Thursday, May 26, 2005

'You've put a spell on me...that's against the court order!'

Eugene Volokh at the Volokh Conspiracy brings us the story of a judge that declared that (divorced) parents are not allowed to bring up their child in the religion they both practice, Wiccan, because it might 'confuse' the child as he attends a Catholic parochial school. The order, in the words of the Indianapolis Star article (as posted by Mr. Volokh):
prohibits him and his ex-wife from exposing their child to "non-mainstream religious beliefs and rituals."
What exactly is a 'mainstream' religion? Should the parents become good Evangelical Protestants, wouldn't that new outlook still conflict with what the child learns in the parochial 'Catholic' school? Wouldn't he still be confused? As Mr. Volokh later points out, this order is probably highly illegal and unconstitutional.
From the Volokh Conspiracy post:
If the order is as reported, then it's a blatant violation of the Free Speech Clause (because it's a speech restriction), the Free Exercise Clause (because it singles out religion for special restriction), the Establishment Clause (because it prefers some religions over others, and requires the court to decide what's a "mainstream" religion), and likely the Equal Protection Clause (because the order discriminates based on religion) and the Due Process Clause (because of the order's vagueness) as well.
Well, that should take care of two or three Amendments, right? Geez. Surely this won't stand. I wonder when we will hear Bill Frist, Tom DeLay, and James Dobson screaming about 'activist judges' on this on. We will, won't we?
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