Can a state government demand to see the sermons preached by a public health professional who is also a part-time pastor? And can it, after seeing those sermons, rescind an agreed-upon job offer made to that highly-credentialed professional? It would seem not, because the facts are just too suggestive of a causal relationship between the sermon investigation and the job-yanking. We would seem to have here a violation of the Free Exercise Clause, and also of the Religious Test Clause, which originally applied only to federal officials but was extended to state officials by the Supreme Court in Torcaso v.
In Zubik v. Burwell, the set of cases in which the Little Sisters of Poor and several other religious nonprofits are challenging the right of the U.S. government to force them participate in the delivery of contraceptives, including abortifacients, via their Obamacare-mandated health insurance plans, the Supreme Court took an unexpected step on March 29 — and the results are starting to come in. Before the tragic death of Justice Antonin Scalia, this case was expected to be a 5-4 victory for the nonprofits. Without him, it was expected to be a 4-4 tie, leaving intact (but without the binding