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Politics At The Pulpit: Tax Benefits, Substantial Burdens, And Institutional Free Exercise, Lloyd Hitoshi Mayer Oct 2016

Politics At The Pulpit: Tax Benefits, Substantial Burdens, And Institutional Free Exercise, Lloyd Hitoshi Mayer

Lloyd Hitoshi Mayer

More than fifty years ago, Congress enacted a prohibition against political campaign intervention for all charities, including churches and other houses of worship, as a condition for receiving tax deductible contributions. Yet the IRS has never taken a house of worship to court for alleged violation of the prohibition through political comments from the pulpit, presumably at least in part because of concerns about the constitutionality of doing so. This decision is surprising, because a careful review of Free Exercise Clause case law - both before and after the landmark Employment Division v. Smith decision - reveals that the prohibition …


What Is A 'Religious Institution'?, Zoe D. Robinson Dec 2013

What Is A 'Religious Institution'?, Zoe D. Robinson

Zoe Robinson

Change in the First Amendment landscape tends towards the incremental, but the Supreme Court’s opinion two terms ago in Hosanna-Tabor v. EEOC — holding that religious institutions enjoy a range of First Amendment protections that do not extend to other individuals or organizations — is better understood as a jurisprudential earthquake. The suddenness and scale of the shift helps to explain the turmoil that has ensued in the lower courts and law journals. And yet, it could be that the biggest aftershock has yet to be felt. The Court left open the most important functional question that exists in scenarios …


Beit Din's Gap-Filling Function: Using Beit Din To Protect Your Client, Michael A. Helfand Dec 2013

Beit Din's Gap-Filling Function: Using Beit Din To Protect Your Client, Michael A. Helfand

Michael A Helfand

This article considers how rabbinical courts play an important gap-filling role by providing parties with a forum to adjudicate a subset of religious disputes that could not be resolved in court. Under current constitutional doctrine, civil courts cannot adjudicate disputes that turn on religious doctrine and practice. By contrast, rabbinical courts can resolve such disputes--and the decisions of rabbinical courts can then be enforced by civil courts even as those same civil courts could not resolve the dispute in the first instance. In this way, rabbinical courts--like other religious arbitration tribunals--fill a void created by constitutional law, ensuring that parties …


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 Freedom Of The Church': (Towards) An Exposition, Translation, And Defense, Richard W. Garnett Nov 2013

'The Freedom Of The Church': (Towards) An Exposition, Translation, And Defense, Richard W. Garnett

Richard W Garnett

This Article was presented at a conference, and is part of a symposium, on the topic of "Freedom of the Church in the Modern Era." In addition to summarizing and re-stating claims made by the author in earlier work – claims having to do with, among other things, church-state separation, the no-establishment rule, legal and social pluralism, and the structural role played by religious and other institutions – the Article attempts to strengthen the argument that the idea of “the freedom of the church” (or something like it) is not a relic or anachronism but instead remains a crucial component …


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 …


Pluralism, Dialogue, And Freedom: Professor Robert Rodes And The Church-State Nexus, Richard W. Garnett Nov 2013

Pluralism, Dialogue, And Freedom: Professor Robert Rodes And The Church-State Nexus, Richard W. Garnett

Richard W Garnett

The idea of church-state separation and the image of a wall are at the heart of nearly every citizen's and commentator's thinking about law and religion, and about faith and public life. Unfortunately, the inapt image often causes great confusion about the important idea. What should be regarded as an important feature of religious freedom under constitutionally limited government too often serves simply as a slogan, and is too often employed as a rallying cry, not for the distinctiveness and independence of religious institutions, but for the marginalization and privatization of religious faith.

How, then, should we understand church-state separation? …


Church, State, And The Practice Of Love, Richard W. Garnett Nov 2013

Church, State, And The Practice Of Love, Richard W. Garnett

Richard W Garnett

In his first encyclical letter, Deus caritas est, Pope Benedict XVI describes the Church as a community of love. In this letter, he explores the organized practice love by and through the Church, and the relationship between this practice, on the one hand, and the Church's commitment to the just ordering of the State and society, on the other. God is love, he writes. This paper considers the implications of this fact for the inescapably complicated nexus of church-state relations in our constitutional order.

The specific goal for this paper is to draw from Deus caritas est some insight into …