The current Supreme Court divided five to four in Arizona Christian School Tuition Organization v. Winn – a case in which some Arizona taxpayers sued to prevent public funds from going to scholarships at religious schools on the same terms as they went to pay for scholarships at secular schools. The Court also split five to four in another taxpayer religion suit Hein v. Freedom from Religion Foundation in 2007. Meanwhile in Christian Legal Society v. Martinez, decided in 2010, the Supreme Court voted five to four that, under what the Court described as a “reasonable, viewpoint-neutral condition on access to [recognition as a student organization],” state universities can force religious groups to accept members and officers who do not subscribe to their belief that gay sex is wrong or lose their official status and school funds. At the same time, in Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Church and School v. EEOC, the Court unanimously reaffirmed and gave a fairly generous construction to its longstanding ministerial exception to employment discrimination laws as applied to religious organizations. The recent controversy over the requirements to pay for contraceptives and abortifacients in violation of the religious beliefs of some who would be forced to pay shows us other possible cases involving religious belief and conscience concerns. Religion has long had a special place in our society and in the Constitution. Is that evolving? If so, how? Are we rethinking the question of whether religion is in some ways different? What does the Constitution say about this?
Showcase Panel III: Religion Clauses
9:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.
- Prof. Corey L. Brettschneider, Brown University
- Prof. Philip Andrew Hamburger, Maurice and Hilda Friedman Professor of Law, Columbia Law School
- Prof. William P. Marshall, University of North Carolina School of Law
- Hon. Michael W. McConnell, Richard and Frances Mallery Professor of Law, Stanford Constitutional Law Center, and former Judge, United States Court of Appeals, Tenth Circuit
- Moderator: Hon. William Francis Kuntz, II, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York
- Introduction: Mr. Dean A. Reuter, Vice President & Director of Practice Groups, The Federalist Society