The Court and the Cross: The Religious Right's Crusade to Reshape the Supreme Court

The Court and the Cross: The Religious Right's Crusade to Reshape the Supreme Court

by Frederick Lane

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While President George W. Bush has appointed two Supreme Court justices during his terms in office, the next president may be in a position to appoint up to three new justices, replacing one third of the Court. This relatively high number could drastically alter future Supreme Court rulings. Now is the perfect time to consider the role of politics in Supreme Court nominations and in the new appointees' ensuing decisions.

In The Court and the Cross, legal journalist Frederick Lane reveals how one political movement, the Religious Right, has dedicated much of the last thirty years to molding the federal judiciary, always with an eye toward getting their choices onto the Supreme Court. This political work has involved grassroots campaigns, aggressive lobbying, and a well-tended career path for conservative law students and attorneys, and it has been incredibly effective in influencing major Court decisions on a range of important social issues. Recent decisions by the Right's favored judges have chipped away at laws banning prayer in school, bolstered restrictions on women's access to abortion and birth control, and given legal approval to President Bush's use of federal funds for religious organizations.

In the near future, the courts will confront a host of hot-button issues, from stem cell research and gay rights to religious expression on government property and euthanasia. As the courts hear cases driven by an evangelical agenda and tainted with religious rhetoric, Lane surveys the damage to the wall separating church and state and asks, Has the Religious Right done irreparable harm?

As a new president takes office, it is more important than ever to understand the political and social forces behind the Supreme Court nomination process. The Court and the Cross is a revealing look at how much has already been lost, thanks to the concerted efforts of the Religious Right to change the Court, and a timely warning of how much more we could yet lose.

From the Hardcover edition.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780807097533
Publisher: Beacon Press
Publication date: 06/01/2008
Sold by: Penguin Random House Publisher Services
Format: NOOK Book
File size: 532 KB

About the Author

A graduate of Boston College Law School, Frederick S. Lane is a freelance journalist, lecturer, and expert witness. He has written three previous books on how legal issues affect society, including most recently The Decency Wars. He lives with his family in Burlington, Vermont.

Table of Contents

Introduction: "God Wants Me to Be President" ix

Chapter One Judicial Review: Putting the "Supreme" in Supreme Court 1

Chapter Two "In God We Trust": The Push to Declare America a Christian Nation 25

Chapter Three God's Farm Team: The Growing Evangelical Education System 49

Chapter Four Advice and Consent: The Cross-Examination of Supreme Court Nominees 73

Chapter Five The First Freedom: Separation of Church and State 103

Chapter Six Roy's Rock: The Battle over Public Display of Religious Symbols 127

Chapter Seven Of Pandas and Prayer: Religion in the Public Schools 151

Chapter Eight Cubicle Faith: Religion in the Workplace 173

Chapter Nine The Last Freedom: The Right to Privacy 205

Chapter Ten The Culture of Life: Three Pyrrhic Victories for the Religious Right 229

Conclusion: Requiem for a Court? 253

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