Law: Rebuilding Jefferson's Wall

The court recesses after an unexpected turn in church-state cases

! Conservative and liberal observers were agreed. Like it or not, the U.S. Supreme Court in recent years had seemed to favor some erosion of Thomas Jefferson's sturdy "wall of separation between church and state." Both sides expected the trend to continue after the court scheduled new religion cases this term. But last week, as it recessed for the summer, the court confounded the prognosticators. For the third time in a month, the Justices took a tough stand against allowing government and religion to mix.

In a pair of 5-to-4 decisions, the court ruled that officials in Grand Rapids and New...

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