Justice Sonia Sotomayor continues her warnings of a dramatic conservative turn at the Supreme Court
"In just a few years," Sotomayor remarked Tuesday as the liberals found themselves on the losing end of a case that could bolster state funding for religious schools, the court "has upended constitutional doctrine."
"With growing concern for where this Court will lead us next, I respectfully dissent," Sotomayor wrote.
On Tuesday, she continued the same theme, emphasizing the majority's will to move quickly to change legal doctrine.
"The consequences of the Court's rapid transformation of the Religion Clauses must not be understated" she said.
Chief Justice John Roberts, writing for the right side of the bench, said that the state's action violated the Free Exercise Clause of the Constitution.
"The state" Roberts said, "pays for tuition for certain students at private schools -- so long as they are not religious."
The opinion infuriated Sotomayor who charged her conservative colleagues with dismantling "the wall of separation between church and state that the Framers fought to build."
In the new opinion Tuesday, she highlighted the history of the court balancing the Establishment Clause (prohibiting the government from establishing a religion) with the Free Exercise Clause (protecting free exercise of religion).
"The Court's increasingly expansive view of the Free Exercise Clause risks swallowing the space between the Religion Clauses that once permitted religious exercise to exist without sponsorship and without interference," she wrote on Tuesday.
She said the majority had created a road map that will extend to other church and state disputes down the road.
Despite everything, Sotomayor last week suggested in general terms that she hadn't lost hope.
"There are days I get discouraged," Sotomayor said, adding that she is sometimes brought to tears.