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Religion Law

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William & Mary Law School

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Full-Text Articles in Law

Natural Law And The Rhetoric Of Empire: Reynolds V. United States, Polygamy, And Imperialism, Nathan B. Oman Mar 2011

Natural Law And The Rhetoric Of Empire: Reynolds V. United States, Polygamy, And Imperialism, Nathan B. Oman

Faculty Publications

In 1879, the U.S. Supreme Court construed the Free Exercise Clause for the first time, holding in Reynolds v. United States that Congress could punish Mormon polygamy. Historians have interpreted Reynolds, and the anti-polygamy legislation and litigation that it midwifed, as an extension of Reconstruction into the American West. This Article offers a new historical interpretation, one that places the birth of Free Exercise jurisprudence in Reynolds within an international context of Great Power imperialism and American international expansion at the end of the nineteenth century. It does this by recovering the lost theory of religious freedom that the Mormons …


Preaching To The Court House And Judging In The Temple, Nathan B. Oman Jan 2009

Preaching To The Court House And Judging In The Temple, Nathan B. Oman

Faculty Publications

No abstract provided.