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Noah Feldman

Amy Coney Barrett Is Trying to Tell Us Something

The newest Supreme Court Justice drops a hint in a religious-freedom case that she's not an extremist.

Listen carefully.

Listen carefully.

Photographer: Erin Schaff/The New York Times/Bloomberg

One of the most anticipated cases of the U.S. Supreme Court term that ended this month was Fulton v. Philadelphia, which presented the conflict between the prohibition of discrimination against gay people and the religious liberty of the Roman Catholic Church.

The court ruled unanimously that Philadelphia’s anti-discrimination laws as written could not require a Catholic social services agency to work with same-sex couples who wanted to become foster parents. But the justices ducked the chance to resolve the big constitutional confrontation, so the case seemed destined for obscurity.