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Full-Text Articles in Law

Establishment’S Political Priority To Free Exercise, Marc O. Degirolami Apr 2022

Establishment’S Political Priority To Free Exercise, Marc O. Degirolami

Notre Dame Law Review

Americans are beset by disagreement about the First Amendment. Progressive scholars are attacking the venerable liberal view that First Amendment rights must not be constricted to secure communal, political benefits. To prioritize free speech rights, they say, reflects an unjust inflation of individual interest over our common political commitments. These disagreements afflict the Religion Clauses as well. Critics claim that religious exemption has become more important than the values of disestablishment that define the polity. Free exercise exemption, they argue, has subordinated establishment.

This Article contests these views. The fundamental rules and norms constituting the political regime—what the Article calls …


Inviting An Impermissible Inquiry? Rfra’S Substantial-Burden Requirement And “Centrality”, D. Bowie Duncan Mar 2022

Inviting An Impermissible Inquiry? Rfra’S Substantial-Burden Requirement And “Centrality”, D. Bowie Duncan

Pepperdine Law Review

The Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) prohibits the federal government from substan-tially burdening a person’s religious exercise unless the government can satisfy strict scrutiny. The statute also defines religious exercise to prohibit courts from inquiring into how central a particular religious exercise is to a person’s religion. “The term ‘religious exercise,’” reads the relevant provision, “includes any exercise of religion, whether or not compelled by, or central to, a system of religious belief.” Despite this prohibition on centrality inquiries, some scholars argue that RFRA’s substantial-burden element requires courts to consider the religious costs a law imposes on a religious adherent …


Queer And Convincing: Reviewing Freedom Of Religion And Lgbtq+ Protections Post-Fulton V. City Of Philadelphia, Arianna Nord Mar 2022

Queer And Convincing: Reviewing Freedom Of Religion And Lgbtq+ Protections Post-Fulton V. City Of Philadelphia, Arianna Nord

Washington Law Review

Recent increases in LGBTQ+ anti-discrimination laws have generated new conversations in the free exercise of religion debate. While federal courts have been wrestling with claims brought under the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment since the nineteenth century, city and state efforts to codify legal protections for LGBTQ+ individuals in the mid-twentieth century birthed novel challenges. Private individuals who do not condone intimate same-sex relationships and/or gender non-conforming behavior, on religious grounds seek greater legal protection for the ability to refuse to offer goods and services to LGBTQ+ persons. Federal and state courts must determine how to resolve these …


Back To The Sources? What’S Clear And Not So Clear About The Original Intent Of The First Amendment, John Witte Jr. Jan 2022

Back To The Sources? What’S Clear And Not So Clear About The Original Intent Of The First Amendment, John Witte Jr.

Faculty Articles

This Article peels through these layers of founding documents before exploring the final sixteen words of the First Amendment religion clauses. Part I explores the founding generation’s main teachings on religious freedom, identifying the major principles that they held in common. Part II sets out a few representative state constitutional provisions on religious freedom created from 1776 to 1784. Part III reviews briefly the actions by the Continental Congress on religion and religious freedom issued between 1774 and 1789. Part IV touches on the deprecated place of religious freedom in the drafting of the 1787 United States Constitution. Part V …


Covid-19, Churches, And Culture Wars, John D. Inazu Jan 2022

Covid-19, Churches, And Culture Wars, John D. Inazu

Scholarship@WashULaw

The First Amendment’s Free Exercise Clause often requires courts to balance competing interests of the highest order. On the one hand, the Constitution recognizes the free exercise of religion as a fundamental right. On the other hand, the government sometimes has compelling reasons for limiting free exercise, especially in situations involving dangers to health and safety. The shutdown and social distancing orders issued during the early phases of the COVID-19 pandemic not only restricted free exercise but also limited what many people consider to be the core of that exercise: religious worship. But the orders did so in order to …


Taking Justification Seriously: Proportionality, Strict Scrutiny, And The Substance Of Religious Liberty, Stephanie H. Barclay, Justin Collings Jan 2022

Taking Justification Seriously: Proportionality, Strict Scrutiny, And The Substance Of Religious Liberty, Stephanie H. Barclay, Justin Collings

Journal Articles

Last term, five Justices on the Supreme Court flirted with the possibility of revisiting the Court’s First Amendment test for when governments must provide an exemption to a religious objector. But Justice Barrett raised an obvious, yet all-important question: If the received test were to be revised, what new test should take its place? The competing interests behind this question have be-come even more acute in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. In a moment rife with lofty rhetoric about religious liberty but riven by fierce debates about what it means in practice, this Article revisits a fundamental question common to …