Open Access. Powered by Scholars. Published by Universities.®

Digital Commons Network

Open Access. Powered by Scholars. Published by Universities.®

Articles 1 - 11 of 11

Full-Text Articles in Entire DC Network

Adjudicating Religious Sincerity, Nathan Chapman Jan 2017

Adjudicating Religious Sincerity, Nathan Chapman

Scholarly Works

Recent disputes about the “contraception mandate” under the Affordable Care Act and about the provision of goods and services for same-sex weddings have drawn attention to the law of religious accommodations. So far, however, one of the requirements of a religious accommodation claim has escaped sustained scholarly attention: a claimant must be sincere. Historically, scholars have contested this requirement on the ground that adjudicating religious sincerity requires government officials to delve too deeply into religious questions, something the Establishment Clause forbids. Until recently, however, the doctrine was fairly clear: though the government may not evaluate the objective accuracy or plausibility ...


The Establishment Clause, State Action, And Town Of Greece, Nathan Chapman Jan 2015

The Establishment Clause, State Action, And Town Of Greece, Nathan Chapman

Scholarly Works

The Establishment Clause forbids the government from engaging in the same religious exercise that the law protects when performed by a private party. Thus, an establishment case often turns on whether religious activity is "state action." Too often, however, courts ignore the state action analysis or merge it with the substantive Establishment Clause analysis. This muddles both doctrines and threatens individual religious liberty.

This Article argues that the state action doctrine should account for the government's distribution of private rights. Accordingly, the Constitution applies to the government's distribution of rights, but not to a private party's use ...


Rethinking Religious Minorities' Political Power, Hillel Y. Levin Jan 2015

Rethinking Religious Minorities' Political Power, Hillel Y. Levin

Scholarly Works

This Article challenges the assumption that small religious groups enjoy little political power. According to the standard view, courts, because of their countermajoritarian qualities, are indispensable for protecting religious minority groups from oppression by the majority. But this assumption fails to account for the many and varied ways in which the majoritarian branches have chosen to protect and accommodate even unpopular religious minority groups, as well as the courts’ failures to do so.

The Article offers a public choice analysis to account for the surprising majoritarian reality of religious accommodationism. Further, it explores the important implications of this reality for ...


A Look At The Establishment Clause Through The Prism Of Religious Perspectives: Religious Majorities, Religious Minorities, And Nonbelievers, Samuel J. Levine Jan 2012

A Look At The Establishment Clause Through The Prism Of Religious Perspectives: Religious Majorities, Religious Minorities, And Nonbelievers, Samuel J. Levine

Scholarly Works

This article traces the Court’s Establishment Clause jurisprudence through several decades, examining a number of landmark cases through the prism of religious minority perspectives. In so doing, the Article aims to demonstrate the significance of religious perspectives in the development of both the doctrine and rhetoric of the Establishment Clause. The Article then turns to the current state of the Establishment Clause, expanding upon these themes through a close look at the 2004 and 2005 cases Elk Grove Unified School District v. Newdow, Van Orden v. Perry, and McCreary County v. American Civil Liberties Union of Kentucky. The article ...


Pleasant Grove V. Summum: Losing The Battle To Win The War, Ian C. Bartrum Jan 2009

Pleasant Grove V. Summum: Losing The Battle To Win The War, Ian C. Bartrum

Scholarly Works

This short essay explores the potential doctrinal implications of the Supreme Court's recent decision in Pleasant Grove v. Summum.


The Political Origins Of Secular Public Education: The New York School Controversy 1840-1842, Ian C. Bartrum Jan 2008

The Political Origins Of Secular Public Education: The New York School Controversy 1840-1842, Ian C. Bartrum

Scholarly Works

As the title suggests, this article explores the historical origins of secular public education, with a particular focus on the controversy surrounding the Catholic petitions for school funding in nineteenth-century New York City. The article first examines the development of Protestant nonsectarian common schools in the northeast, then turns to the New York controversy in detail, and finally explores that controversy's legacy in state constitutions and the Supreme Court. It is particularly concerned with two ideas generated in New York: (1) Bishop John Hughes' objection to nonsectarianism as the 'sectarianism of infidelity'; and (2) New York Secretary of State ...


The Constitutional Structure Of Disestablishment, Ian C. Bartrum Jan 2007

The Constitutional Structure Of Disestablishment, Ian C. Bartrum

Scholarly Works

This article proceeds in the structuralist tradition, which Professor Charles Black describes as "the method of inference from the structure and relationships created by the Constitution." The article takes a structural approach to the Establishment Clause: it reexamines the theoretical foundations of disestablishment, and infers a constitutional structure designed to create a dialectical relationship between political institutions and social institutions. The structural thesis requires that our political institutions safeguard individual liberty of conscience by bracketing all religious questions. The antithesis ensures the existence of free and independent social organizations dedicated to building public virtue. The article then applies the structural ...


Discrimination Cases Of The 2002 Term (Symposium: The Fifteenth Annual Supreme Court Review), Eileen Kaufman Jan 2004

Discrimination Cases Of The 2002 Term (Symposium: The Fifteenth Annual Supreme Court Review), Eileen Kaufman

Scholarly Works

No abstract provided.


Paradise Lost: Good News Club, Charitable Choice, And The State Of Religious Freedom, Ian C. Bartrum Jan 2002

Paradise Lost: Good News Club, Charitable Choice, And The State Of Religious Freedom, Ian C. Bartrum

Scholarly Works

The United States Constitution's two religion clauses prohibit Congress from passing laws that establish religion or restrict its free exercise. This Note argues that James Madison and Thomas Jefferson worked to include this language in the Constitution because of their belief that citizens' religious duties were more fundamental than their civic duties. It argues that they intended the Constitution's religion clauses to form a simple dialectic: the government may not force citizens to renounce their religious duties by compelling them to support another faith, nor may it pass laws that act coercively to restrict their religious beliefs and ...


Rethinking The Supreme Court’S Hands-Off Approach To Questions Of Religious Practice And Belief, Samuel J. Levine Jan 1998

Rethinking The Supreme Court’S Hands-Off Approach To Questions Of Religious Practice And Belief, Samuel J. Levine

Scholarly Works

In recent years, the United States Supreme Court has shown an increasing unwillingness to engage in deciding matters that relate to the interpretation of religious practice and belief. While the Justices have articulated valid concerns concerning these cases, courts should not allow these concerns to deter them from making decisions vital to the effective adjudication of Free Exercise and Establishment Clause cases. In fact, it appears that as a result of the Court's increasing refusal to consider carefully the religious questions central to many cases, the Court often tends to group together religious claims and practices, regardless of the ...


Substantive Due Process And Free Exercise Of Religion: Meyer, Pierce And The Origins Of Wisconsin V. Yoder, Jay S. Bybee Jan 1996

Substantive Due Process And Free Exercise Of Religion: Meyer, Pierce And The Origins Of Wisconsin V. Yoder, Jay S. Bybee

Scholarly Works

In this paper the author examines the nature of parents' due process right to direct the education of their children and its relationship to the First Amendment. The article begins with the hardiest of the U.S. Supreme Court's early substantive due process decisions: Meyer v. Nebraska and Pierce v. Society of Sisters. Meyer struck down a Nebraska law forbidding the teaching of foreign language in public or private schools; Pierce struck down an Oregon law requiring attendance at public schools. Part I recounts that the laws in both cases were the result of complex forces, uniting groups as ...