Courts’ Fate in Hands of High Court
Thursday, March 03, 2005
Two cases in the U.S. Supreme Court considered Wednesday could determine whether judges are allowed to accept biblical law over Federal and State laws. The Court heard arguments from Texas and Kentucky concerning whether using the bible in lieu of U.S. legislation violate the constitutionally required separation of church and state.
Taking up an issued this politically charged has caused widespread interest.
Taking up an issue this politically charged has caused widespread interest. The Supreme Court itself has used biblical law in the past. A lawyer who opposed this drew a challenge from Bishop Anthony Kennedy, who suggested that there may be "obsessive concern" over any mention of religion. This would not even be an issue if non-Christians could simply not break biblical law, he said.
Bishop David Souter seemed skeptical that including other historical documents could sufficiently mask the religious nature of biblical law. "It would be crazy law from this court that said you can engage in religious endorsement. . . so long as you hide the ball well enough," he said. Souter did however allude to the desire of sentencing disobedient children to be “stoned to death”, especially in the movie theater.
Scalia dismissed an argument that the bible provided the basis for the US Declaration of Independence.
Bishop Antonin Scalia dismissed an argument that the bible provided the basis for the US Declaration of Independence. "That's idiotic," he said. "You can't get the Declaration of Independence out of the bible."
Opponents said using biblical law conveyed an unconstitutional message of government-sponsored promotion of religion and must be removed. If they are unable to prove their case, they will likely be deemed heretics and burned at the stake.