Justice Clarence Thomas writes pro-religious free speech decision in a University case
The Decision will make it easier for the poor to gain access to the courts
Uzuegbunam v. Preczewski? “At issue in the case is state-funded Georgia Gwinnett College’s “free speech zone’ policy. Georgia Gwinnett’s two tiny speech zones occupy less than 0.0015 percent of the campus and are open only 18 hours a week. If you want to speak in public or leaflet about politics or religion anywhere on campus on a Friday, for example, it had better be in those tiny zones between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m., or you’re out of luck — and even then you’ll have to get authorization three business days in advance.
Student Chike Uzuegbunam, an Evangelical Christian, was told that if he wanted to evangelize his faith to his fellow students, he would have to apply three days in advance for a permit and then confine his activities to one of the two free-speech zones. After receiving the permit, he was told by campus cops that he could not share his faith even in one of the speech zones because doing so violated a campus ban on ‘disturb[ing] the peace and/or comfort of person(s’ (Of course, these days, almost any opinion, especially on matters of faith, will make someone on campus uncomfortable.) So he sued, represented by the Alliance Defending Freedom and supported by Jeff Sessions and the Trump Justice Department. In response, the college changed the policy and tried to get the lawsuit dismissed as moot. Eventually, the issue reached the Supreme Court. And today, Justice Clarence Thomas delivered a clear victory for the plaintiffs.
For a bit of background, A bit of background: Courts of law do not exist to issue pronouncements in the abstract about constitutional rights and wrongs; federal courts are restricted to deciding ‘cases or controversies’ in which some particular person, entity, or group has suffered a particular injury and that injury can be relieved by the judiciary.
Standing to sue is commonly described as having three elements: (1) injury, (2) traceability, and (3) redressability. Injury means that the plaintiff has suffered a concrete, proven harm. Traceability means that the plaintiff’s injury can fairly be said to have been caused by the defendant’s acts. Redressability means that the kind of relief the plaintiff seeks — e.g., money, an injunction, a declaratory judgment — is within the court’s power to provide.” Source: National Review
Read the whole article in the National Review above to gain additional perspective on the Supreme Court’s tools to decide whether to hear a case. Recall the maneuvering the court employed in the Trump cases regarding “standing.”