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2006

Courts

Faculty Publications - Department of History, Politics, and International Studies

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Full-Text Articles in Law

Jeffersonian Walls And Madisonian Lines: The Supreme Court’S Use Of History In Religion Clause Cases, Mark Hall Jan 2006

Jeffersonian Walls And Madisonian Lines: The Supreme Court’S Use Of History In Religion Clause Cases, Mark Hall

Faculty Publications - Department of History, Politics, and International Studies

In Everson v. Board of Education (1947), Justice Wiley Rutledge observed that '[n]o provision of the Constitution is more closely tied to or given content by its generating history than the religious clause of the First Amendment. It is at once the refined product and the terse summation of that history.' Scholars and activists argue about the relevance or irrelevance of the Supreme Court’s use of history in general, and the extent to which Justices are good historians. These debates have been particularly furious with respect to the Court’s use of history in religion clause cases. Although ...