Religious Rights in Historical, Theoretical and International Context: Hobby Lobby as a Jurisprudential Anomaly?

99 Pages Posted: 21 Sep 2014

See all articles by S.I. Strong

S.I. Strong

University of Missouri School of Law

Date Written: September 19, 2014

Abstract

The United States has a long and complicated history concerning religious rights, and the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent decision in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc., has done little to clear up the jurisprudence in this field. Although the decision will doubtless generate a great deal of commentary as a matter of constitutional and statutory law, the better approach is to consider whether and to what extent the majority and dissenting opinions reflect the fundamental principles of religious liberty. Only in that context can the merits of such a novel decision be evaluated free from political and other biases.

This Article undertakes precisely that analysis by setting Hobby Lobby into a wider historical, theoretical and international setting so as to determine whether the decision to grant a commercial corporation a religious accommodation is consistent with the rationales underlying religious rights. The discussion considers the work of key theorists in this field while also contemplating relevant principles of international and comparative constitutional law. In so doing, the Article seeks to determine whether the Supreme Court has remained true to established principles of religious liberty or whether Hobby Lobby has made the United States an outlier in this important field of law.

Keywords: Constitutional law, constitutional theory, First Amendment, freedom of religion, religious liberty, international law, comparative law, legal theory, jurisprudence, legal history, religious rights, law and religion

Suggested Citation

Strong, S.I., Religious Rights in Historical, Theoretical and International Context: Hobby Lobby as a Jurisprudential Anomaly? (September 19, 2014). Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law, 2015 Forthcoming; University of Missouri School of Law Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2014-26. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2498550

S.I. Strong (Contact Author)

University of Missouri School of Law ( email )

Missouri Avenue & Conley Avenue
Columbia, MO MO 65211
United States

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