Today, the Diocese of South Carolina filed a Reply Brief with the U.S. Supreme Courtin response to last week’s Brief in Opposition by TEC. The Reply succinctly addresses each of TEC’s legal objections to our Petition for Certiorari by the Court and reinforces the appropriateness of their granting review.
The Reply demonstrates that:
1. The State Court ruling does NOT rely strictly upon state law and precedent.
2. Four of the five justices in their opinions demonstrate their reliance upon the “hybrid” approach to neutral principles of law to reach their conclusion.
3. The TEC brief actually affirms the split in the lower courts on this issue, further reinforcing the need for the U.S. Supreme Court to grant our Petition.
The conclusive statement from the Argument is an apt summary. “Respondents’ remaining arguments against certiorari all lack merit. Four decades after Jones, the time has come for this Court to bring order out of chaos and resolve the meaning of the “neutral principles” approach to church property disputes.”
This filing represents the final step before our case will be scheduled for Conference by the Court. We anticipate that will come in the next several weeks, with a decision on our Petition soon thereafter.
As we now move to the conclusion of this critical process, I would encourage the intentional prayers of you and your parish for a timely conference, a favorable review and the opportunity to argue our case before the court in full. And continue to pray God’s grace for our legal counsel, in the midst of the many demands of this litigation, to argue effectively in the defense of this Diocese and its congregations.
(The Rev.) Jim Lewis is Canon to the Ordinary, Diocese of South Carolina
Diocese of #SouthCarolina Canon Jim Lewis’ ltr abt Yesterday’s Supreme Court Filing https://t.co/iwFgZzU5N7 “Respondents’ remaining arguments agnst certiorari all lack merit. 4 decades aftr Jones, the time has come 4 this Court to bring order out of chaos' #scotus #law #religio pic.twitter.com/BrcLTUQxpQ
— Kendall Harmon (@KendallHarmon6) May 16, 2018