In the upcoming Presidential race, one issue that nobody is talking about is the issue that most concerns me. That issue is what kind beliefs that the justices and judges appointed by the next President will hold about the US Constitution, and how they are to interpret it. I am scared, and mostly by the candidate from one of the major parties, that future justices may hold the belief that their job is to interpret the words of the Constitution not as the authors intended and often clearly wrote, but based on their belief of what those words mean in light of "today's reality." As it stands I am most concerned about court rulings that would hurt the Second Amendment, and rulings that would seriously hurt major parts of the First Amendment. Today, from another country I got my first proof that what I fear could happen here soon, unless the Constitutional protections on free speech and government interference in religion are lost.
Charisma News Service reports in this article about a pastor in Sweden who is being sued over what he said from the pulpit.
Give what I have already seen happen in my lifetime, I can easily belive that it is only a matter of time before some state passes "hate speech" legislation that would open our pastors to similar law suites, or even criminal action. However, I strongly believe that the protections in the First Amendment prohibit such laws, and am fairly sure that the current Supreme court would throw such a law out, but possibly not by the 9 to 0 margin it would deserve.
The current court is balanced on a razor between strongly conservative (and I believe mostly strict constitutionalists) justices, and strongly liberal justices. Therefore the replacement for the next justice who leaves could push it over. I am reasonably sure that some of the current justices already rule based not only on the text, but on their guesses how the text should be interpreted in light of their world view, and might decide that some speech is dangerous, even when spoken from the pulpit of a church and based on hundreds and thousands of years of doctrine.