Dignity and Discrimination
18 Pages Posted: 17 Nov 2020
Date Written: November 12, 2020
This essay surveys uses of dignity in U.S. constitutional law, with a focus on conflicts between the dignities attached to citizenship and religious conscience. Parts I and II discuss dignity as state sovereignty and hierarchical status. Part III examines the collision of dignities in the Masterpiece Cakeshop decision. Part IV argues that attention to the public or private nature of the site where religious accommodation is demanded clarifies when accommodation is appropriate, using a house of worship and a government office as illustrations. Part V lists other sites of accommodation and discusses how one might use the public/private distinction despite its socially constructed character.
Keywords: dignity, religious accommodation, constitutional law, religious conscience, public sphere, private sphere
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