The Devil Knows Latin: Why America Needs the Classical Tradition

By E. Christian Kopff | Go to book overview

Chapter VI
FEDERALISM AND CHRISTIANITY
Nowhere has the war on tradition been so open as in the area of religious tradition.Few will be likely to deny that federal courts in the last sixty years have restricted the free exercise of religion by the people, local communities, and the states. Here is a brief litany of cases limiting this fundamental right.
In 1940, the Supreme Court asserted its authority to intervene in state and local decisions involving religion in Cantwell v. Connecticut, in which it applied the First Amendment's "establishment clause" to the states by the "incorporation doctrine." The Fourteenth Amendment forbids the states to "deny ... the equal protection of the laws," but the Court applied to the states the Bill of Rights, originally intended by the First Congress to be so many limits on the power of the national government, because, as Justice Roberts wrote for the unanimous court, "The

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