Supreme Courtroom Says Boston Ought To Have Allowed Christian Flag

A person holds a flag which he describes as a “Christian flag”. Proper-wing Proud Boys and Patriot prayer followers, “Three-Dad and mom”, and different armed allies of the intense proper exhibit on the Justice Middle in Portland, Oregon, on August 22, 2020.

John Rudoff | AP

The Supreme Courtroom on Monday dominated unanimously that the town of Boston violated the Structure when it refused to fly the Christian flag exterior Metropolis Corridor explicitly.

The court docket dominated that because the metropolis authorities allowed different residents to make use of the flagpole to convey a wide range of messages, the rejection of the cross-bearing flag violated the spiritual group’s free speech rights. who proposed it.

“Boston’s flag-raising occasion doesn’t connote authorities speech,” Justice Stephen Breuer wrote within the court docket’s opinion, which overturned the decrease court docket’s resolution.

The controversy hinged on the query of whether or not the flags being flown below the Metropolis Corridor program have been expressing the federal government’s view, or whether or not the town had opened flags for residents to precise themselves.

Boston has allowed dozens of flags to be flown at one among three flagpoles exterior Metropolis Corridor since 2005, a few of which have expressed the views of personal teams or causes. Town didn’t deny any requests – till 2017, when the director of a bunch known as Camp Structure requested for a flag to be raised honoring the “contribution of the Christian group”.

The blue and white flag prominently bears a solid-red Christian cross. A metropolis commissioner rejected the Christian flag, fearing that it would violate the structure’s prohibition on an official institution of the faith.

A federal district court docket and a federal appeals court docket sided with Boston, holding that the flags being flown from the Metropolis Corridor flagpole have been the equal of presidency speech.

Nonetheless, the Excessive Courtroom noticed, “the extent to which Boston actively managed these flag hoistings and formed the messages despatched,” Breuer wrote.

“The reply, it appears, is completely no,” Breuer mentioned. “And that’s the most distinguished characteristic of the case.”

Breyer’s opinion got here lower than every week after Justice, 83, participated in his remaining spherical of oral arguments earlier than his retirement this summer time. Breyer, one among three liberals on the nine-seat bench, is ready to be succeeded by Choose Ketanji Brown Jackson, the primary black lady to change into a Supreme Courtroom justice.

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