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Church Taxes And The Original Understanding Of The Establishment Clause, Mark Storslee Jan 2020

Church Taxes And The Original Understanding Of The Establishment Clause, Mark Storslee

Journal Articles

Since the Supreme Court’s decision in Everson v. Board of Education, it has been widely assumed that the Establishment Clause forbids government from 'aiding' or subsidizing religious activity, especially religious schools. This Article suggests that this reading of the Establishment Clause rests on a misunderstanding of Founding-era history, especially the history surrounding to church taxes. Contrary to popular belief, the decisive argument against those taxes was not an unqualified assertion that subsidizing religion was prohibited. Rather, the crucial argument was that church taxes were a coerced religious observance: a government-mandated sacrifice to God, a tithe. Understanding that argument helps ...


Religious Accommodation, The Establishment Clause, And Third-Party Harm, Mark Storslee Jan 2020

Religious Accommodation, The Establishment Clause, And Third-Party Harm, Mark Storslee

Journal Articles

In the wake of Burwell v. Hobby Lobby, religious accommodation has become increasingly controversial. That controversy has given rise to a new legal theory gaining popularity among academics and possibly a few Supreme Court justices: the idea that the First Amendment's Establishment Clause condemns accommodations whenever they generate anything beyond a minimal cost for third parties.

The third-party thesis is appealing. But this Article argues that there are good reasons to believe it falls short as an interpretation of the Establishment Clause. In its place, the Article offers a new theory for understanding the relationship between costly accommodations and ...


I Now Pronoun-Ce You: A Proposal For Pronoun Protections For Transgender People, Erin E. Clawson Jan 2019

I Now Pronoun-Ce You: A Proposal For Pronoun Protections For Transgender People, Erin E. Clawson

Penn State Law Review

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act protects employees from discrimination “because of sex,” which the Supreme Court found includes gender and sex/gender stereotyping. The circuit courts, however, are split on whether discrimination against transgender people is “because of sex.” In the circuits that extend Title VII’s protection to transgender people, the courts differ as to whether a claim must be based on sex stereotyping or based on a person’s status as transgender or transitioning alone. This issue was recently granted certiorari by the Supreme Court.

Not only do the circuit courts conflict but government agencies disagree ...


Government Advertising Space: Lessons For The 'Choose Life' Specialty License Plate Controversy, Dara Purvis Jan 2007

Government Advertising Space: Lessons For The 'Choose Life' Specialty License Plate Controversy, Dara Purvis

Journal Articles

As license plates emblazoned with the message “Choose Life” have proliferated in twenty-four states, so too have lawsuits challenging such specialty license plates. The holdings of such cases have run the gamut, resulting in a three-way circuit split among the Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth Circuits. Analysis of the controversy up to this point has not considered an illuminating analogy: advertising space owned and operated by the government. Examining the parallels between advertising space and specialty license plates informs doctrinal analysis of the dispute, demonstrating that state legislatures may not use the current practice of individually establishing specialty license plates through ...


Right To Write - Free Expression Rights Of Pennsylvania's Creative Students After Columbine, Barbara Brunner Jan 2003

Right To Write - Free Expression Rights Of Pennsylvania's Creative Students After Columbine, Barbara Brunner

Journal Articles

This comment analyzes the current state of students' free speech rights in the context of creative writing assignments and examines potential First Amendment applications to the Pennsylvania System of School Assessment (PSSA), a statewide, mandatory, standards-based exam administered to Pennsylvania public school students. The PSSA, which currently contains a writing assessment for students in sixth, ninth, and eleventh grades requiring students to write essays in response to prompts, is scored anonymously by private entities under contract with the Pennsylvania Department of Education. Those private subcontractors have "red-flagging" procedures in place to identify essays containing imagery or themes that indicate imminent ...


Your Money Or Your Speech: The Children's Internet Protection Act And The Congressional Assault On The First Amendment In Public Libraries, Steven D. Hinckley Jan 2002

Your Money Or Your Speech: The Children's Internet Protection Act And The Congressional Assault On The First Amendment In Public Libraries, Steven D. Hinckley

Journal Articles

This article examines the inherent conflict between This article examines the inherent conflict between two Congressional approaches to public access to the Internet - the provision of federal funding support to schools and public libraries to ensure broad access to online information regardless of financial means, and federal restrictions on children's use of school and public library computers to access content that the government feels could be harmful to them. It analyzes the efficacy and constitutionality of the Children's Internet Protection Act (CIPA), Congress's attempt to use its powers of the purse to control objectionable online content in ...


Restricting Hate Speech Against Private Figures: Lessons In Power-Based Censorship From Defamation Law, Victor C. Romero Jan 2001

Restricting Hate Speech Against Private Figures: Lessons In Power-Based Censorship From Defamation Law, Victor C. Romero

Journal Articles

This article examines the debate between those who favor greater protection for minorities vulnerable to hate speech and First Amendment absolutists who are skeptical of any burdens on pure speech. The author also provides another perspective on the debate by highlighting the "public/private figure" distinction as an area within First Amendment law that acknowledges differences in power, a construct anti-hate speech advocates should use to further their cause. Specifically, the author places the "public/private figure" division in a theoretical and historical context and then provides empirical support for the thesis that whites enjoy a more prominent societal role ...