S3, Ep. 16: SCOTUS decision roundup: Shurtleff v. Boston, Ramirez v. Collier, and the leaked Dobbs draft

Holly and Amanda analyze the decisions involving a Christian flag and about religious practices in the execution chamber

May 5, 2022

It’s been quite the week for the Supreme Court, releasing a decision in a case we were watching and responding to the unprecedented leak of a draft opinion in a case that captured the attention of the entire country. In this episode, Holly and Amanda break down Monday’s ruling in Shurtleff v. Boston – about a city flying a Christian flag – and the recent decision in Ramirez v. Collier – concerning religion in the execution chamber. They also react to the big Supreme Court news this week: the leak of a draft opinion for Dobbs vs. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, the case challenging a Mississippi law that restricts abortion. Amanda and Holly share their reactions to what’s happening at the Court and preview what’s to come. 


Segment 1: The leaked Dobbs draft opinion and a decision in Shurtleff v. Boston (segments starts at 00:55, the discussion of Shurtleff begins at 8:16)

Josh Gerstein and Alexander Ward of Politico broke the story with the leaked draft opinion: Supreme Court has voted to overturn abortion rights, draft opinion shows

Amanda and Holly discussed Shurtleff v. Boston on two previous episodes this season: They previewed the oral arguments in episode 8 and reviewed the arguments – and made predictions – in episode 10.

Read the Supreme Court’s opinion in the case, written by Justice Stephen Breyer, and the concurring opinions at this link.

Segment 2: Say “yes” unless you have a really good reason to say “no” (starting at 23:41) 

The Supreme Court issued its decision in Ramirez vs. Collier on March 24. Amanda and Holly discussed the case in episode 2 and episode 4. Read the Supreme Court’s decision, written by Chief Justice John Roberts, the concurring opinions and Justice Clarence Thomas’s dissent at this link.

“RLUIPA” is shorthand for the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act, which became law in 2000.

The new filing from a district attorney in Ramirez v. Collier is discussed in this New York Times article by Ruth Graham: Days After Setting an Execution Date, a Texas Prosecutor Reverses Course


Segment 3: A rich holiday season (starting at 38:45)

Amanda and Holly mentioned this article by Adelle Banks in Religion News Service: Second gentleman Doug Emhoff touts ‘critical’ interfaith collaboration

As always, you can contact Amanda and Holly by writing to [email protected].

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