Constitutional horror: Clarence Thomas argues states can establish official religion | Michael Stone
Thomas believes the First Amendment’s Establishment Clause does not apply to the states. The Establishment Clause is that part of the First Amendment that says “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion.”
The Establishment Clause not only forbids the government from establishing an official religion, but also prohibits government actions that unduly favor one religion over another, or none.
While Thomas believes that the Establishment Clause “probably” prohibits the federal government from establishing an official, national religion, he sees no problem with individual state establishing an official state religion.
In the recent, disastrous Supreme Court ruling that found Christian prayers used to open government meetings to be constitutional, Thomas went further than his other conservative colleagues in condoning sectarian prayers at government functions. In his dissenting opinion Thomas disputes the widely accepted notion that the First Amendment’s ban on the “establishment” of religion even applies to state and local governments.