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Legal History Commons

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Supreme Court

CMC Senior Theses

Construction Law

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Full-Text Articles in Legal History

Render Unto Caesar: How Misunderstanding A Century Of Free Exercise Jurisprudence Forged And Then Fractured The Rfra Coalition, John S. Blattner Jan 2017

Render Unto Caesar: How Misunderstanding A Century Of Free Exercise Jurisprudence Forged And Then Fractured The Rfra Coalition, John S. Blattner

CMC Senior Theses

This thesis provides a comprehensive history of Supreme Court Free Exercise Clause jurisprudence from 1879 until the present day. It describes how a jurisdictional approach to free exercise dominated the Court’s rulings from its first Free Exercise Clause case in 1879 until Sherbert v. Verner in 1963, and how Sherbert introduced an accommodationist precedent which was ineffectively, incompletely, and inconsistently defined by the Court. This thesis shows how proponents of accommodationism furthered a false narrative overstating the scope and consistency of Sherbert’s precedent following the Court’s repudiation of accommodationism and return to full jurisdictionalism with Employment Division ...