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Church autonomy

Selected Works

Richard W Garnett

Constitutional Law

Articles 1 - 2 of 2

Full-Text Articles in Law

Religion And Group Rights: Are Churches (Just) Like The Boy Scouts?, Richard W. Garnett Nov 2013

Religion And Group Rights: Are Churches (Just) Like The Boy Scouts?, Richard W. Garnett

Richard W Garnett

What role do religious communities, groups, and associations play - and, what role should they play - in our thinking and conversations about religious freedom and church-state relations? These and related questions - that is, questions about the rights and responsibilities of religious institutions - are timely, difficult, and important. And yet, they are often neglected.

It is not new to observe that American judicial decisions and public conversations about religious freedom tend to focus on matters of individuals' rights, beliefs, consciences, and practices. The special place, role, and freedoms of groups, associations, and institutions are often overlooked. However, if …


The Political (And Other) Safeguards Of Religious Freedom, Richard W. Garnett Nov 2013

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

Richard W Garnett

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 …