Mirror of Justice

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Thursday, August 7, 2014

"Freedom of Religion and the Freedom of the Church"

Over at the "Liberty Law Forum," I have posted a short essay called "Freedom of Religion and the Freedom of the Church."  (It's about what's probably my hobby-horse issue, and is adapted from this piece, which came out a little while ago in the Journal of Contemporary Legal Issues.)  Critical responses will be added in the coming days from some leading law-and-religion scholars -- I'm looking forward to them (nervously).  Here's a bit:

Michael McConnell observed a little while ago that although “‘freedom of the church’ was the first kind of religious freedom to appear in the western world, [it] got short shrift from the Court for decades.”[4] However, he continued, “it has again taken center stage.” It seems that it has.[5] Indeed, Chief Justice Roberts, in his opinion in the Hosanna-Tabor case (2012), gestured toward its place in Magna Carta on the way to concluding for a unanimous court that the Constitution “bar[s] the government from interfering with the decision of a religious group to fire one of its ministers.”[6]

But, what is this “great idea”? Berman and others have discussed at length and in depth what it meant during, around, and after the Investiture Crisis of the 11th century. What, though, does and should it mean today?

 UPDATE:  John Inazu's (excellent) response is available here.

http://mirrorofjustice.blogs.com/mirrorofjustice/2014/08/freedom-of-religion-and-the-freedom-of-the-church.html

Garnett, Rick | Permalink