Administratively Quirky, Constitutionally Murky: The Bush Faith-Based Initiative

37 Pages Posted: 27 Oct 2004

See all articles by Jill I. Goldenziel

Jill I. Goldenziel

National Defense University; University of Pennsylvania


In this article, Ms. Goldenziel explores the administrative and constitutional peculiarities of the Bush Administration's Faith-Based Initiative. She argues that the Supreme Court's establishment clause jurisprudence offers no clear standards for administrative rule-making. However, the Bush administration has ignored the Supreme Court's guidelines and has crafted a program of dubious constitutionality. The Initiative is nearly impermeable to constitutional challenges or other public checks because of its peculiar place in the administrative structure. Because the Initiative endangers the fundamental constitutional right to freedom from religious establishment, Ms. Goldenziel calls for the Initiative to be publicly accountable, and provides suggestions for how the Bush administration can achieve this goal.

Keywords: Faith-based, faith, religion, law, politics, Bush, social service, charitable choice

JEL Classification: K10, K39, H50, H80, I30

Suggested Citation

Goldenziel, Jill I., Administratively Quirky, Constitutionally Murky: The Bush Faith-Based Initiative. Available at SSRN:

Jill I. Goldenziel (Contact Author)

National Defense University ( email )

300 5th Ave
Ft McNair
Washington, DC 20319
United States

University of Pennsylvania ( email )

Philadelphia, PA 19104
United States

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