On Thursday night, the Supreme Court, by a vote of 5–4, allowed the Alabama state prison in Atmore to execute Domineque Ray, a convert to Islam, by lethal injection for the 1995 rape and murder of 15-year-old Tiffany Harville, and the murders of two brothers. He was denied his request to have his imam, Yusef Maisonet, by his side.Reading the majority’s decision, I kept asking myself, How would these five justices have responded if all the facts were the same but Ray were a Christian and the imam were a priest?
“But if an inmate practices a different religion—whether Islam, Judaism or any other—he may not die with a minister of his own faith by his side.” Read: When conservatives oppose “religious freedom”Kagan also blasted the state’s “security” argument, writing, “The State has offered no evidence to show that its wholesale prohibition on outside spiritual advisers is necessary to achieve that goal.” Kagan ended her dissent by saying that despite Ray’s “powerful claim that his religious rights will be violated,” the Court refused to hear that claim in full “just so the State can meet its preferred execution date.”Instead of learning from its mistake and expanding religious freedoms for all prisoners, Alabama, according to court filings, will now apparently bar all spiritual advisers from the execution chamber just so it doesn’t run afoul of the establishment clause.
Constitutionally protected freedoms and concerns for religious liberties now frequently take a back seat to specious security concerns and fearmongering.
It happened in a world where in countries like the USA young women habitually wear half pants and short pants in public and no one cares about it as a moral issue.
There are still many people in Hindu communities across the world who believe that women need to be told what they should wear, how they should look or where they should go.
He went out of his way to mention Muslims among those protected by his legislation, which passed in 1786.
It would be best if the Court’s future decisions took greater pains to reflect this generous American spirit.
It has been going on for centuries and millenniums.
We are gradually becoming aware of the number of atrocities against women by men because of the 24/7 news cycle.
We witnessed such hypocritical intellectual gymnastics last summer with the Supreme Court’s 5–4 decision upholding President Donald Trump’s travel ban.
The conservative majority held that the executive order was facially neutral and nondiscriminatory, willfully ignoring Trump’s history of anti-Muslim rhetoric, including his proclamation that “I think Islam hates us” and his call for a “total and complete shutdown of the entry of Muslims to the United States until our country’s representatives can figure out what is going on.”Instead of the conservative justices joining a decision that prioritized the government’s religious neutrality, it was left to Justice Sonia Sotomayor to make that case in her dissent.