Thomas Ascik

Thomas Ascik is a retired federal prosecutor. He writes from North Carolina. His writing has appeared in a variety of publications including Catholic World Report, The Federalist, and The Imaginative Conservative.

recent articles

Dobbs

Dobbs and the Shaky Foundations of Roe

In the oral arguments in the much-anticipated Mississippi abortion case Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization heard in the Supreme Court Wednesday, there was little discussion of the details of abortion. Instead, the status of the Court’s major precedents and the Court’s power and influence in American life were the main subjects. The immediate subject … Read more

What Does the Amazon Synod’s Working Document Really Say?

Much ink has been spilled debating the merits and even the orthodoxy of the Instrumentum Laboris (or working document) of the Amazon Synod, which begins on October 6. We’re now less than one week out from the main event and, curiously, there has been no close reading of the Instrumentum itself. So, let’s begin with … Read more

In England, the Child is the “Mere Creature of the State”

In the case of the now-deceased toddler, Alfie Evans, the British government, through its Royal College of Pediatrics and its courts, had legal authority. Alfie had legal “interests,” which the government defined in his case, but he did not have any “rights.” Alfie’s parents only had a right to be heard; they had no substantive rights … Read more

Is There a Right to be Left Alone?

With respect to social/moral issues, contemporary liberalism or progressivism is flourishing in certain states, among which are California and Colorado. And under this “new federalism,” the direct governmental attempt to coerce individuals is prominent. But the Supreme Court, as set out below, has largely resisted attempts to curtail individual religious and moral liberty. And two … Read more

Can Religious Symbols Be Tolerated on Public Lands?

Is a long-standing commemorative cross on public land socially divisive and a governmental endorsement of religion? Or, to the contrary, is a constitutional challenge to that cross an act of gratuitous social divisiveness? Last week, in American Humanist Association v. Maryland, the federal Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals reversed a ruling of the federal district court of … Read more

Religious Liberty Wins Again in the Supreme Court

In its decision in Trinity Lutheran v. Comer this week, the Supreme Court took another significant step in furthering its contemporary jurisprudence emphasizing the free exercise of religion. Trinity Lutheran Church operates a daycare and early-learning center on its church property in Boone County, Missouri. The church explicitly states that its early learning program is one of … Read more

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