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Religion in the New Republic

Richard Albert

Boston College - Law School


Louisiana Law Review, Vol. 67, No. 1, 2006

Establishment Clause case law is incoherent in many consequential ways. Many point directly to the Supreme Court of the United States for this lamentable state of affairs. I disagree with this diagnosis. It is an inaccurate and incomplete criticism to blame the Supreme Court for the current landscape of establishment jurisprudence. Modern establishment doctrine - incoherent though it may be - is more properly viewed as an evolving product of the continuing public constitutional discourse among Americans and between public and private forces about the proper role of religion in the American polity. Just as early Americans debated among themselves, armed with their differing hopes and visions about how to mediate the intersection of religion and the state, so too Supreme Court decisions have, on a parallel track, reflected the changing contours of this important debate - a conversation that has yet to cede center stage in the American public square.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 54

Keywords: Establishment Clause, Religion, Freedom of Religion, Established Church, Supreme Court, Disestablishment, Colonial History, Bill of Rights, American History

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Date posted: June 29, 2009 ; Last revised: September 22, 2009

Suggested Citation

Albert, Richard, Religion in the New Republic (2006). Louisiana Law Review, Vol. 67, No. 1, 2006. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1424048

Contact Information

Richard Albert (Contact Author)
Boston College - Law School ( email )
885 Centre Street
Boston, MA 02459-1163
United States
617.552.3930 (Phone)
HOME PAGE: http://richardalbert.com

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