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First Amendment

Selected Works

Richard W Garnett

Constitutional law

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Articles 1 - 4 of 4

Full-Text Articles in Law

The Worms And The Octopus: Religious Freedom, Pluralism, And Conservatism, Richard Garnett Nov 2015

The Worms And The Octopus: Religious Freedom, Pluralism, And Conservatism, Richard Garnett

Richard W Garnett

formidable challenge for an academic lawyer hoping to productively engage and intelligently assess “American Conservative Thought and Politics” is answering the question, “what, exactly, are we talking about?” The question is difficult, the subject is elusive. “American conservatism” has always been protean, liquid, and variegated – more a loosely connected or casually congregating group of conservatisms than a cohesive and coherent worldview or program. There has always been a variety of conservatives and conservatisms – a great many shifting combinations of nationalism and localism, piety and rationalism, energetic entrepreneurism and romanticization of the rural, skepticism and crusading idealism, elitism and …


Religion, Division, And The First Amendment, Richard W. Garnett Nov 2013

Religion, Division, And The First Amendment, Richard W. Garnett

Richard W Garnett

Nearly thirty-five years ago, in Lemon v. Kurtzman, Chief Justice Warren Burger declared that state programs or policies could excessive(ly) - and, therefore, unconstitutionally - entangle government and religion, not only by requiring or allowing intrusive public monitoring of religious institutions and activities, but also through what he called their divisive political potential. Chief Justice Burger asserted also, and more fundamentally, that political division along religious lines was one of the principal evils against which the First Amendment was intended to protect. And from this Hobbesian premise about the inten(t) animating the First Amendment, he proceeded on the assumption that …


Assimilation, Toleration, And The State's Interest In The Development Of Religious Doctrine, Richard Garnett Nov 2013

Assimilation, Toleration, And The State's Interest In The Development Of Religious Doctrine, Richard Garnett

Richard W Garnett

Thirty-five years ago, in the context of a church-property dispute, Justice William Brennan observed that government interpretation of religious doctrine and judicial intervention in religious disputes are undesirable, because when civil courts undertake to resolve [doctrinal] controversies..., the hazards are ever present of inhibiting the free development of religious doctrine and of implicating secular interests in matters of purely ecclesiastical concern. This statement, at first, seems wise and fittingly cautious, even unremarkable and obvious. On examination, though, it turns out to be intriguing, elusive, and misleading. Indeed, Justice Brennan's warning presents hazards of its own, and its premises - if …


Judicial Review, Local Values, And Pluralism, Richard W. Garnett Nov 2013

Judicial Review, Local Values, And Pluralism, Richard W. Garnett

Richard W Garnett

At the Federalist Society's 2008 National Student Symposium, a panel of scholars was asked to consider the question, does pervasive judicial review threaten to destroy local identity by homogenizing community norms? The answer to this question is yes, pervasive judicial review certainly does threaten local identity, because such review can homogenize[e] community norms, either by dragging them into conformity with national, constitutional standards or (more controversially) by subordinating them to the reviewers' own commitments. It is important to recall, however, that while it is true that an important feature of our federalism is local variation in laws and values, it …