S4, Ep. 02: Justice Alito and religion at the Supreme Court: Previewing the new SCOTUS term

Get a preview of some big cases — and conversations — at the Supreme Court this year.

Oct 13, 2022

What are Amanda and Holly watching in the new Supreme Court term? They preview 303 v. Elenis, a case involving a woman who says she doesn’t want to design wedding websites for same-sex couples, and compare it to the Masterpiece Cakeshop case, in which the Court avoided the main question. Amanda and Holly also discuss an order from the Court’s “shadow docket” involving Yeshiva University’s refusal to recognize an LGBT club on campus, and they share why we’re still watching that case. Plus, hear their reaction to Justice Samuel Alito’s speech at a conference in Rome. 


Segment 1: A free speech right to refuse to design wedding websites?  (starting at 00:55)

You can contact Amanda and Holly with your thoughts on the show by writing to [email protected].

Learn more about the 2018 Masterpiece Cakeshop case and read BJC’s brief at BJConline.org/Masterpiece


Segment 2: The shadow docket decision regarding Yeshiva University (starting at 13:04)

Read a brief recap of the Yeshiva decision on our website.

Segment #3: Justice Alito’s summer statements in Rome (starting at 19:24)

Amanda and Holly discussed this speech by Justice Samuel Alito.

They also mentioned this feature on Justice Alito in the New Yorker, written by Margaret Talbot: Justice Alito’s Crusade Against a Secular America Isn’t Over

Amanda and Holly discussed this piece by Professor Alan Brownstein on the different uses of the word “public,” published by The Hill: Religion in the public square

See a list of our previous episodes by visiting RespectingReligion.org.

Respecting Religion is made possible by BJC’s generous donors. You can support these conversations with a gift to BJC

Transcript of Episode 2, Season 4 (some portions have been lightly edited for clarity):


Segment 1:  A free speech right to refuse to design wedding websites?  

AMANDA:  Welcome to Respecting Religion, a BJC podcast series where we look at religion, the law, and what’s at stake for faith freedom today. I’m Amanda Tyler, executive director of BJC.

HOLLY:  And I’m general counsel Holly Hollman. Today we’re going to continue our discussion about religion at the U.S. Supreme Court, including a preview of a free speech case that arises out of a religious objection to an anti-discrimination statute that protects LGBTQ individuals in the commercial marketplace.

AMANDA:  And, Holly, there really are so many cases that interest us this term. There has already been a lot of commentary from Court watchers, noting that this term may be as consequential as last term, which is saying a lot ‑‑

HOLLY:  It is.

AMANDA:  — given what we saw last term, of course, not just with religious freedom cases but with other cases. So, so far this year, the Court has agreed to hear cases that address Affirmative Action and college admissions, voting rights, and gerrymandering. But the case that is most clearly in our purview at BJC and for Respecting Religion so far ‑‑

HOLLY:  So far.

AMANDA:  — is 303 Creative LLC v. Elenis. Now, this case was brought by Lorie Smith, an individual business owner with a website design business who plans to expand her business to start making wedding websites, but she has made clear she does not want to serve same-sex couples who are seeking wedding websites. So Ms. Smith sued in federal court to prevent any enforcement of the state nondiscrimination law against her.

Interestingly, she has not actually begun this wedding website side of her business, so no one has been turned away. Well, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit agreed that her wedding websites would be considered, quote/unquote, “pure speech,” and also that the Colorado law would compel her speech. But the Court of Appeals upheld the constitutionality of the law as narrowly tailored to the State’s interests.

And so the Supreme Court granted review of the case to decide this question: whether applying a public accommodation law to compel an artist to speak or stay silent violates the Free Speech Clause of the First Amendment.

HOLLY:  Yes. This is sort of a preemptive lawsuit. Right? So her web design was going to include putting together the stories about how a couple met and how they came together and what their wedding will be like. So it has that narrative kind of function that makes it a little bit different, and as you said, though, it’s odd because it hasn’t yet started.

And some of you may be listening and thinking, this sounds familiar, and of course it does, because it’s just the latest high-profile conflict between states with laws that protect access to market goods and services, sometimes called “public accommodations,” particularly for LGBTQ customers, and the conflict with business owners or service providers that have religious objections to same-sex marriage.

It also may sound familiar, because the case was brought to challenge the same Colorado statute that was challenged by Jack Phillips in Masterpiece Cakeshop. That case made its way to the U.S. Supreme Court, decided in 2018. Masterpiece Cakeshop you may remember, provided custom wedding cakes but refused to serve Charlie Craig and David Mullins, a same-sex couple, who had approached Phillips to bake their cake.

Just a quick reminder about what happened. The Court ruled for Masterpiece, because it found that the business had been treated unfairly by the Colorado Civil Rights Commission. That’s the administrative agency that’s charged with enforcing by adjudicating complaints under the statute. And what happened was that a commissioner — during the hearing about that complaint — included in his remarks that he thought it was despicable when religious rhetoric was used to justify discrimination or hurting others.

And this, the Court found, tainted the proceedings against Masterpiece and its owners, so that they didn’t have a fair shake at their religious liberty claim. The Court did not decide the ultimate question of whether the Free Exercise Clause allows a business owner to refuse service to a customer in a protected category because of the owner’s personal religious beliefs.

In that case, the Court also notably affirmed several times that members of the LGBTQ community deserve equal dignity, and, it states, may choose to expressly protect their civil rights alongside other protections, protections for race, religion, and other categories. So the Court noted that but left this kind of conflict to reoccur in other cases.

AMANDA:  Yeah. So this Masterpiece Cakeshop case, it has gotten a lot of publicity. I think it is fair to say that when we are on the stump, I hear questions about this case a lot. It’s something that a lot of people know about as a religious liberty case, but it, for us, is most well-known for what it did not do. It did not decide whether the Constitution’s protections for religious liberty override state laws that prohibit LGBTQ discrimination.

HOLLY:  That’s right. So there’s confusion. They kind of remember that case and what happened. People know there were conflicts, but people have strong feelings about what’s right or wrong. And some people, frankly, were frustrated by what the Court didn’t do. But, you know, we can remind our listeners that there are a lot of complexities here for the Court.

First, to the extent that people think that this is just about the wedding industry, let’s remember that the wedding industry is huge. You know, it’s hard to find the boundaries of the wedding/marriage industry. It could include flowers and hair and makeup, as well as, you know, the cakes, reception halls. In fact, in the Masterpiece case, people may not remember, but they weren’t serving a cake at a religious ceremony in a church. The couple wanted the cake for a reception for the couple, a reception that was held after they had been married previously out of state. So even that case showed us that this is ‑‑ it could affect a lot of different businesses, even if it could be limited just to the wedding industry.

Secondly, it’s not always clear the line between conduct and speech. Maybe it’ll be much better in this case, that this case involves something that’s more obviously speech, as I was trying to describe what the website writing is like for this business owner. But it’s not always easy to see what sale of goods or services send a message about what the business owner is saying or that business owner’s relationship to the customer.

You know, Masterpiece objected to celebrating a marriage by providing a custom cake. But I recall at oral argument, there were so many questions about trying to figure out what is expressive. Is the hairdresser, the makeup artist, or the caterer’s services, are all these things speech, to be regulated as speech, or are they conduct? And the Court has to look at those things and distinguish them to determine how the regulations will apply. And is it conduct, or is it speech, with its own special rules for protection? Here, the plaintiffs and many who support her believe that this business is far more expressive and thus may be a better claim for this religious objection.

Most importantly, the problem of limiting an exemption to objections about same-sex marriage remains. This was a major issue in the Masterpiece case, and that was, of course, a case about the Free Exercise Clause. In that case, BJC joined a brief with other denominational entities, explaining that many anti-discrimination laws, like the one in Colorado that protects against LGBTQ discrimination, also protect against race and religious discrimination. That means that the same theory would support exemptions for businesses that have religious objections to interracial couples or interfaith couples who are seeking marriage.

And we know that people really vigorously debate that issue, argue that there’s a difference between religious objections to LGBTQ nondiscrimination, and maybe they can do that because that has only been protected more recently. But they distinguish that from race or religious nondiscrimination, but it is extremely hard to limit claims to those regarding same-sex marriage.

AMANDA:  And for all of those differences, Holly, between Masterpiece Cakeshop and this case ‑‑ and I think many of those are why the Court decided at this time to take up this issue again. I think another reason is we have different justices on the Court now ‑‑

HOLLY:  Yes.

AMANDA:  — than we did when this case was taken. So I think it, for a lot of reasons, might make it a more perfect case for them to rule on this issue that they have left undecided for many years. But that central problem, that inability to draw lines or to make distinctions in this case versus other kinds of discrimination, including race-based discrimination, still seems like a major issue for us in this case.

Another big difference, of course, is we don’t know all the reasons why. The litigants brought this case, asking the Court to consider it on both free exercise grounds and free speech grounds. The Court decided only to take it on free speech grounds, and for that reason, BJC is not filing a brief, because our expertise is usually to the religion clauses of the First Amendment. Free speech has all of its other complications and a whole set of law that goes with the free speech claims that many other groups are litigating on that basis.

But we are watching this case extremely closely, and it doesn’t escape us that the litigants in this case are again represented by Alliance Defending Freedom, or ADF. That’s the same organization that represented Masterpiece Cakeshop. And this time, as you noted, they are proceeding without a customer who has been turned away, and it makes it easier, I think, to sympathize with the business owner, because you don’t have to consider how it plays out in the lives of real people. We don’t have a record showing a person who has been turned away. And so in that way, it’s more of an esoteric question. It’s more of a case on paper, rather than how this might actually play out with real people.

HOLLY:  Yeah. I’m sure there’ll be other issues that we’ll see more clearly when we look at the briefs carefully as we get ready to hear oral arguments in this case. There’ll be new issues, different issues, that this case presents, and we’ll see how that affects the outcome. We know that this case represents the fact that there is a segment of society that has deep objections to same-sex marriage, often based in religion.

And even if the Obergefell decision that determined a constitutional right to marry, even if that’s on solid constitutional grounds — which some people are questioning now after some of the things that were said by the justices in the Dobbs case, the case that overruled Roe v. Wade — but even assuming that the right to marriage is on solid grounds, there is still a fight for equal rights in other spheres: employment, health care, and public accommodations. And that fight is considerable. So we’ll be watching, and we will return to this case later in the term.


Segment 2:  The shadow docket decision regarding Yeshiva University (starting at 13:04)

AMANDA:  Well, before the Court began its new term, we learned about another dispute involving religion and the law. This one came out of Yeshiva University, which is an Orthodox Jewish university in New York City. And it involved the school’s refusal to recognize the YU — Yeshiva University — Pride Alliance, an undergraduate LGBTQ club.

Now, lower courts had ruled in favor of the student club’s discrimination claim, and the courts ordered the university to recognize the club immediately. In response, Yeshiva University petitioned the Supreme Court in August on an emergency basis, asking the Court to block the lower court’s order. So this case is in a preliminary stage. It came up on the Court’s so-called “shadow docket” without the benefit of full briefing and argument.

And the crux of the legal issue, as it appears at this early stage of litigation, appears to be whether the university is considered a religious corporation or an educational institution, and that categorization determines whether the school is exempted from New York City Human Rights Law or not.

HOLLY:  And, again, the issue or the issues may not be as easy as one may think. Yeshiva University sounds like a religious university, of course. But let’s look at this state law and let’s look at the history and Yeshiva University’s corporate charter.

AMANDA:  So on September 14, with some briefing on this emergency basis to the Court, the Court denied Yeshiva’s application for a stay pending appeal of the case, and they did so by a 5-4 vote. The majority denying the application included Chief Justice Roberts, along with Justices Kagan, Sotomayor, Kavanaugh, and Jackson.

And the Court said, in an unsigned order, that the university still had other avenues of relief in the lower courts and that, therefore, the university was premature in seeking relief from the Supreme Court. And in the order, the justices wrote, “If applicants seek and receive neither expedited review nor interim relief from the New York courts, they may return to this Court.”

HOLLY:  That seems reasonable, that this dispute may deserve closer attention from the lower courts.

AMANDA:  So, after this ruling goes back down to the lower courts, it also goes back to what’s happening on the ground at the university. Within just a couple of days of the order coming down, according to reporting from the New York Times, the school first responded by saying that it would place all undergraduate club activities on hold. If it was going to be forced to recognize the Pride Alliance, then it would just not recognize any clubs for the time being. And the Pride Alliance then came back and said ‑‑

HOLLY:  That’s not what we want.

AMANDA:  Right, right. We’re not trying to shut down all student clubs. So they said, you know, we will stand down while the case works its way through the courts, if the university would go ahead and allow the other student clubs to resume. So, you know, what happened in practice is the parties effectively agreed to a stay without needing further court involvement, and meanwhile the issues will continue to percolate in the lower courts.

Well, what was somewhat surprising about this order when it came out in September is to have this particular split among the justices, with Chief Justice Roberts and Justice Kavanaugh joining the liberal justices in denying the stay application. Now, to be fair, this was a purely procedural opinion, it seemed to be, and it doesn’t say much about how the justices might rule if the case comes back before them with full briefing.

But what was striking about this case was a very strong dissent from Justice Alito, and he was joined in the dissent by Justices Thomas, Gorsuch, and Barrett. I found the language from Justice Alito to be quite dramatic about the import of this case, particularly as it came to them on this emergency docket. He characterized the dispute as the state “enforcing its own preferred interpretation of Holy Scripture” on Yeshiva.

HOLLY:  Hmmm, hmmm.

AMANDA:  He also boldly states that Yeshiva is likely to win if the case comes back to the Court, since “the Free Exercise Clause protects the ability of religious schools to educate in accordance with their faith.”  You know, it gives the impression, I think, that the development of the facts and the legal arguments aren’t likely to matter.

HOLLY:  Well, Amanda, your comments also show — unfortunately — that we’re getting used to that, and that’s why it’s surprising for a minute to have more agreement, even on a procedural matter, just because we’ve started seeing this Court as being so divided, when, of course, it shouldn’t be that surprising to have a different mix of justices when you’re talking about a procedural issue. Well, I am certainly not going to bet against Yeshiva University, no matter what the claim is with this Court.

AMANDA:  I almost could hear Justice Alito saying, ‘You had us at Yeshiva.’

HOLLY:  (Laughter.)  That’s right. But that doesn’t mean that we’re not interested. Alito’s description of this dispute is so overheated that for me it really blurred the legitimate legal issues. BJC understands and supports that laws often give private religious institutions certain exemptions. You know, we can explain that. We talk about why that is and how that can often be good for religious freedom. But that doesn’t mean that the legal questions just answer themselves.

AMANDA:  That’s right. And that seems to be what the dissent was arguing here, that because it’s a religious claimant, then obviously the Free Exercise Clause must prevail in this case for the religious claimant.


Segment 3:  Justice Alito’s summer statements in Rome (starting at 19:24)

AMANDA:  Well, Holly, speaking of Justice Alito, many have observed that he seems to be vying for leadership on this very religiously interested Court, both in cases and also out in the real world. And back out in the real world during the summer recess, I’m sure some of our listeners noticed that Justice Alito made a newsworthy speech this summer, not just for the content but also for his look that he had in his speech.

HOLLY:  Oh, yeah. The bearded Alito.

AMANDA:  So back on July 21, Justice Alito gave a keynote address in Rome at a Religious Liberty Summit ‑‑ that’s the name of it ‑‑ convened by the Religious Liberty Initiative of the University of Notre Dame’s Law School. And Justice Alito first noted the Roman setting for the speech and saying how it brought to mind how religious freedom has been challenged and championed throughout history.

HOLLY:  Yeah. It was an interesting event, both the event itself, sponsored this way, overseas. I guess, a pretty nice trip to Italy for Justice Alito and the other speakers. A nice break from the court term, so he could grow his beard, be on vacation, and then be out there, just making his feelings known in front of a friendly audience. And we listened to the whole speech. We listened so you don’t have to.

AMANDA:  You’re welcome, Respecting Religion.

HOLLY:  And I know some of you have no interest in doing that but would like to hear about Justice Alito and what his thoughts are, so we’re going to link to an article that will link to the speech if you want to go back and check. And we really don’t have time to go through the whole speech. There were a lot of different issues that we could talk about, that we could debate as the hosts of Respecting Religion, things that we care about, but we’ll touch on a few.

Justice Alito began his speech, talking about the importance of religious freedom internationally. He noted that people face persecution because of religion in various ways, naming historical and current international examples. You know, these are really severe examples of persecution. He notes that religious liberty is under attack and has been across the world at different times and says that it’s under attack because religious liberty is a dangerous concept. It’s dangerous to those who want to hold complete power.

You know, I found this really interesting, because we know that examples of religious persecution abroad often remind us how lucky we are to have the kind of religious freedom that we have in America, and we try to be really careful about how we talk about our disputes here in America and making sure that we don’t claim that they’re on the same level as the kinds of persecution and, you know, problems that we’ve seen around the world where people’s lives are really threatened.

And certainly we are with Justice Alito in wanting to uphold important space for individuals, individuals in their devotion to higher religious ideals, and we all must always remind ourselves to be mindful of minority perspectives, minority religious perspectives. Of course, that’s the tradition that we come from at BJC, that Baptist tradition at the time of the founding. And also important to us is how we recognize that there can be no uniformity in matters of religion. And recognizing that, I think, is one of our strengths. I mean, there’s never been uniformity in matters of religion, and I think it’s a silly goal.

But after Justice Alito talks about that international persecution, he reminds himself, reminds the audience that he is not qualified to talk so much about international issues and that he knows much more about religious liberty in the U.S. and other economically developed areas.

AMANDA:  And yet, it seems like he is thinking about that frame of persecution for the rest of his speech. He says, you know, I’m not qualified to talk about international affairs, but I’ll take this persecution angle and use that rubric for the rest of this speech.

HOLLY:  It certainly had that feel. And here I’ll note that perhaps this article, but I would say other statements and activities of Justice Alito inspired a very lengthy piece in the New Yorker, a feature article on Justice Alito, that is called “Justice Alito’s Crusade Against a Secular America Isn’t Over.”  And this piece really addresses Justice Alito, his biography, his education, his ambition. It’s a long article that has a lot of different aspects to it. But it does talk about this speech.

And I want to note how it got to this issue about how he talks about religious persecution. The article was from September 5. It’s written by Margaret Talbot. And I was pleased to see our good friend Ira ‑‑ known better as “Chip” ‑‑ Lupu cited in the article. Chip is an emeritus professor at George Washington University Law School with an expertise in religion. And he believes that Alito has crudely applied “an entirely appropriate concern about persecution of vulnerable minorities, including religious minorities around the world” to the way that “conservative religious people, mainly Christians, are in conflict over matters like LGBTQ rights and the status of women and reproductive freedom in this country.”

He goes on to note, to say, I think, rather succinctly and clearly, Christian Americans don’t get persecuted; they get disagreed with.

AMANDA:  Yeah.

HOLLY:  I think he did a great job kind of summing up that problem. And at BJC we’ve seen that before. We’ve seen how people quickly sort of move from a problem that they perceive in the culture to a feeling of persecution in their church or in the way that they think.

AMANDA:  Yeah. Religious freedom in the United States has never meant the right to have the government’s laws reflect your religious values, and now that we’re in a time where we see increasing divides over how people view certain hot-button social issues, when the law disagrees with your religious values, that is sometimes called persecution, and it doesn’t help when someone with as much power and prestige as Justice Alito is echoing that sentiment in international speeches.

HOLLY:  Particularly, you know, if that concern affects his judicial opinions about religious liberty and what to do about it.

AMANDA:  Well, I share those concerns and I love that quote from Chip Lupu, because I think he puts it absolutely perfectly. Another one of my takeaways from Justice Alito’s speech was ‑‑ how I heard it was that Justice Alito seems to think that people who are not religious need convincing that religious liberty is an important value to protect.

HOLLY:  Uh-huh.

AMANDA:  He cites in the speech that one of the main challenges to religious liberty in America today is that more and more people are turning away from religion. So I think his frame seems to be that you can only support religious liberty from a religious perspective.

And I found this view to be arrogant and not reflective of my personal experience working with a number of secular individuals and groups who are bold defenders of religious freedom for all who don’t share our religious views, Holly, but who respect us and ‑‑

HOLLY:  Right.

AMANDA:  — that we work in common cause with to defend principles of religious freedom for all. And at least ‑‑  again, I don’t know the inside of Justice Alito’s head or heart ‑‑

HOLLY: If that’s what he meant.

AMANDA: — but that’s how it felt in reading the speech, was that our biggest obstacle to religious freedom for all was a growing secularization of culture.

HOLLY:  Well, we know that there’s a burden on us to explain religious liberty and how we protect it and to do it in a way that is good for all Americans and that does work in a way that respects our pluralistic society. But I agree it would be really wrong to assume that respect for religious liberty is something that is only held by those who are deeply religious or, you know, affiliate themselves with particular religions.

AMANDA:  Another thing that was striking about the speech was Justice Alito seemed to fixate on this one anecdote. He actually repeated or referenced it three different times I caught in the speech itself, and it obviously made a lasting impression on him: that one time he was in a Berlin art museum and he saw what he thought was a mother and her ten-year-old son regarding a wooden cross, a crucifix, in the museum, and the little boy asked the mom, “Who is that man?”

And this was really offensive or troubling to Justice Alito. He said that this might be a harbinger for what might lie ahead for our culture. He said, it’s not just indifference or ignorance, but a growing hostility to religion that our traditional religious beliefs are contrary to a new moral code. So he seems to equate ignorance about Christianity with hostility towards religion.

HOLLY:  Yeah.

AMANDA:  It felt bizarre to me.

HOLLY:  It definitely does not necessarily follow, and I know that many people who would disagree with Justice Alito in his opinions might share his concern about religious literacy generally. Now, whether that’s fair to take that from this little anecdote or not, I don’t know. But I understand that as someone who was raised in church and was taught about my faith, that a certain amount of religious literacy about one’s own faith helps you then relate to other people’s faith, or we would say that we know that learning about religions is an important part of a well-rounded education, to be able to understand and contribute and to navigate differences in our pluralistic society.

So it’s one thing to be concerned about religious literacy or to wish that everyone knew the basics of your faith. But it’s another thing to think that this example means that we have a religious liberty crisis that might inspire one to dramatically push toward a shift in the law.

One other important aspect of this speech was a way that Justice Alito kind of loosely — or maybe in a slippery manner — used the term “public.”  And I think really to address that issue fully, I will refer our listeners to a nice op-ed that was written by another law professor friend of ours, Alan Brownstein from California, who really fleshed out the important difference between how people use the term “public” and “private” in different conversations. And that has real meaning for religious liberty law. We’ll link in the show notes the piece. It was in The Hill, and that piece also links to the speech itself.

And, Amanda, we’ve seen this before. Right? Sometimes people get confused as we are arguing very fiercely that the government should remain neutral in matters of religion and that the government is secular, not religious, and doesn’t speak for us. Sometimes people get confused and think that we are saying, you don’t want to bring religion into the public square or out in public.

We know the word “public” has different meanings. Sometimes it just means outside your home, out in public, in front of other people. And other times, “public” means “government,” as in our public institutions.

AMANDA:  That’s right. And we encounter this a lot when we’re talking about Christian nationalism and fighting Christian nationalism, that one of the core principles is people of all faiths and none have the right and responsibility to engage constructively in the public square. And the rationale for including that as one of the main principles is to rebut this misunderstanding of the separation of church and state, that it has never meant, nor could it be a divorcement of religion from public life. It’s just that the government doesn’t have a role to play.

HOLLY:  And when people say that, I really think, “Open your eyes.” I mean, I don’t know where they live, and I do know that there is some religious conflict and that our country’s going through very divisive times and all, but we know that there’s a lot of religion in public and that I see the diversity certainly where we live here in the DMV [District of Columbia/Maryland/Virginia], we see that religious diversity all around us in public. No one is arguing that people cannot have their religious wardrobe out in public or that people can’t express themselves religiously outside the home, outside the church, outside their religious schools. I mean, there’s so many examples. Amanda, it was reminding me of your trip to Pittsburgh we were just talking about.

AMANDA:  Yeah. So just over the holiday weekend, my family and I did a road trip through Western Maryland and then Western Pennsylvania to Pittsburgh, and I was really struck by how much religion in public life I saw, specifically in rural Pennsylvania, whether it be Bible verses on the side of the highway or a lovely cafe that we went to that had Bible verses. And the Christian owners were making clear their Christianity in their business. And it’s just a reflection of religion in public life.

HOLLY:  That’s right.

AMANDA:  We are not France ‑‑ right? ‑‑ where they’ve made a different choice about the relationship of religion and public life. But just listening to Justice Alito’s speech, you might get a very different view when he talked about, for instance, that people who were against his viewpoint, I guess, just wanted people to be religious in their houses of worship. That is certainly not how we talk about religious freedom for all, and I agree with Professor Brownstein, that it’s a straw man argument.

HOLLY:  And I think we would recognize that, depending on where you are and depending on how diverse the community is, you would see reflections of different religions in public, in restaurants and in libraries and all around. So we hope you all will check out that article and thanks to Professor Brownstein for helpfully demonstrating Justice Alito’s misuse of the term “public,” blurring when it means not in private versus when it means on behalf of the government.

AMANDA:  And as, you know, we preview the term, I think that these remarks will preview in some ways what we might hear and see from Justice Alito in the opinions that come before the Court this term. We’ll be watching the docket to see if they accept other religious liberty cases this term, and of course, reviewing the arguments and opinions in those cases throughout the season.

HOLLY:  We’ll be listening closely.

AMANDA:  That brings us to the close of this episode of Respecting Religion.

HOLLY:  Thanks for joining us for today’s conversation. For details on what we discussed, including links to the articles we mentioned, check out our show notes.

AMANDA:  If you enjoyed today’s conversation, give us a five-star rating and then share this program with others on social media and tag us. We’re on Twitter and Instagram @BJContheHill, and you can follow me on Twitter @AmandaTylerBJC.

HOLLY:  And take a moment to find out more about BJC and how we’ve been working for faith freedom for all since 1936. Visit our website for a look at what we do and some our latest projects.

AMANDA:  Plus you can email both of us by writing to [email protected], and you can see a full list of shows on our website. Just go to RespectingReligion.org.

Join us back here on Thursdays for new conversations Respecting Religion.