Kim Colby, Director of the Center for Law & Religious Freedom, says that the Supreme Court will decide at least eight important religious freedom cases between now and next June. This term and next are “dream terms,” she says, for religious freedom lawyers and court watchers.
In this episode, she highlights five of these cases, beginning with the “church re-opening” case, South Bay United Pentecostal Church v. Newsom, decided on an emergency appeal earlier this month (“I am concerned and disappointed, but not flipping out,” she says of Chief Justice Roberts’s concurring opinion). From there, she discusses the import of four major cases that have been argued or will be argued later this year:
Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue. She expects an announcement of the decision any day now, and she predicts a win for religious freedom; Fulton v. City of Philadelphia, “an extremely important case” in which the Center filed an amicus brief; St. James School v. Biel/Our Lady of Guadalupe v. Morrissey-Berru, consolidated and addressing an issue that tests the limits of the unanimous decision in the 2012 Hosanna-Tabor case; Little Sisters of the Poor v. Azar, featuring the order’s third trip to the Supreme Court.
It’s always a great time when Kim Colby visits Cross & Gavel. She is the director of Christian Legal Society’s Center for Law and Religious Freedom , where she has worked since graduating from Harvard Law School in 1981. She has represented religious groups in several appellate cases, including two cases heard by the United States Supreme Court. She has filed numerous amicus briefs in federal and state courts. Ms. Colby has prepared several CLS publications addressing issues about religious expression in public schools, including released time programs, implementation of the Equal Access Act, and teachers’ religious expression.
Visit the Center’s website for resources on its first amendment work.