What Is Truth? Setting the Bounds of Justiciability in Religiously-Inflected Fact Disputes

49 Pages Posted: 13 Sep 2013

Date Written: September 1, 2010

Abstract

This article evaluates the constitutional and evidentiary status of religiously-inflected beliefs about matters of fact. Specifically, may a court, under the First Amendment, engage in factfinding on an issue as to which a party has a religiously-based belief? I show that that this is not an academic question, that the caselaw is in conflict, and that the ramifications of the possible constitutional rules are significant. I illustrate the stakes with analysis of cases involving a "religious insanity defense," which requires the court to make a finding of fact that the defendant's religious beliefs were false.

Keywords: Free Exercise, First Amendment, insanity, ballard

Suggested Citation

Mason, Caleb E., What Is Truth? Setting the Bounds of Justiciability in Religiously-Inflected Fact Disputes (September 1, 2010). Journal of Law and Religion, Vol. 26, No. 1, 2010. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2323991

Caleb E. Mason (Contact Author)

Brown White & Osborn LLP ( email )

333 S. Hope St.
40th Floor
Los Angeles, CA 90071
United States
2134062949 (Phone)
2134062949 (Fax)

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