Supreme Court seems to smile on Christian group's right to meet on school grounds At oral arguments yesterday, Supreme Court justices seemed to side against Milford Central School of Milford, New York. The school had said that an evangelistic Good News Club couldn't meet on school grounds because it is "the equivalent of religious worship," so the club sued for access. Justice Antonin Scalia was characteristically witty, sarcastic, and critical of the school's actions. "You are worried about kids being infected" with the group's religious message, Scalia mockingly accused the school's lawyer. When the lawyer argued that allowing the club to use the school might be divisive, Scalia was incredulous. "This is divisive in the community?" he asked. "I don't understand. What would the community get upset about? I don't understand. … You must have a very divisive community down there. I'm glad I don't live in New York anymore." But Scalia wasn't the only one who defended the group with sarcasm. "To prohibit the use of public facilities for religious purposes shows the state is neutral as to religion, is that your point?" asked Anthony M. Kennedy. But of course Scalia and Kennedy are going to side with Good News. What's crucial here is that the more liberal side of the Supreme Court seemed to agree with them. About as dark as it got for Good News was when Justice David Souter lamented, "It sounds like Sunday school." (Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg also suggested that the court's precedents on equal access for religious speech did not apply to activities for young children.) But when the school's lawyer tried to run with Souter's characterization, saying, "If this particular use is permitted, we will have Sunday school on a ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

Tags: