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Standing, Spending, And Separation: How The No-Establishment Rule Does (And Does Not) Protect Conscience, Richard W. Garnett Jan 2009

Standing, Spending, And Separation: How The No-Establishment Rule Does (And Does Not) Protect Conscience, Richard W. Garnett

Journal Articles

The First Amendment’s “Establishment Clause” is widely thought to protect “conscience.” Does it? If so, how? It is proposed in this paper that the no-establishment rule does indeed promote and protect religious liberty, and does safeguard conscience, but not (or, at least, not only) in the way most people think it does, namely, by sparing those who object from the asserted injury to their conscience caused by public funding of religious activity.

The Supreme Court’s decision in Hein v. Freedom from Religion Foundation - a case in which the Justices limited taxpayer standing to bring Establishment Clause claims - reminds …