Culture war & the Supreme Court

by: Elyssa DiRienzo

Case #1

Board of Education of Kiryas Joel Village School District v. Grumet

This case was brought to the court when Kiryas Joel Village School District wished to expand the boundaries of the school district to specifically include a religious community. The Supreme Court ruled the case unconstitutional because of its drawing of politics and education boundaries on the basis of religion.

Case #2

Shaare Tefila Congregation v. Cobb

After a Maryland synagogue was painted with hateful, anti-Semitic graffiti, the Shaare Tefila Congregation decided to file lawsuit for discrimination and violation on property rights. The District court dismissed the case saying that "white-on-white" discrimination is not racially discriminative. The Supreme Court ruled that although Judaism is a Religion, they were among the people considered to be distinct races and reside within the protection of U.S.C. Section 1982.

Case #3

Peterson v. Hewlett Packard Co.

This lawsuit was filed for firing an employee because he was openly homosexual. His Manager responded by taping Bible verses throughout the office and discussing religious teachings during meetings. The Manager was aware that his actions were offensive, but he claimed that they were, "intended to be hurtful. And the reason [they were] intended to be hurtful is you cannot have correction unless people are faced with truth.” Peterson hoped that his actions would cause his co-workers to repent. Of course, the Supreme Court ruled his reasoning unconstitutional because of its intolerance.

Case #4

Georgia Military College v. Santamorena

This lawsuit was filed after a High School Freshman attending a boarding military school was raped after her dorm was moved into an unsupervised barrack. Several concerns were expressed about the new dorms. Some windows were allegedly painted black, the windows on the doors blocked and several doors did not have locks. However, no actions were taken and the girl was raped. The Court ruled jail time for the offender and stricter policies about boarding schools.

Possible Vacancies of Supreme Court Reps.

The Effects?

-Ginsburg is the oldest of the bunch, just residing in her 80's and having health problems. Though she is of the age to settle down, she refuses to step down until she absolutely has to. She is a liberal and since Obama himself is a liberal, the re-election will no doubt seek another liberal.

-Antonin Scalia is his 70's, but is also reaching age of retirement. Antonin is a conservative on the court and his and other conservative's presence is needed to keep the balances in check. The vacancies of Conservative representatives can be worrisome if there are too imbalanced political views.


The shifting of cultures and viewpoints can cause a clash between conservative and liberal views. With the addition of various other political viewpoints, clashes come from different angles as well. The culture war is not only influenced by politics; Religion, Pop culture, media, education and other sects of society.