Supreme Court decision concerning “free exercise”

I think this is important. It’s a case, one of hundreds, that the US Supreme Court declined to review. “There is no free exercise right to be free from any reference in public elementary schools to the existence of families in which the parents are of different gender combinations … public schools are not obliged to shield individual students from ideas which potentially are religiously offensive, particularly when the school imposes no requirement that the student agree with or affirm those ideas,” the court said. Some more details from a previous OIF post and the School Law blog.

4 Responses to “Supreme Court decision concerning “free exercise””

  1. Tim Says:

    I don’t think the SC would rule otherwise, but not granting certiorari is by definition contentless. It might mean they think the decision is correct, but it needn’t be so. Often cases are denied because they aren’t good *cases*, or because a majority is simply afraid to open the issue. It has some tealeaf-reading value, but you could not, for example, cite a failure to grant cert as a factor in a legal argument.

  2. jessamyn Says:

    Yeah about the only thing I think it may do is keep more of these cases from creeping towards the SC presuming victory.

  3. fakeassrarian Says:

    are they basically saying that they won’t hear the case and that there is no freedom from religion? i understand the open ended-ness of exposing children to various combinations of families and parents. i’m all for that.

    my worry is that they’re also saying that, if a family wants to dress up their child as the old testament, run around quoting the bible, and telling me that my child is a sinner for not agreeing with them than there is nothing to stop them.

    i’m a fan of freedom of and freedom from religion. but it sounds like we’ll have to wait for another round of the sc to learn more.

  4. Meg Says:

    All they’re saying is that a public elementary school is not required to find out what you may find offensive and shield your child from it, including ideas in books that parents do not want their children to encounter or the existence of things that might upset someone’s world view. (I assume this includes not just religiously controversial ideas, like the existence of same-sex couples, but also things like if you are gay, the fact that there are people out there who are homophobic and hate gays.)

    I think what fakeassrarian was describing would be a different case about the right of students and their families to express their religious views in a public school versus how much those religious views impact the rights of others. But hey, what do I know… I’m just a librarian. :)