Religion

  • “Breaking the Sotomayor Mold” — Kody W. Cooper

    by James Wilson Institute on February 25, 2022
    Kody Cooper argues that a new justice in the mold of Sotomayor would fail to pass the “test of truth” when it comes to abortion, religious liberty, and takings. Some excerpts: “In the wake of Justice Breyer’s retirement announcement, Democrats are divided over whether President Biden should appoint a more conciliatory ‘bridge-builder’ who will look for opportunities […]
  • “Originalism Is Not Enough” — Hadley Arkes in Claremont Review of Books

    by James Wilson Institute on February 17, 2022
    In a review of Drakeman’s The Hollow Core of Constitutional Theory: Why We Need the Framers, Prof. Hadley Arkes contends that, when debating moral issues such as abortion and freedom of religion, judges should look beyond the text of the Constitution to the principles underpinning it. The Framers themselves disagreed on constitutional interpretation, and it’s […]
  • “The Smith Case, Religious Freedom, and Originalism” — Christopher Wolfe in Public Discourse

    by James Wilson Institute on February 10, 2022
    Responding to the Fulton decision, Christopher Wolfe argues that conservative judges who wish to uphold originalism should not overturn Smith. Some excerpts: “The Smith opinion was written by Justice Antonin Scalia, the greatest twentieth-century Supreme Court originalist—maybe the ‘re-founder’ of originalism on the Court. It is surprising, and perhaps ominous, that the newly ‘conservative’ Court in 2021 […]
  • “Waiting for Dobbs” — Hadley Arkes in The Catholic Thing

    by James Wilson Institute on February 9, 2022
    Professor Arkes anticipates what might happen if the Supreme Court seeks to take “the low door under the whole” in the Dobbs case—sustaining the law in Mississippi while affecting not to overrule Roe v. Wade. Some excerpts: “The odds are that the statute in Mississippi will be sustained by a Court now containing Amy Coney […]
  • “And All the Students Said, ‘Amen’” — Keisha Russell

    by James Wilson Institute on December 17, 2021
    Keisha Toni Russell, Counsel at First Liberty Institute, argues that young Americans learn to respect religious liberty–and individual rights more generally–when religion flourishes in public. Some excerpts: “In the early 1960s, the Supreme Court reviewed two cases involving voluntary school prayer and Bible reading. The cases, Engel v. Vitale (1962) and Abington Township School District v. Schempp (1963), contained […]
  • “A Common Call to Prayer” — Gunnar Gundersen

    by James Wilson Institute on December 6, 2021
    Continuing our symposium on school prayer, JWI Affiliated Scholar Gunnar Gundersen argues that the Establishment Clause gives federal judges no right to restrict religious activity in American public education. By forbidding school prayer, judges have encouraged a culture of relativism. Some excerpts: “Until recently, community prayer was not only non-controversial, but considered a necessary element […]
  • “Common Good and Common Belief in the Common Law” — Timon Cline

    by Chloe Edwards on November 30, 2021
    Analyzing past Supreme Court decisions on religion and public health, Timon Cline argues that the best judges consider public opinion as they attempt to rule in favor of the common good. Some excerpts: “The simple conclusion to be drawn from Locke, Viemeister, and Cole is that cognizance of the common good is a matter of prudential governance and that […]
  • “Corporations, Churches, Persons, and the Natural Law” — Robert Miller

    by James Wilson Institute on November 23, 2021
    Responding to Professor MacLeod, Robert Miller argues that the government should respect associations not because these associations themselves constitute “persons” with natural rights, but because the people involved have rights. Some excerpts: “Professor McLeod says that the question before us is ‘whether churches and other associations of people have an existence of their own, prior to their […]
  • “No Free Exercise for Aztecs—or Abortionists” — Jordan Ballor

    by James Wilson Institute on November 17, 2021
    Jordan Ballor argues that the right to religious liberty is not absolute, and that courts should refuse religious exemptions to those who violate natural law by practicing abortion in the name of religion. Some excerpts: “It is a perennial challenge to identify the proper limits to religious liberty in America and rightly apply these limits. […]
  • “Churches: An Existence of Their Own” — Adam Macleod

    by James Wilson Institute on November 17, 2021
    Prof. Adam MacLeod argues that churches, corporate entities, and trusts exist independently of government recognition or contract, deriving their existence from the fundamental right to associate and to form private property institutions around certain ends. Some excerpts: “The question is whether churches and other associations of people have an existence of their own, prior to […]