(02/06/2019, The National Review, David French, The Supreme Court Upholds a Grave Violation of the First Amendment)

(02/06/2019, The National Review, David French, The Supreme Court Upholds a Grave Violation of the First Amendment)
[article link referenced below]

Dominique Ray could probably go down as one of the least popular and most hated people in America. After raping and murdering a 15 year old woman. An act so horrific none of us feel he should even be afforded the slightest amenity at all. But we are a nation of laws and as David French rightfully argues the denial of Ray’s request for his imam to be present at his execution is a clear violation of Ray’s first amendment rights. That if the case was argued on merits alone, substituting a Christian Chaplain in place of Ray’s imam, it would have been a unanimous decision in Ray’s favor. Also eluding to Justice Kagan’s opinion,.
David notes that since the case was not decided on merits “it doesn’t impact substantive constitutional law”. Still it does represent an injustice and one the Supreme Court could have easily reversed 9-0. Providing reason to believe that this case was decided conveniently on the basis of religious bias.

Both Justice Kagan and David French hit the nail on the head. But I feel, at the same time, both miss an equally compelling point to the way this trial concluded. So often the course of law altered at the opinions of our courts. We have the precedent we all know, that sets or alters the course of how law is interpreted and applied in our daily lives. But there’s also what I’ll call precedent of public opinion. To. Illustrate this I’ll reference the 2000 elections. In 2000 Bush’ election to the oval office was highly contested and nowhere more than Florida. Ultimately the case reached the Supreme Court and the Supreme Court voted 5-4 in favor of Florida. But it did so based on the technicality a recount would take longer than legally allowed under normal circumstances, without considering any other lawful exceptions, most notably Katherine Harris’ clear conflict of interest. Now, Notice in 2016 when Trump was highly contested how few claims were filed to have recounts and how few recounts there were when compared to 2000. In future days I wouldn’t be surprised if many first amendment claims don’t attempt the Supreme Court because they’re Muslim or Sikh or Shinto. To echo similar sentiments to those of justices Stevens, Breyers, and Ginsburg 19 years ago. What must now underlie the thoughts of every non-Christian, and in particular Muslim, out there is an utter lack of confidence, both in our nation and in our system of justice.



Additional reference, Wikipedia Synopsis of Bush vs. Gore (531 US 98)



  1. KembaCharles

    In this article, it is clear that the heinous crimes committed by Dominique Ray caused an uproar in America. So much so that his request for an imam presence at his execution was denied. However, when does the law apply and when does it not? The law should outweigh the moral barriers of what should and should not be allowed. Isn’t that the point of having laws in the first place? In America, it’s hard to decide if the moral ideology holds precedence over the laws of the country. Or in some cases, the other way around.

    • Abigail Thomas

      So true Kembra.. I think there is a fine balance, but I feel here that balance was lost, and when that happens what’s to stop the next case from pushing the line further to the point that people in for no more than robbery or drug possession. I think certain laws need to indelible, even when they don’t produce desirable results. Because the overall consequences socially could be worse than just the individual case.

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