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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 …