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Medical Jurisprudence

Establishment Clause

Selected Works

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Full-Text Articles in Law

Accommodation, Establishment, And Freedom Of Religion, Richard W. Garnett Nov 2014

Accommodation, Establishment, And Freedom Of Religion, Richard W. Garnett

Richard W Garnett

This short essay engages the argument that it would violate the First Amendment’s Establishment Clause to exempt an ordinary, nonreligious, profit-seeking business – such as Hobby Lobby – from the Affordable Care Act’s contraceptive-coverage rules. In response to this argument, it is emphasized that the First Amendment not only permits but invites generous, religion-specific accommodations and exemptions and that the Court’s Smith decision does not teach otherwise. In addition, this essay proposes that laws and policies that promote and protect religious freedom should be seen as having a “secular purpose” and that because religious freedom, like clean air, is an …


"Rfra Exemptions From The Contraception Mandate: An Unconstitutional Accommodation Of Religion", Frederick Mark Gedicks, Rebecca G. Van Tassell Sep 2013

"Rfra Exemptions From The Contraception Mandate: An Unconstitutional Accommodation Of Religion", Frederick Mark Gedicks, Rebecca G. Van Tassell

Frederick Mark Gedicks

Litigation surrounding use of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act to exempt employers from the Affordable Care Act’s “contraception mandate” is moving steadily towards eventual resolution in the U.S. Supreme Court. Both opponents and supporters of the mandate, however, have overlooked Establishment Clause limits on such exemptions. The fiery religious-liberty rhetoric surrounding the mandate has obscured that RFRA is a “permissive” rather than “mandatory” accommodation of religion—that is, a voluntary government concession to religious belief and practice that is not required by the Free Exercise Clause. Permissive accommodations must satisfy Establishment Clause constraints, notably the requirement that the accommodation not impose …