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First Amendment

Selected Works

Richard W Garnett

Free exercise

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Full-Text Articles in Law

Religious Accommodations And – And Among – Civil Rights: Separation, Toleration, And Accommodation, Richard W. Garnett Nov 2015

Religious Accommodations And – And Among – Civil Rights: Separation, Toleration, And Accommodation, Richard W. Garnett

Richard W Garnett

This paper expands on a presentation at a recent conference, held at Harvard Law School, on the topic of “Religious Accommodations in the Age of Civil Rights.” In it, I emphasize that the right to religious freedom is a basic civil right, the increased appreciation of which is said to characterize our “age.” Accordingly, I push back against scholars’ and commentators’ increasing tendency to regard and present religious accommodations and exemptions as obstacles to the civil-rights enterprise and ask instead if our religious-accommodation practices are all that they should be. Are accommodations and exemptions being extended prudently but generously, in …


Religion And Group Rights: Are Churches (Just) Like The Boy Scouts?, Richard W. Garnett Nov 2013

Religion And Group Rights: Are Churches (Just) Like The Boy Scouts?, Richard W. Garnett

Richard W Garnett

What role do religious communities, groups, and associations play - and, what role should they play - in our thinking and conversations about religious freedom and church-state relations? These and related questions - that is, questions about the rights and responsibilities of religious institutions - are timely, difficult, and important. And yet, they are often neglected.

It is not new to observe that American judicial decisions and public conversations about religious freedom tend to focus on matters of individuals' rights, beliefs, consciences, and practices. The special place, role, and freedoms of groups, associations, and institutions are often overlooked. However, if …


Pluralism, Dialogue, And Freedom: Professor Robert Rodes And The Church-State Nexus, Richard W. Garnett Nov 2013

Pluralism, Dialogue, And Freedom: Professor Robert Rodes And The Church-State Nexus, Richard W. Garnett

Richard W Garnett

The idea of church-state separation and the image of a wall are at the heart of nearly every citizen's and commentator's thinking about law and religion, and about faith and public life. Unfortunately, the inapt image often causes great confusion about the important idea. What should be regarded as an important feature of religious freedom under constitutionally limited government too often serves simply as a slogan, and is too often employed as a rallying cry, not for the distinctiveness and independence of religious institutions, but for the marginalization and privatization of religious faith.

How, then, should we understand church-state separation? …


Church, State, And The Practice Of Love, Richard W. Garnett Nov 2013

Church, State, And The Practice Of Love, Richard W. Garnett

Richard W Garnett

In his first encyclical letter, Deus caritas est, Pope Benedict XVI describes the Church as a community of love. In this letter, he explores the organized practice love by and through the Church, and the relationship between this practice, on the one hand, and the Church's commitment to the just ordering of the State and society, on the other. God is love, he writes. This paper considers the implications of this fact for the inescapably complicated nexus of church-state relations in our constitutional order.

The specific goal for this paper is to draw from Deus caritas est some insight into …