Selective Support of Religious Liberty
nebraskalawprof at yahoo.com
Sun Mar 4 17:06:02 PST 2012
I agree with a lot of what Marty says here (although some of us see Newdow as a hecklers' veto case, rather than a religious liberty case).
I was invited to participate in a debate last year at Miami Law on the ground zero mosque issue. Since I was the "conservative/FedSoc" tribute in these Hunger Games, I think everyone expected me to oppose the mosque.
Instead, I showed up talking religious liberty under the 1A and RLUIPA!
It wasn't much of a debate, but we had a great Program on religious liberty and religious land use.
Welpton Professor of Law
University of Nebraska College of Law
Lincoln, NE 68583-0902
"And against the constitution I have never raised a storm,It's the scoundrels who've corrupted it that I want to reform" --Dick Gaughan (from the song, Thomas Muir of Huntershill)
--- On Sun, 3/4/12, Marty Lederman <lederman.marty at gmail.com> wrote:
From: Marty Lederman <lederman.marty at gmail.com>
Subject: Selective Support of Religious Liberty
To: "Law & Religion issues for Law Academics" <religionlaw at lists.ucla.edu>
Date: Sunday, March 4, 2012, 4:16 AM
Perhaps a topic worthy of its own dedicated thread: The phenomenon is hardly unique to the evangelical movement. Doug is of course correct that there are many lawyers and others, evangelical or otherwise, who do great work on behalf of religious liberty "for all." I am increasingly concerned, however, that the majority of self-professed religious liberty allies, who worked so well and sensitively together on matters such as RFRA and RLUIPA, are distressingly selective when it comes to their solicitude for the religious liberty (and equality) of nonmajoritarian religious observers. I am thinking, in particular, of the rather deafening lack of objection (on this list and in public), resources, amicus support, etc., in high-profile cases such as Simpson v. Chesterfield County (as clear a case of unjustifiable religious discrimination as one can imagine -- and one in which it was impossible to round up any support for amicus participation); Summum;
Hernandez; most conspicuously and egregiously, the Park51/Cordoba House controversy; and, I would add, Newdow. The list could go on.
There are, of course, exceptions -- very important exceptions. (See, e.g., Doug's own superlative brief in Newdow; AJC's amicus support in Hernandez) And I realize that every case has its own idiosyncracies and contested predicates. Still, I find myself increasingly dubious about whether the religious liberty "coalition" includes many who are truly dedicated to religious liberty, broadly speaking.
I realize this is a sensitive and complex topic. And if it results primarily in acrimony here, I offer my apology in advance. But it seems to have been lurking beneath the surface of many cases discussed on this list over the past few years, and therefore I thought perhaps it warrants its own discussion, not least because I would love to be persuaded that my suspicions and disappointments are unwarranted.
On Sat, Mar 3, 2012 at 11:49 AM, Douglas Laycock <dlaycock at virginia.edu> wrote:
Well, I thought the e-mail below was going only to one person. So let me
provide more context for the comment.
Of course there are many tolerant people in the evangelical movement,
including lawyers who do great work on behalf of religious liberty for all.
They understand that religious liberty is not safe for anyone unless it
protects everyone. But there are many others, whose work is dedicated to
issues other than religious liberty, who have not thought about these issues
and have not gotten that message. In my 25 years in Texas, I met and worked
with and read reports of the comments of many evangelicals who were
comfortable with diversity and tolerant of Jews and Muslims, and of many
others who were not. And all I meant to say was that folks from the second
group seem to be in control of the Texas Association of Private and
Robert E. Scott Distinguished Professor of Law
University of Virginia Law School
580 Massie Road
Charlottesville, VA 22903
From: religionlaw-bounces at lists.ucla.edu
[mailto:religionlaw-bounces at lists.ucla.edu] On Behalf Of Douglas Laycock
Sent: Saturday, March 03, 2012 11:26 AM
To: 'Law & Religion issues for Law Academics'
Subject: RE: Basketball tournaments on the Sabbath
This morning's story in the Times confirms the unreconstructed Texans
theory. It looks like the conservative evangelical schools have taken
control of this organization, and tolerance of diversity has never been one
of their strengths.
Robert E. Scott Distinguished Professor of Law University of Virginia Law
580 Massie Road
Charlottesville, VA 22903
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