacks is drawing to a close. Yaakov Lappin comments:

Unlike the individual or small groups of terrorists who, acting on radical ideology and incitement to violence, picked up a gun, a knife, or embarked on a car-ramming attack, this time a better organized terrorist cell detonated two bombs—apparently by remote control—at bus stops in the capital. Police and the Shin Bet have exhausted their immediate physical searches, and the hunt for the perpetrators will now move to the intelligence front.

It is too soon to know who, or which organization, conducted the attack, but it is possible to note that in recent years, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) has taken a lead in remote-control-bombing terrorism. Last week, a car bomb that likely contained explosives detonated by remote control was discovered by the Israel Defense Forces in Samaria, after it caught fire prematurely. In August 2019, a PFLP cell detonated a remote-control bomb in Dolev, seventeen miles northwest of Jerusalem, killing a seventeen-year-old Israeli girl and seriously wounding her father and brother. Members of that terror cell were later arrested.

With the Palestinian Authority (PA) losing its grip in parts of Samaria to armed terror gangs, and the image of the PA at an all-time low among Palestinians, in no small part due to corruption, nepotism, and its violation of human rights . . . the current situation does not look promising.

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Read more at JNS

More about: Israeli Security, Jerusalem, Palestinian terror