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What’s at Stake for the First Amendment in These 2 Cases

The Supreme Court is back in session after a month-long break. All eyes likely will be on Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who returns to the bench after missing the January sitting for oral arguments.

Ginsburg reportedly joined her fellow justices for one of their closed-door meetings last Friday, but this will be her first major appearance in 2019. The justices will hear a number of important cases, including a major First Amendment establishment clause challenge and a case that could have implications for social media giants, such as Facebook and Twitter.

Here’s a look at a couple of cases you won’t want to miss.

Does a World War I Memorial Violate the Establishment Clause?

In the American Legion v. American Humanist Association, the Supreme Court will weigh in on whether a state’s maintenance of a 93-year-old World War I memorial that includes a 40-foot cross is an “establishment of religion” in violation of the First Amendment.

While the Constitution’s command that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion” is straightforward, the Supreme Court’s establishment clause jurisprudence is anything but clear.

To determine whether a government action runs afoul of the First Amendment, the Supreme Court has developed a number of tests, looking for “excessive entanglement” of government with religion, an endorsement or disparagement of a particular faith tradition, or government coercion, while also weighing the history and context of the challenged religious practice or display.

The Supreme Court has applied these tests inconsistently, giving the lower courts little guidance about how and when to apply the various tests. All this leads to unpredictable results.

Read the full story from The Daily Signal

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