Tempering Civil Rights Conflicts: Common Law for the Moral Marketplace

69 Pages Posted: 16 Jul 2016 Last revised: 8 Mar 2017

See all articles by Adam MacLeod

Adam MacLeod

St. Mary's University School of Law

Date Written: July 15, 2016


The culture war has sprawled into the marketplace. Property is now sexy but also loaded with moral conflict. Baking or buying a cake, arranging or purchasing flowers, meeting with fellow students on a university campus for religious services, taking and posing for pictures, are all suddenly morally- and politically-freighted acts. Can law provide a peaceful solution to the present conflict between sexual-identity right claims and religious liberty? The purpose of this article is to argue that law, understood in its textured, common-law contours, can provide a more peaceful and reasonable solution than (a) positive law alone, (b) markets unmediated by law, and (c) peremptory claim-rights.

Keywords: civil rights, conscience, equality, sexual identity, dignity, common law, markets, rights, perfectionism, mediated dominion

Suggested Citation

MacLeod, Adam, Tempering Civil Rights Conflicts: Common Law for the Moral Marketplace (July 15, 2016). 2016 Michigan State Law Review 643, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2810161

Adam MacLeod (Contact Author)

St. Mary's University School of Law ( email )

One Camino Santa Maria St
San Antonio, TX 78228
United States

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