The Supreme Court uses an unsigned shadow docket opinion on Friday night to confirm that it has altered 3+ decades of precedent. This is not a plausible reading of Smith or Church of Lukumi. It’s a new rule—most-favored nation status for religion.
Thomas, Alito, Gorsuch, Kavanaugh, and Barrett have used the shadow docket to establish a new First Amendment rule: Whenever the government grants an accommodation to secular activities or establishments, it MUST give that same accommodation to churches and religious activity.
Anyway, these COVID orders strongly suggest that the Supreme Court will side with the anti-gay foster care agency in Fulton v. Philadelphia and force the city to fund it. The extreme sensitivity to alleged religious discrimination on display here does not bode well for Philly.
Roberts dissented from the Supreme Court’s COVID decision tonight, so even though the opinion is unsigned, it is yet another 5–4 decision knocking down COVID restrictions made possible by Amy Coney Barrett’s vote. Read the opinion and Kagan’s dissent here:
Kagan criticizes the majority for making new law (through a bunch of separate opinions) and pretending it’s precedent:

“As the per curiam’s reliance on separate opinions and unreasoned orders signals, the law does not require that the State equally treat apples and watermelons.”
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