If the Diocese of South Carolina and the churches lose, and their property is taken away, no faith-based organization in the state will be guaranteed its First Amendment right to the “free exercise of religion”. This is specifically a battle for religious freedom, and, by consequence, a battle for freedom in general – the dearest of all American virtues. Philip’s Anglican Church was built by colonists often fleeing religious persecution.
The South Carolina Code of Judicial Conduct requires that a judge disclose any potential conflict of interest and then disqualify themself from the case unless the parties to the litigation agree to waive the conflict. These highly respected authorities conclude that judicial disqualification is necessary.
Participation by a biased judge is a violation of the constitutional rights of due process.
In addition, the majority of the Supreme Court made this decision on the fate of over $500 million of property without a proper factual review of whether the various parishes actually acceded to the canons of the Episcopal Church. It does not take a legal scholar to recognize the danger this court action creates for religious freedom, and freedom in general.
For these reasons, motions for reconsideration have been filed.
Deeply rooted communities of Christ will be scattered.