The point at issue is the first amendment clause Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.... But what does it mean? For the case in point, I don't much care about the "free exercise" portion, the interesting bit is "make no law respecting". The natural interpretation of this would be that no (federal, but by incorporation state) law can say anything about religion. And so banning use of public funds on religion is as prohibited as diverting funds specifically to religion, or any particular religion.
However, there's a "doctrine" of "separation of church and state", which can be reasonably read to say that the state shouldn't fund the church. The dissent (p24) leans heavily on that doctrine: On the other hand, the Establishment Clause “commands a separation of church and state.” But, just as with Separation of powers, which isn't in the constitution, neither is separation of church and state. It is only a handy guide to interpretation; it can't override the actual words.
However, the decision itself it largely based on the FE bit, contra my wise advice, on the grounds it protects indirect coercion or penalties on the free exercise of religion, not just outright prohibitions. This is plausible, but to me rather wifflier. So I guess I'm obliged to conclude that they got the right answer, but not for all the right reasons.
I was looking for someone being really really sad about this, and it looks like Noah Smith is a good example. I think he's talking about this case, and also the Gunz stuff. I'm doubtful his The Court is kind of going crazy right now, with a bunch of activist decisions that most people hate is true; but it is interesting that his solution is court packing; see-also Me on USAnian politics. Since I don't say so explicitly there, I'll say it here: I think packing is a bad idea, at least in part because I don't think the Supremes are crazy.
The New Yorker isn't happy either, but is predicatably long on complaint and short on ideas; it has none beyond the vague "It is long overdue to end the Court’s undemocratic role in U.S. society" which is not actionable.
Another example of having no idea what to do is Op-Ed: How to move forward after the destruction of Roe vs. Wade. Don't be fooled by the title. Yes, I've switched from C+S to RvW without even noticing... because in the matter of dislike-but-don't-engage, things seem analoguous. See-also A [sic] eulogy to Roe.
Uupdate: moah gunz
Gunz, gunz, gunz, gunz, everybody loves gunz. Anyway: New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen: A minor impact on gun laws but a potentially momentous shift in constitutional method is reasonably thoughtful. But notice towards the end, where he discusses the balance in the amount of regulation required. Is 16 hours of classroom instruction really needed? His answer is that some was valuable, about 2-3 hours was useful, but 16 was excessive. So I think this looks like over-regulation, and I think it is vulnerable, and in my roll-back-the-state mood, I'd welcome that. But I'd hope that, pre-emptively, DC would reconsider the amount it forces people to take.
* America’s Supreme Court requires Maine to include religious schools in a tuition programme: America’s Supreme Court is eroding the separation of church and state - Economist
* Reason: Alito's Leaked Abortion Opinion Misunderstands Unenumerated Rights: The Supreme Court justice is wrong when he says abortion rights aren't deeply rooted in American history.
* Who Sees Which Political Falsehoods as More Acceptable and Why: A New Look at In-Group Loyalty and Trustworthiness by Jeff Galak and Clayton R. Critcher via Twatter.
* Voters in Kansas decide to keep abortion legal in the state, rejecting an amendment. By about 60-40, which the BBC describes as "overwhelmingly".
* 2023/06: Dobbs was a fundamentally lawless decision, says someone who has confused anger with thought: an all too common response. People are bad at separating "I didn't like this decision" with "this decision cannot be justified". In case I haven't said it elsewhere: the Dobbs decision, whilst you may not like it, was a reasonable interpretation of the constitution.
* 2023/11: The Effects of the Dobbs Decision on Fertility.
Governments have largely failed to seize their chance to rearrange their energy supplies away from fossil fuels?
Update: other dumb stuff
...we are “predictably irrational” in the pursuit of our interests. Paternalists from both the social sciences and philosophy use these findings to defend interfering with people's consumption choices for their own good. We should tax soda, ban cigarettes, and mandate retirement savings to make people healthier and wealthier than they’d be on their own. Our thesis is that the standard arguments offered in support of restricting people’s consumption choices for their own good also imply support for “epistocratic” restrictions on people’s voting choices for their own good...
Which is plausible. In the end, they come up with most of the correct arguement against: Last, there is a practical objection to paternalistic regulation of the vote: state agents might abuse their new powers. They end up dismissing this, but they are wrong to: corruption or incompetence in consumption choice regulation is undesireable, but limited, and fixable within the political process. Corruption of who-can-vote is, potentially, not fixable.
* Education - Our World in Data
But that 0.47% is wrong, of course: RWE didn't emit 0.47%. More, why sue RWE? Because the Krauts might be a soft touch. El E adds Court documents suggest that the German judges may consider that climate impacts were foreseeable from 1958, when the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere began to be recorded each day which is really very stupid indeed and will only fly in a heavily politicised court, if even there. Also note that they aren't even suing for damages.
El E adds And in any case that project is well within the local government’s budget. The fact that it has sat around for six years has more to do with bureaucracy and corruption. Local beliefs complicate matters. When sophisticated flood-warning systems were installed in two neighbouring villages, threatened by different lakes, the locals destroyed them.