Clarence Thomas, Brett Kavanaugh, Samuel Alito #fundie

Ignoring these facts, Thomas seemed to buy into Texas’ highly suspect version of events. He asked Seth Kretzer, Ramirez’s attorney: “If we think that Mr. Ramirez has changed his request a number of times and has filed last-minute complaints, and if we assume that that’s some indication of gaming the system, what should we do with that with respect to assessing the sincerity of his beliefs?”

Kretzer pointed Thomas toward Ramirez’s multiple handwritten pleas “repeatedly requesting the same thing,” but Thomas sounded doubtful. “Can one’s repeated filing of complaints, particularly at the last minute, not only be seen as evidence of gaming of the system but also of the sincerity of religious beliefs?” he asked. Kretzer responded: “I can only speak as Mr. Ramirez’s attorney. I do not play games. There’s no dilatory tactics in this case.”

It wasn’t good enough for Alito, who groused to Kretzer that “what you have said so far suggests to me that we can look forward to an unending stream of variations.” As if to tease out the many ways people could “game the system” to delay their executions, Alito asked: “What’s going to happen when the next prisoner says that I have a religious belief that [my faith adviser] should touch my knee? He should hold my hand? He should put his hand over my heart? He should be able to put his hand on my head? We’re going to have to go through the whole human anatomy with a series of cases.”

Kavanaugh picked up on Thomas’ thread, too. “People are moving the goal posts on their claims in order to delay executions,” he lectured Kretzer. “At least, that’s the state’s concern.” Later, Kavanaugh added: “This is a potential huge area of future litigation across a lot of areas—sincerity of religious claims. How do we question those? Some things people have talked about are the incentives someone might have to be insincere, behavioral inconsistencies … the religious tradition of the practice. What do we look at to check sincerity? Because that’s a very awkward thing for a judge to do, to say: ’I want to look into the sincerity of your claim.’ But our case law says we must do that.”



So were we! You can find all of this, and more, on Fundies Say the Darndest Things!

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