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Horowitz: ‘Religious liberty’ in the Supreme Court: If this is a victory, what would a loss look like?

Op-ed
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Three years ago, conservatives celebrated the 7-2 ruling in Masterpiece Cakeshop as a victory for religious liberty. Yet, as I predicted at the time, its extremely narrow ruling mixed with implicit anti-liberty inuendo on behalf of protected groups paved the way for Jack Phillips to continue to be targeted, as he is to this very day. Well, history has repeated itself again in the Philadelphia adoption case, except this time it's after the appointment of two supposedly more conservative justices.

In Fulton v. City of Philadelphia, the Supreme Court unanimously overturned the lower court's opinion allowing the city of Philadelphia to discriminate against Catholic Social Services by denying the organization contracts for foster care placement based on their refusal to place kids into homes without a mother and father. A 9-0 victory in favor of religious liberty might sound too good to be true. And in fact, it actually is too good to be true, because this is not much of a victory as it relates to most other cases or likely even for the party in this case. It should have been a much broader 5-4 ruling with all the non-Roberts GOP appointees joining the concurrence written by Justice Alito.

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