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Religious freedom winning big in the U.S. Supreme Court

Despite what sometimes seems like continuous negative news, religious liberty actually is winning in the U.S. Supreme Court.

A study published in “The Supreme Court Review” says that the Supreme Court under Chief Justice John Roberts is much more likely to rule in favor of religious liberty than previous courts have done during the past 70 years. It shows an 81 percent success rate in favor of religious liberty, a 31 percent increase over previous Supreme Courts.

“Plainly, the Roberts court has ruled in favor of religious organizations, including mainstream Christian organizations, more frequently than its predecessors,” according to the report. “With the replacement of Ruth Bader Ginsburg with Amy Coney Barrett, this trend will not end soon and may accelerate.”

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Compared to the current 81 percent, the study found the court led by Chief Justice Earl Warren in supported religious liberty only 46 percent of the time, 51 percent under Chief Justice Warren Burger and 58 percent under Chief Justice William Rehnquist.

In the last term alone, the court sided with Christian religious groups in three argued cases. The court ruled that state programs supporting private schools must include religious ones, that the Trump administration could allow employers with religious objections to deny contraception coverage to female workers and that employment discrimination laws do not apply to many teachers at religious schools. The court soon will decide whether Philadelphia may bar a Catholic agency that refused to work with same-sex couples from screening potential foster parents.

Katherine Beck Johnson of the Family Research Council said Christians should be winning.

“We’re simply using the First Amendment as our protection,” she said. “We’re utilizing it at the courts. it is our right, and we’re winning because the left is infringing on our First Amendment rights.”

The study said the justices most responsible for the current shift are Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito, Neil Gorsuch, John Roberts and Brett Kavanaugh.

–Dwight Widaman | Metro Voice