The Future of Religious Pluralism: Justice O'Connor and the Establishment Clause

54 Pages Posted: 15 Feb 2010

See all articles by Deborah Jones Merritt

Deborah Jones Merritt

Ohio State University (OSU) - Michael E. Moritz College of Law

Daniel C. Merritt

Independent

Date Written: March 14, 2007

Abstract

Justice Sandra Day O’Connor offered a distinctive vision of the Establishment Clause during her decades on the Supreme Court. This article puts that vision in context by reviewing the history of religious pluralism, tolerance, and intolerance in the United States. The article also draws upon psychology research to illuminate the polarizing tendencies that continuously undermine religious tolerance. These sections of the article offer essential background that many observers overlook when analyzing the Establishment Clause. Finally, the article argues that Justice O’Connor’s Establishment Clause principles offer the best promise of promoting religious pluralism more fully in the United States.

Keywords: Justice O'Connor, Establishment Clause, Religious Pluralism, First Amendment, History, Psychology

JEL Classification: K19

Suggested Citation

Merritt, Deborah Jones and Merritt, Daniel C., The Future of Religious Pluralism: Justice O'Connor and the Establishment Clause (March 14, 2007). Arizona State Law Journal, Vol. 39, No. 3, pp. 895-948, 2007. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1552905

Deborah Jones Merritt (Contact Author)

Ohio State University (OSU) - Michael E. Moritz College of Law ( email )

55 West 12th Avenue
Columbus, OH 43210
United States
614-247-7933 (Phone)
614-292-4868 (Fax)

Daniel C. Merritt

Independent ( email )

No Address Available

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