The Supreme Court of the United States delivered a somewhat shocking verdict to Hal Shurtleff and his group against an American city that denied the Christian group their freedom of speech to fly a flag.
Shurtleff, who identifies himself as a Christian Patriot and founder of Camp Liberty, won his lawsuit on Monday against the city of Boston, the one-time cradle of liberty- that has gone to the Communist left.
The Supreme Court ruled 9-0 that Boston violated the group’s free speech rights by refusing to fly a flag bearing the image of a Christian cross amid a rush to fly the flags of many other groups and associations, including the Communist Flag.
Camp Constitution, a group of Bible believers and patriots, had applied to use a flagpole in front of Boston City Hall that was advertised the use of the public square to be a public forum and open to all comers- including anti-American groups. However, the group was informed that it could not fly its flag – a red cross in a blue square.
The Supreme Court ruled that Boston had unfairly discriminated against the organization when the flagpole had been opened up to all comers to commemorate events.
While the case has religious undertones, the left was quick to say that the case was about Free Speech.
Denying that a Christian flag violated free speech rights, it said in its 9-0 ruling.
‘When the government encourages diverse expression — say, by creating a forum for debate — the First Amendment prevents it from discriminating against speakers based on their viewpoint,’ Justice Stephen Breyer, who is on the liberal wing of the court, wrote in the decision.
The Daily Mail reported on the breaking news:
Three conservative justices wrote a concurring decision, although they disagreed with Breyer’s reasoning.
Breyer added: ‘The city’s lack of meaningful involvement in the selection of flags or the crafting of their messages leads us to classify the flag raisings as private, not government, speech — though nothing prevents Boston from changing its policies going forward.’
The decision overturned a lower court’s ruling that the rejection of the flag did not violate their rights to freedom of speech under the U.S. Constitution’s First Amendment.
President Joe Biden’s administration backed Camp Constitution in the case.
Boston’s flag-raising program aimed to promote diversity and tolerance among the city’s different communities. In turning down Camp Constitution, Boston said that raising the cross flag could violate another part of the First Amendment that bars governmental endorsement of a particular religion.
As a result of the litigation, Boston last October halted the program to ensure that the city cannot be compelled to ‘publicize messages antithetical to its own.’
Boston has said that requiring it to open the flagpole to ‘all comers’ could force it to raise flags promoting division or intolerance, such as a swastika or a terrorist group.
The Supreme Court, which has a 6-3 conservative majority, has taken an expansive view of religious rights and has been increasingly receptive to arguments that governments are acting with hostility toward religion.
At issue was whether the flagpole became a public forum meriting free speech protections under the First Amendment to bar discrimination based on viewpoint, as the plaintiffs claimed, or whether it represented merely a conduit for government speech not warranting such protection, as Boston claimed.
In their concurring opinion, conservative Justices Samuel Alito, Clarence Thomas, and Neil Gorsuch agreed with the outcome of the case but not Breyer’s reasoning.
‘Under the Constitution, a government may not treat religious persons, religious organizations, or religious speech as second-class,’ wrote Kavanaugh .
And it is a big deal for Shurtleff, who wrote earlier in the day before the verdict came down that he believes a ruling in his favor would help him to push back on the usurpations of the left in major ways citing the town of Worchester, MA who was experiencing a dispute over whether or not a Catholic Church could fly the Christian flag at their church, because a “human rights group” of homosexuals was upset by the same Christian flag.
“This is from our friends at the Catholic Action League. We believe that if the U.S. Supreme Court rules in favor in our case Shurtleff v Boston, https://www.scotusblog.com/case-files/cases/shurtleff-v-boston/ the City of Worcester and other cities run by far-leftists, would cease this activity. We salute Bishop McManus and the folks at the Catholic Action League for standing up to those who are working to destroy the soul of our nation,” Shurtleff wrote in a blog piece.
On April 3rd, Bishop Robert J. McManus issued a public statement questioning the display of homosexual pride flags and Black Lives Matter banners at Worcester’s Nativity School, a middle school affiliated with the USA East Province of the Society of Jesus.
So the SCOTUS Monday ruling is final. However, the battle of the Christian flag in the land of liberty and the seat of the American revolution is ongoing.
Kari is an ex-Community Organizer who writes about Cultural Marxism, grassroots activism, music, IndyCar racing and political campaigns. @Saorsa1776