Unconstitutional for deeply religious people to be
MGRABER at GVPT.UMD.EDU
Fri Jun 30 10:17:53 PDT 2000
Professor Volokh writes, in part: " It seems
that you're saying that legislation based on the enactors' deeply held
religious views about, say, the impropriety of abortion or homosexuality or
slavery or race discrimination is unconstitutional; but legislation based on
their deeply held Kantian views, feminist views, Marxist views, or whatever
else would be perfectly constitutional.
This seems like a truly radical discrimination against religious
people, one that I find it hard to see the First Amendment allowing, much
I'm not so sure. I take it would be constitutional for a legislature to pass the following law or meta-law. All ambiguities in this law (or any law) should be interpreted consistently with the principles set out in Kant's philosophy (or feminist philosophy). I take it that the legislature could not declare that "all ambiguities in this law (or any law) should be interpreted consistently with the principles set out by the Christian Bible. Now the analogy is hardly perfect. But it is rather clear that the first amendment does privilege secular government outputs in this sense. The question is how far down that privileging goes.
Mark A. Graber
mgraber at gvpt.umd.edu
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