The Roberts Court Attempts a Compromise

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First Things - Web Exclusives

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In the October 2019 Term that ended last week, the Supreme Court decided a handful of cases with implications for religious liberty: Bostock, the Title VII employment discrimination case; Espinoza, the Blaine Amendment case; Our Lady of Guadalupe School, the ministerial exception case; and Little Sisters of the Poor, the latest contraception mandate case. In one way or another, the cases reflect the wider cultural conflict between progressives and the traditionally religious on the meaning and consequences of equality—especially with respect to sexuality and gender. Taken together, they suggest the Court is prepared to acquiesce to the dominant progressive consensus while allowing religious institutions some space to dissent.