Supreme Court Rules 9-0 Against Boston for Refusing to Allow Christian Group to Fly Flag After Approving Others

Why did the city of Boston approve hundreds of requests from private groups to fly flags outside city hall but turn down a Christian organization that wanted to fly its “Christian flag”?

Harold Shurtleff, director of a civic organization called Camp Constitution, filed a lawsuit against the city after the rejection. Although Shurtleff lost in two courts, he had his day presenting his argument before U.S. Supreme Court.

The city argued that allowing a Christian flag to fly would amount to the government endorsing religion. The high court unanymously disagreed with the city and ruled that Boston violated Shurtleff’s right to freedom of speech. From Liberty Counsel, which represented Shurtleff:

Justice Breyer wrote the opinion in which Chief Justice Roberts, Sotomayor, Kagan, Kavanaugh, and Barrett joined. Justice Kavanaugh filed a concurring opinion. Justice Alito filed a concurring opinion in the judgment, in which Thomas and Gorsuch joined. Justice Gorsuch filed a concurring opinion in the judgment, in which Thomas joined.

The High Court wrote that “Boston did not make the raising and flying of private groups’ flags a form of government speech. That means, in turn, that Boston’s refusal to let Shurtleff and Camp Constitution raise their flag based on its religious viewpoint ‘abridg[ed]’ their ‘freedom of speech.’”

Jonathan Alexandre, Senior Counsel for Governmental Affairs at Liberty Counsel and frequent guest on Cure America with Star Parker, released a video after the court’s decision.

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