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First Amendment

Frederick Mark Gedicks

First Amendment

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Full-Text Articles in Law

Cross, Crucifix, Culture: An Approach To The Constitutional Meaning Of Confessional Symbols, Frederick Mark Gedicks, Pasquale Annicchino Feb 2014

Cross, Crucifix, Culture: An Approach To The Constitutional Meaning Of Confessional Symbols, Frederick Mark Gedicks, Pasquale Annicchino

Frederick Mark Gedicks

In the United States and Europe the constitutionality of government displays of confessional symbols depends on whether the symbols also have nonconfessional secular meaning (in the U.S.) or whether the confessional meaning is somehow absent (in Europe). Yet both the United States Supreme Court (USSCt) and the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) lack a workable approach to determining whether secular meaning is present or confessional meaning absent. The problem is that the government can nearly always articulate a possible secular meaning for the confessional symbols that it uses, or argue that the confessional meaning is passive and ineffective. What …


"Rfra Exemptions From The Contraception Mandate: An Unconstitutional Accommodation Of Religion", Frederick Mark Gedicks, Rebecca G. Van Tassell Sep 2013

"Rfra Exemptions From The Contraception Mandate: An Unconstitutional Accommodation Of Religion", Frederick Mark Gedicks, Rebecca G. Van Tassell

Frederick Mark Gedicks

Litigation surrounding use of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act to exempt employers from the Affordable Care Act’s “contraception mandate” is moving steadily towards eventual resolution in the U.S. Supreme Court. Both opponents and supporters of the mandate, however, have overlooked Establishment Clause limits on such exemptions. The fiery religious-liberty rhetoric surrounding the mandate has obscured that RFRA is a “permissive” rather than “mandatory” accommodation of religion—that is, a voluntary government concession to religious belief and practice that is not required by the Free Exercise Clause. Permissive accommodations must satisfy Establishment Clause constraints, notably the requirement that the accommodation not impose …