Nineteenth‐Century Free Exercise Jurisprudence and the Challenge of Polygamy: The Relevance of Nineteenth‐Century Cases and Commentaries for Contemporary Debates About Free Exercise Exemptions

75 Pages Posted: 6 May 2010 Last revised: 28 Jul 2011

Clark B. Lombardi

University of Washington School of Law; University of Washington - Henry. M. Jackson School of International Studies

Date Written: May 5, 2010

Abstract

Does the Free Exercise Clause of the U.S. Constitution require judges to exempt religious objectors from the application of nondiscriminatory and otherwise applicable laws? Over the last twenty years, judges and academics have debated fiercely whether the Clause should be interpreted to provide religiously observant citizens with a right to “free exercise exemptions.” The debate has led indirectly to a new interest in nineteenth-century views on free exercise jurisprudence. In this Article, I will examine the scholarship on nineteenth-century free exercise jurisprudence to date and ask what it adds to our understanding of the Clause and the question of exemptions.

Keywords: Free Exercise Clause, Exemptions, Religious Objectors, Free Exercise Jurisprudence

Suggested Citation

Lombardi, Clark B., Nineteenth‐Century Free Exercise Jurisprudence and the Challenge of Polygamy: The Relevance of Nineteenth‐Century Cases and Commentaries for Contemporary Debates About Free Exercise Exemptions (May 5, 2010). Oregon Law Review, Vol. 85, No. 2, 2006. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1600923

Clark B. Lombardi (Contact Author)

University of Washington School of Law ( email )

William H. Gates Hall
Box 353020
Seattle, WA 98105-3020
United States
(206) 543-4939 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.law.washington.edu/Faculty/Lombardi

University of Washington - Henry. M. Jackson School of International Studies ( email )

Seattle, WA
United States

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