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Moral Truth And Constitutional Conservatism, Gerard V. Bradley Jan 2021

Moral Truth And Constitutional Conservatism, Gerard V. Bradley

Journal Articles

Conservative constitutionalism is committed to "originalism," that is, to interpreting the Constitution according to its original public understanding. This defining commitment of constitutional interpretation is sound. For decades, however, constitutional conservatives have diluted it with a methodology of restraint, a normative approach to the judicial task marked by an overriding aversion to critical moral reasoning. In any event, the methodology eclipsed originalism and the partnership with moral truth that originalism actually entails. Conservative constitutionalism is presently a melange of mostly unsound arguments against the worst depredations of Casey's Mystery Passage.

The reason for the methodological moral reticence is easy to …


The Political (And Other) Safeguards Of Religious Freedom, Richard W. Garnett Jan 2011

The Political (And Other) Safeguards Of Religious Freedom, Richard W. Garnett

Journal Articles

This essay is a contribution to a symposium marking the 20th anniversary of the Supreme Court’s still-controversial decision in Employment Division v. Smith. That decision, it is suggested, should not be read as reflecting or requiring hostility or indifference towards claims for legislatively enacted accommodations of religion. Smith is not an endorsement of religion-blind neutrality in constitutional law; instead, it assigns to politically accountable actors the difficult, but crucially important, task of accommodating those whose religious exercise would otherwise be burdened by generally applicable laws. The essay goes on to suggest several things that must be true of our law …


Does Free Exercise Of Religion Deserve Constitutional Mention?, John M. Finnis Jan 2009

Does Free Exercise Of Religion Deserve Constitutional Mention?, John M. Finnis

Journal Articles

The article discusses the inclusion of the free exercise of religion among a society's constitutional guarantees in the U.S. It cites Christopher Eisgruber and Lawrence Sager, authors of the book "Religious Freedom and the Constitution," who hold that religion does not deserve constitutional mention on account of any special value. It disputes this view and states that religion does deserve constitutional mention and that the constitution should protect a citizen's right to practice his or her religion.


Religious Freedom, Church Autonomy, And Constitutionalism, Richard W. Garnett Jan 2009

Religious Freedom, Church Autonomy, And Constitutionalism, Richard W. Garnett

Journal Articles

Our topic at this symposium is "religion, the state, and constitutionalism"-not "the Constitution," or "the First Amendment," but "constitutionalism." Countless conferences, cases, books, and articles have wrestled with one version or another of the question, "how does our Constitution, with its First Amendment and its religion clauses, promote, protect, or perhaps restrain religion?" We are considering, it seems to me, a question that is different, and that is different in interesting and important ways: What are connections between religion and religious freedom, on the one hand, and constitutionalism, on the other?


An Other Christian Perspective On Lawrence V. Texas, Victor C. Romero Jan 2006

An Other Christian Perspective On Lawrence V. Texas, Victor C. Romero

Journal Articles

The so-called Religious Right's reaction to Lawrence v. Texas has been both powerful and negative, characterizing the case as an assault on the traditional conception of marriage and family life. This essay is an attempt to present a different Christian view. Modeled on the life and teachings of Jesus, this perspective celebrates the Lawrence case as consistent with God's call to social justice for the oppressed. It also outlines a Christian sexual ethic that lifts up genuine, monogamous, committed love between two individuals, whether of the same or opposite sex.


Assimilation, Toleration, And The State's Interest In The Development Of Religious Doctrine, Richard Garnett Jan 2004

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

Journal Articles

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 …


Beguiled: Free Exercise Exemptions And The Siren Song Of Liberalism, Gerard V. Bradley Jan 1991

Beguiled: Free Exercise Exemptions And The Siren Song Of Liberalism, Gerard V. Bradley

Journal Articles

From all the talk about our religious pluralism—how extensive, indelible, inarbitrable it is—one would expect that establishing one definition of religious liberty would be the mother of all civic disturbances. Wrong. We have a common definition of religious liberty. I can demonstrate our agreement with one exhibit: the immensely broad based denunciation of the 1990 Supreme Court decision, Employment Division v. Smith. Two counsellors at a drug rehabilitation center (Alfred Smith and Galen Black) appealed Oregon’s denial of unemployment benefits. Oregon cited the “misconduct” that led to their discharges. Their “misconduct” consisted of using the hallucinogenic drug peyote. Peyote …


Forum Juridicum: Church Autonomy In The Constitutional Order - The End Of Church And State?, Gerard V. Bradley Jan 1989

Forum Juridicum: Church Autonomy In The Constitutional Order - The End Of Church And State?, Gerard V. Bradley

Journal Articles

"Separation of church and state" is right up there with Mom, apple pie, and baseball in American iconography. If everyone agrees on separation of church and state, why does the relationship between religion and public life so vex, excite, and confound us? Part of the reason is that church-state separation, although it is the historical achievement of societies decisively shaped by a Christianity that was itself decisively shaped by Judaism, is a commodious concept.

But "separation of church and state" is not contentless, and our conclusive agreement on it, I submit, provides a valuable common frame of reference in an …