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Assessing The Future Of “Offended Observer” Standing In Establishment Clause Cases, Larry J. Obhof Mar 2024

Assessing The Future Of “Offended Observer” Standing In Establishment Clause Cases, Larry J. Obhof

Cleveland State Law Review

This Article looks at the anomaly of “offended observer” standing in Establishment Clause challenges. It calls for greater consistency in the courts’ application of constitutional standing requirements.

Under Article III, Plaintiffs seeking to raise claims in federal court must allege a concrete and particularized injury in fact in order to support federal jurisdiction. Likewise, plaintiffs seeking to challenge a government policy must allege a unique injury that is separate from the interests of the public at large. The notable exception is where plaintiffs claim personal offense at alleged government entanglement in religion. These “offended observers” are frequently given access to …


American Religious Liberty Without (Much) Theory: A Review Of Religion And The American Constitutional Experiment, 5th Edition, Nathan S. Chapman Jan 2023

American Religious Liberty Without (Much) Theory: A Review Of Religion And The American Constitutional Experiment, 5th Edition, Nathan S. Chapman

Scholarly Works

Book review of Religion and the American Constitutional Experiment, 5th ed. By John Witte Jr., Joel A. Nichols, and Richard W. Garnett. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2022. Pp. 464. $150.00 (cloth); $39.95 (paper); $26.99 (digital). ISBN: 9780197587614.


Government Speech And The Establishment Clause, Alexander Tsesis Jan 2022

Government Speech And The Establishment Clause, Alexander Tsesis

Scholarly Publications

This Article argues that the Establishment Clause prohibits public actors or agencies from adopting religious messages and symbols. The limitation is explicitly stated in the First Amendment, which restricts government from encroaching on religious belief and ritual. Separation between private and public spheres protects thought, belief, and practice under the Free Exercise Clause and prevents official orthodoxy under the Establishment Clause. One religion clause requires government to respect deeply held personal beliefs that are parallel to beliefs in God, while the other clause prohibits government from participating in sectarian conduct. Government speech can describe, explain, contextualize, and characterize religious rituals …


Las Medidas De “Acomodación” De La Religión En El Derecho Estadounidense [Accommodation Of Religion In U.S. Law], Michael W. Mcconnell, Nathan Chapman Jan 2022

Las Medidas De “Acomodación” De La Religión En El Derecho Estadounidense [Accommodation Of Religion In U.S. Law], Michael W. Mcconnell, Nathan Chapman

Scholarly Works

En este trabajo se analizan las medidas de acomodación de la religión, que gozan de una gran tradición en el derecho constitucional de los Estados Unidos, así como los debates que han generado desde el punto de vista de su conformidad con las cláusulas de la Primera Enmienda de la Constitución de los Estados Unidos: la cláusula de no establecimiento de una religión oficial y la cláusula de libre ejercicio de la religión. A lo largo del trabajo se analiza la principal jurisprudencia recaída sobre las medidas de acomodación y los test que se han construido para enjuiciarlas.

[This paper …


Discriminatory Taint, Kerrel Murray Jan 2022

Discriminatory Taint, Kerrel Murray

Faculty Scholarship

The truism that history matters can hide complexities. Consider the idea of problematic policy lineages. When may we call a policy the progeny of an earlier, discriminatory policy, especially if the policies diverge in design and designer? Does such a relationship condemn the later policy for all times and purposes, or can a later decisionmaker escape the past? It is an old problem, but its resolution hardly seems impending. Just recently, Supreme Court cases have confronted this fact pattern across subject matters as diverse as entry restrictions, nonunanimous juries, and redistricting, among others. Majority opinions seem unsure whether or why …


A Framework For Thinking About The Government’S Speech And The Constitution, Helen Norton Jan 2022

A Framework For Thinking About The Government’S Speech And The Constitution, Helen Norton

Publications

This Essay sketches a framework for mapping and navigating the constitutional implications of the government’s speech—and then illustrates this framework’s application to some contemporary constitutional disputes. My hope is that this framework will help us sort through the constitutional puzzles triggered by the government’s expressive choices—puzzles that confront courts and policymakers with increasing frequency. What I call “first-stage government speech questions” require us to determine when the government is speaking itself and when it is instead (or also) regulating others’ speech. This determination matters because the rules that apply to the government as speaker are very different from those that …


The Establishment Clause: Its Original Public Meaning And What We Can Learn From The Plain Text, Carl H. Esbeck Feb 2021

The Establishment Clause: Its Original Public Meaning And What We Can Learn From The Plain Text, Carl H. Esbeck

Faculty Publications

Modern times in church-state relations began in 1947 with the Supreme Court’s decision in Everson v. Board of Education. The justices in both the majority and dissent said they were interpreting the Establishment Clause based on the intent of the founding generation. However, rather than looking to Congress’s lawmaking in the summer of 1789 that led to the First Amendment, the justices relied on the Virginia disestablishment from four years prior, as well as the efforts of just two statesmen, James Madison and Thomas Jefferson.

For the next half century, the High Court’s search was for events and prominent …


Amen Over All Men: The Supreme Court’S Preservation Of Religious Rights And What That Means For Fulton V. City Of Philadelphia, Christopher Manettas Jan 2021

Amen Over All Men: The Supreme Court’S Preservation Of Religious Rights And What That Means For Fulton V. City Of Philadelphia, Christopher Manettas

Journal of Race, Gender, and Ethnicity

No abstract provided.


Fundamental Funds: Tax Credits And The Increasing Tension Between The Free Exercise Clause And Establishment Clause—Espinoza V. Montana Department Of Revenue, 140 S. Ct. 2246 (2020), Elizabeth Jacobson Jan 2021

Fundamental Funds: Tax Credits And The Increasing Tension Between The Free Exercise Clause And Establishment Clause—Espinoza V. Montana Department Of Revenue, 140 S. Ct. 2246 (2020), Elizabeth Jacobson

Mitchell Hamline Law Review

No abstract provided.


The Religious Freedom Restoration Act, Trinity Lutheran, And Trumpism: Codifying Fiction With Administrative Gaslighting, Robin S. Maril Dec 2020

The Religious Freedom Restoration Act, Trinity Lutheran, And Trumpism: Codifying Fiction With Administrative Gaslighting, Robin S. Maril

Northwestern Journal of Law & Social Policy

This article addresses the Trump administration’s consistent misinterpretation and misapplication of legal precedent to support unnecessary religious exemptions that exceed Constitutional mandates and impair the rights of third parties to access federal services and programs. Proponents of this routinized repeal of civil rights protections argue that the Trump administration is merely restoring the correct balance of religious liberties in the federal government. However, the regulations and policies included in this campaign unconstitutionally broaden the already robust religious protections provided by statutes and court decisions and have the effect of dismantling the civil rights infrastructure of the past 50 years.

Despite …


As Winding As The Serpentine Wall: Tennessee's Adoption Statute Under Lemon, Thomas Rader Nov 2020

As Winding As The Serpentine Wall: Tennessee's Adoption Statute Under Lemon, Thomas Rader

Lincoln Memorial University Law Review Archive

This comment argues that Tenn. Code Ann. 36-1-147 is unconstitutional under both the Tennessee and U.S. Constitutions by demonstrating that the test outlined in Lemon v. Kurzman is appropriate for legislation of this kind, as it is a statute regulating a secular activity in which religious institutions participate. The Comment continues by diving into the legislative history of 36-1-147 before faithfully applying the Lemon test to the statute at hand.


After Espinoza: What's Left Of The Establishment Clause?, Carl H. Esbeck Aug 2020

After Espinoza: What's Left Of The Establishment Clause?, Carl H. Esbeck

Faculty Publications

Consistent with the Establishment Clause, the Supreme Court had permitted the government to fund public and private K-12 schools, so long as any direct aid was not diverted to an explicitly religious purpose. In Espinoza v. Montana Dept. of Rev., the Court held that when there is a government program with a secular purpose, such as education, the Free Exercise Clause requires that the program be available without regard to religion. Clearly the Religion Clauses have undergone a major transformation since the days of no parochial school aid whatsoever in the 1970s and 80s. So, it bears asking: What …


Forgotten Federal-Missionary Partnerships: New Light On The Establishment Clause, Nathan Chapman Jan 2020

Forgotten Federal-Missionary Partnerships: New Light On The Establishment Clause, Nathan Chapman

Scholarly Works

Americans have long disputed whether the government may support religious instruction as part of an elementary education. Since Everson v. Board of Education (1947), the Supreme Court has gradually articulated a doctrine that permits states to provide funds, indirectly through vouchers and in some cases directly through grants, to religious schools for the nonreligious goods they provide. Unlike most other areas of Establishment Clause jurisprudence, however, the Court has not built this doctrine on a historical foundation. In fact, in Trinity Lutheran v. Comer (2017), the dissenters from this doctrine were the ones to rely on the founding-era record.

Intriguingly, …


Left With No Name: How Government Action In Intra-Church Trademark Disputes Violates The Free Exercise Clause Of The First Amendment, Mary Kate Nicholson Nov 2019

Left With No Name: How Government Action In Intra-Church Trademark Disputes Violates The Free Exercise Clause Of The First Amendment, Mary Kate Nicholson

Washington and Lee Law Review

The United States was founded in part on the principle of freedom of religion, where citizens were free to practice any religion. The founding fathers felt so strongly about this principle that it was incorporated into the First Amendment. The Free Exercise Clause states that “Congress shall make no law . . . prohibiting the free exercise thereof . . . .” The Supreme Court later adopted the neutral principles approach to avoid Free Exercise violations resulting from courts deciding real property disputes. Without the application of the same neutral principles to intellectual property disputes between churches, however, there is …


The Locke Exception: What Trinity Lutheran Means For The Future Of State Blaine Amendments, Christopher Tyler Prosser Jun 2019

The Locke Exception: What Trinity Lutheran Means For The Future Of State Blaine Amendments, Christopher Tyler Prosser

Pepperdine Law Review

At its core, this Article is about whether states have the discretion to discriminate against religious organizations by excluding them from generally available secular government aid programs. In the wake of the Supreme Court’s 2004 decision in Locke v. Davey, the federal courts have developed conflicting interpretations of whether the Court’s holding in Locke permits states to exclude religious organizations from generally available secular aid programs. However, the Court’s 2017 decision in Trinity Lutheran v. Comer has cast doubt on the ability of states to exclude religious organizations from such programs and seemingly restricts the Court’s prior decision in Locke …


Legislative Prayer: Historical Tradition And Contemporary Issues, Chad West Jun 2019

Legislative Prayer: Historical Tradition And Contemporary Issues, Chad West

Utah Law Review

The Establishment Clause of the First Amendment provides that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion . . . .”1 There is a great deal of confusion among scholars, lower federal courts, and the Justices of the Supreme Court over appropriate Establishment Clause principles,2 but it is at least clear that the government “may not coerce anyone to support or participate in religion or its exercise, or otherwise act in a way which establishes a state religion or religious faith, or tends to do so.”3 It has long been settled that state and local legislative bodies may, …


Jews And The Culture Wars: Consensus And Dissensus In Jewish Religious Liberty Advocacy, Michael A. Helfand May 2019

Jews And The Culture Wars: Consensus And Dissensus In Jewish Religious Liberty Advocacy, Michael A. Helfand

San Diego Law Review

In the recent culture wars, traditionalists and progressives have clashed over dueling conceptions of family, sexuality and religion—manifested in debates over abortion, contraception, and same-sex marriage. Caught in this conflict has been a political and cultural reassessment of religious liberty; a doctrine originally seen as necessary to protect faith commitments from majoritarian persecution, the public salience of religious liberty has waned as it has clashed with the rights of women and LGBT people. And these evolving commitments to dueling rights have triggered religious, political, and ideological realignments, generating new alliances across political and faith communities.

In this new environment, both …


The California Consumer Privacy Act Of 2018: Are Your Interests At Stake?, Golden Gate University School Of Law Oct 2018

The California Consumer Privacy Act Of 2018: Are Your Interests At Stake?, Golden Gate University School Of Law

GGU Law Review Blog

In recent years, the Supreme Court has recognized the downturn of consistent and reliable Establishment Clause jurisprudence. The inconsistency of opinions and the often hostile outcomes have left the Establishment Clause in “shambles”. Justices have commented that there is no other area of law in more desperate need of repair than the Establishment Clause. One reason posited for the current state of confusion is that the Establishment Clause was never intended to be incorporated. Because of this, even the Supreme Court cannot agree on a single test or even consistently apply the many tests it currently employs.


Do Discretionary Religious Exemptions Violate The Establishment Clause, Carl H. Esbeck Jan 2018

Do Discretionary Religious Exemptions Violate The Establishment Clause, Carl H. Esbeck

Faculty Publications

The Establishment Clause is not violated when government enacts regulatory or tax legislation but provides, concerning these burdens, an exemption for those holding conflicting religious beliefs and practices. Such accommodations are at the discretion of a legislature and have as their purpose to ameliorate hardships borne by religious minorities and other dissenters who find themselves out of step with the prevailing social or legal culture. Statutory religious exemptions are commonplace in this nation where there is a long and venerable tradition of religious tolerance toward our neighbors, as well as those who have made their way to America to escape …


Is There Any Silver Lining To Trinity Lutheran Church, Inc. V. Comer?, Caroline Mala Corbin Jan 2018

Is There Any Silver Lining To Trinity Lutheran Church, Inc. V. Comer?, Caroline Mala Corbin

Articles

No abstract provided.


Saving Grace: The Role Of Religious Organizations In Disaster Recovery And The Constitutionality Of Federal Funding To Rebuild Them, Cheslea Till Jan 2018

Saving Grace: The Role Of Religious Organizations In Disaster Recovery And The Constitutionality Of Federal Funding To Rebuild Them, Cheslea Till

SMU Law Review

Natural disasters are on the rise and religious organizations, the same organizations that came to victims’ rescue in the wake of the last natural disaster, are often left in the path of destruction. Under President Trump’s administration, FEMA recently amended its disaster assistance program to provide funding for religious organizations. Opponents argue this amendment is a violation of the Establishment Clause, while proponents argue the amended plan finally gives religious organizations the fair treatment they deserve. This new aid program needs to be modified and restricted. Though there is clear precedent to support providing some Public Assistance funding to religious …


Education Funding In Maine In Light Of Zelman And Locke: Too Much Play In The Joints?, Sarah M. Lavigne Nov 2017

Education Funding In Maine In Light Of Zelman And Locke: Too Much Play In The Joints?, Sarah M. Lavigne

Maine Law Review

The United States Supreme Court has struggled with the countervailing directives of the Free Exercise Clause and the Establishment Clause for decades. One area in which this battle has been particularly contentious is the issue of public funding of religious schools. On one hand, opponents argue that such funding is an impermissible co-mingling of church and state, thereby violating the Establishment Clause. Meanwhile, proponents of public funding of religious schools argue that, to withhold funding from religious schools would place a burden on those wishing to send their children to religious schools, thereby impermissibly preventing individuals from practicing their faith …


Fighting The New Wars Of Religion: The Need For A Tolerant First Amendment, Leslie C. Griffin Oct 2017

Fighting The New Wars Of Religion: The Need For A Tolerant First Amendment, Leslie C. Griffin

Maine Law Review

Religious wars have broken out around the country about the legality of gay marriage, the consequences of gay ordination for property ownership, the funding of faith-based organizations and the placement of crosses and Ten Commandments (but not Seven Aphorisms) on public land. To resolve such impassioned disputes, Americans traditionally look to the Religion Clauses of the First Amendment, which state "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof." Unfortunately, the Court's modern decisions interpreting those clauses have shed more heat than light on the discussion and have provoked ongoing controversy instead of …


Eclecticism, Nelson Tebbe Sep 2017

Eclecticism, Nelson Tebbe

Nelson Tebbe

This short piece comments on Kent Greenawalt's new book, Religion and the Constitution: Establishment and Fairness. It argues that although Greenawalt's eclectic approach carries certain obvious costs, his theory cannot be evaluated without comparing its advantages and disadvantages to those of its competitors. It concludes by giving some sense of what that comparative calculus might look like.


Nonbelievers, Nelson Tebbe Sep 2017

Nonbelievers, Nelson Tebbe

Nelson Tebbe

How should courts handle nonbelievers who bring religious freedom claims? Although this question is easy to grasp, it presents a genuine puzzle because the religion clauses of the Constitution, along with many contemporary statutes, protect only religion by their terms. From time to time, judges and lawyers have therefore struggled with the place of nonbelievers in the American scheme of religious freedom. Today, this problem is gaining prominence because of nonbelievers’ rising visibility. New lines of social conflict are forming around them, generating disputes that have already gone legal. In this Article, I argue that no wholesale response will do. …


Religion And Marriage Equality Statutes, Nelson Tebbe Sep 2017

Religion And Marriage Equality Statutes, Nelson Tebbe

Nelson Tebbe

To date, every state statute that has extended marriage equality to gay and lesbian couples has included accommodations for actors who oppose such marriages on religious grounds. Debate over those accommodations has occurred mostly between, on the one hand, people who urge broader religion protections and, on the other hand, those who support the types of accommodations that typically have appeared in existing statutes. This article argues that the debate should be widened to include arguments that the existing accommodations are normatively and constitutionally problematic. Even states that presumptively are most friendly to LGBT citizens, as measured by their demonstrated …


Privatizing And Publicizing Speech, Nelson Tebbe Sep 2017

Privatizing And Publicizing Speech, Nelson Tebbe

Nelson Tebbe

When and how should governments be permitted to use private-law mechanisms to manage their public-law obligations? This short piece poses that question in the context of Summum, which the Supreme Court decided earlier this year, and Buono, which it will hear in the fall. In both cases, the government manipulated formal property rules in order to fend off constitutional challenges. In Summum, the government took ownership of a religious symbol in the face of a free speech challenge, while in Buono it shed ownership of land containing another sectarian symbol in an effort to moot an Establishment Clause problem. Although …


Government Nonendorsement, Nelson Tebbe Sep 2017

Government Nonendorsement, Nelson Tebbe

Nelson Tebbe

What are the constitutional limits on government endorsement? Judges and scholars typically assume that when the government speaks on its own account, it faces few restrictions. In fact, they often say that the only real restriction on government speech is the Establishment Clause. On this view, officials cannot endorse, say, Christianity, but otherwise they enjoy wide latitude to promote democracy or denigrate smoking. Two doctrines and their accompanying literatures have fed this impression. First, the Court’s recent free speech cases have suggested that government speech is virtually unfettered. Second, experts on religious freedom have long assumed that there is no …


Catholic Institutions In Court: The Religion Clauses And Political-Legal Compromise, Angela C. Carmella Sep 2017

Catholic Institutions In Court: The Religion Clauses And Political-Legal Compromise, Angela C. Carmella

West Virginia Law Review

No abstract provided.


First Amendment Decisions From The October 2006 Term, Erwin Chemerinsky, Marci A. Hamilton Jun 2017

First Amendment Decisions From The October 2006 Term, Erwin Chemerinsky, Marci A. Hamilton

Erwin Chemerinsky

No abstract provided.