Cardozo law professor Marci Hamilton explains how politicians have intentionally conflated constitutional religious liberty—which comes from the First Amendment of the Constitution—and statutory religious liberty—which originated in the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993—for political gain. Hamilton describes the many differences between these two types of religious liberty and calls upon politicians and journalists to disambiguate the term.
Cornell University law professor Michael Dorf considers to what extent defamation law provides a remedy for people who appear in deliberately misleading audiovisual recordings, as in the recently released videos ostensibly showing senior officials of Planned Parenthood stating prices for selling fetal body parts.
Cardozo law professor Marci Hamilton discusses the federal First Amendment Defense Act—a bill that she argues is actually itself unconstitutional.
UC Davis law professor Vikram David Amar discusses the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent decision in Walker v. Texas Division, Sons of Confederate Veterans, Inc., in which the Court held that Texas could, consistent with the First Amendment, reject a specialty license plate design application due to its prominent use of the Confederate battle flag. Amar argues that the Court’s reasoning might lead to problems in future disputes and offers a different rationale for reaching the same result that would have avoided such problems.
Cardozo law professor Marci Hamilton discusses and contrasts the constitutional requirements—and limitations—on clergy and government officials.
Cardozo law professor Marci Hamilton comments on a recent decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit holding that RFRA does not immunize religious nonprofits from the requirement under the Affordable Care Act that they notify the government of their beliefs in order to be exempt from paying for their employees’ contraception.
Chapman University law professor Ronald Rotunda describes, both directly and by analogy, the ways in which federal, state, and local governments are attempting to weaken religion.
UC Davis law professor Vikram David Amar describes some important takeaway points from two cases decided by the U.S. Supreme Court earlier this week—Elonis v. United States and EEOC v. Abercrombie & Fitch.
UC Davis law professor Vikram David Amar discusses a recent decision by the U.S. Supreme Court that has received little attention despite its significance—Williams-Yulee v. Florida Bar. In that case, a 5-4 majority of the Court upheld a Florida law that forbids candidates running in contested elections for judicial office from personally soliciting campaign contributions. Amar argues that the ruling provides important insights about First Amendment doctrine and also about the membership of the Roberts Court.
UC Davis law professors Vikram David Amar and Alan Brownstein continue their discussion of state religious freedom restoration acts (RFRAs). Amar and Brownstein discuss the original purpose of state RFRAs, the pros and cons of enacting a general religious liberty statute as opposed to granting accommodations on a case-by-case basis, and the best way for states to move forward in light of these considerations.
Cornell University law professor Michael Dorf considers the intricacies of a question Justice Antonin Scalia posed during last week’s oral argument in the same-sex marriage cases—whether, if the Court finds a constitutional right to same-sex marriage, clergy who will not officiate at same-sex weddings must thereby forfeit the power to officiate at opposite-sex weddings.
Cornell University law professor Sherry Colb discusses the competing values at issue when an ultra-Orthodox Jewish man on an airplane requests not to be seated next to a woman who is not his wife.
UC Davis law professors Vikram David Amar and Alan Brownstein discuss state religious freedom restoration acts (RFRAs). In this first of a two-part series of columns, Amar and Brownstein argue that whether a state RFRA should apply in private litigation should be determined on a case-by-case basis.
Cardozo law professor Marci Hamilton describes how the conservative Christian agenda is steadily making its way into law, first through the federal RFRA, and then subsequently in other ways.
UC Davis law professor Vikram David Amar comments on the case currently before the U.S. Supreme Court regarding Texas’s rejection of a custom license plate application that included the Confederate flag. Specifically, Amar considers three First Amendment issues raised during the recent oral argument for that case.
In light of recent controversy in Indiana and Arkansas over RFRAs, Cornell University law professor Michael Dorf discusses the nuanced question whether courts should interpret a general RFRA to apply in private litigation if the statute is silent on the matter.
Cardozo law professor Marci Hamilton discusses the dangers not only of the recently passed Indiana Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), but also the even more extreme Arkansas RFRA that just passed in that state.
Cardozo Law professor Marci Hamilton discusses the danger of state RFRAs, particularly in light of Indiana’s recent passage of such a law. Hamilton cautions that such laws pose a serious threat to society and despite their name, do not “restore” nothing previously in laws.
UC Davis law professors Vikram David Amar and Alan E. Brownstein discuss the so-called “Sodomite Suppression Act”—a recently proposed California initiative. Amar and Brownstein argue that despite the clear illegality and immorality of the proposed initiative, many of the suggestions that the attorney who proposed it be punished or that the initiative process be altered to prevent these types of initiatives are themselves unconstitutional in some cases, and at best ill-advised in other cases.
Cardozo law professor Marci Hamilton discusses the recent unanimous decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit holding that the Milwaukee Archdiocese is subject to the facially neutral bankruptcy laws against fraud during proceedings, despite its claims, based on free exercise arguments, to the contrary.