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Constitutional Law

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2015

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

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

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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 ...