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Foreordained Failure The Quest for a Constitutional Principle of Religious Freedom

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ISBN-10: 0195132483

ISBN-13: 9780195132489

Edition: N/A

Authors: Steven D. Smith

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Ever since the Supreme Court began enforcing the First Amendment's religion clauses in the 1940s, courts and scholars have tried to distill the meaning of those clauses into a useable principle of religious freedom. In this highly original work, Smith criticizes the main positions in the debate and explains their misconceptions. He argues that efforts to find a principle of religious freedom in the "original meaning" are fruitless because the clauses were purely jurisdictional in nature: they were meant to place authority over questions of religion with the states, and nothing more. Contending that the perennial quest to distill religious freedom into a "principle," is futile, Smith…    
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Book details

Publisher: Oxford University Press, Incorporated
Publication date: 4/22/1999
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 192
Size: 6.25" wide x 9.25" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 0.682
Language: English

Steven D. Smith is Warren Distinguished Professor of Law at the University of San Diego and Co-Executive Director of the USD Institute for Law and Religion.

Introduction: Rethinking "Rethinking Religious Liberty"
The Jurisdictional Character of the Religion Clauses
Is the Free Exercise Clause Different?
The Nullification of Original Meaning
The Theory Project
The Fundamental Conundrum
The Pursuit of Neutrality
A Secular Theory of Religious Freedom?
Afterword: Normative Questions