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Constitutional Law

2013

First Amendment

Jack C Dolance II

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U.S. Asylum Law As A Path To Religious Persecution, Jack C. Dolance Ii Mar 2013

U.S. Asylum Law As A Path To Religious Persecution, Jack C. Dolance Ii

Jack C Dolance II

U.S. asylum law protects against persecution “on account of . . . religion.” But must the law protect a non-believer seeking religious asylum in the United States? Many may instinctively answer “no,” for a non-believer is by most definitions not “religious.” Such a response misses the mark however — at least in the context of U.S. asylum law, which is subject to the First Amendment. The protection of religious liberty enshrined in the First Amendment embodies freedom from persecution on account of one’s “religion” — in whatever form that religion may take. In the asylum context, then, “religion” must be defined broadly ...