The Case of the Exemption Claimants: Religion, Conscience, and Identity
31 Pages Posted: 30 Apr 2018
Date Written: 2018
This quasi-essay or hypothetical case (modeled on Lon Fuller’s famous “The Case of the Speluncean Explorers”) offers a succinct presentation of a range of positions and rationales regarding the currently much-discussed issue of free exercise exemption, conspicuous among other places in the pending case of Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission. The case of suggests a trajectory (discernible, I think, in American jurisprudence) in which a supposed “right” based on supposed duties to a Higher Power dissolves into a commitment to “conscience,” which in turns dissolves into a commitment to personal identity, which threatens to dissolve into … nothing.
Keywords: Constitutional law, Case of the Exemption Claimants, Religious Freedom Clause, priest-penitent privilege, Conscience, Identity, self-conception
JEL Classification: K10
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation