Religious Freedom

President Trump has promised to protect religious liberty—but in ways that may injure other groups, offend many faith traditions, and establish (rather than truly accommodate) religion.

The Muslim Ban: Answering Tough Questions About Motive

4/21/17  //  In-Depth Analysis

The opinion by then-Justice Rehnquist in Hunter v. Underwood (1985), a case about denying the right to vote for racist reasons, offers thoughtful answers to many of the hardest questions that you might ask about motive and the Muslim Ban.

Richard Primus

University of Michigan Law School

A Different View of Why the Muslim Ban Violates the Establishment Clause

4/20/17  //  Commentary

A diverse group of leading constitutional law scholars—representing many different views about the Establishment Clause—has filed an amicus brief challenging the Muslim Ban. Here's what you need to know.

Joshua Matz

Publisher

The Trump Administration May Already Have What It Needs for a Serviceable (and Unconstitutional) “Muslim Registry”

4/19/17  //  In-Depth Analysis

The Trump Administration may already have the tools it would need to predict with high accuracy the religious identity of a significant percentage of U.S. citizens and visiting Muslims. And software engineers, not lawyers, may be our first line of alarm and defense.

Is the Trinity Lutheran Church Case Moot?

4/18/17  //  Commentary

Under President Trump, questions about the role of religion have come to the fore. The Supreme Court was set to decide a major Free Exercise issue this Term, but it now seems that the case is moot.

Marty Lederman

Georgetown Law

Those Who Do Not Know History

4/12/17  //  Commentary

On the first full day of Passover, the Trump Administration offered several lessons about institutionalized racism and ethnic cleansing.

Leah Litman

U.C. Irvine School of Law

Joshua Matz

Publisher

Updates | The Week of April 3, 2017

4/9/17  //  Daily Update

Joshua Matz offered analysis of a Mississippi "religious freedom" law on Take Care, while a DoJ memorandum "gives new emphasis to combating religious hate crimes."

Why Trump's Travel Ban Statements Compel a Finding of Improper Purpose

4/6/17  //  Commentary

Trump's statements about the revised travel ban overwhelmingly evidence a purpose at odds with the Establishment Clause. And few, if any, of those statements evince actual, substantive national security or foreign affairs objectives that explain the bizarre scope of his order.

Joshua Matz

Publisher

The Draft Religious Liberty EO

3/27/17  //  Daily Update

A leaked draft of the Administration's proposed executive order on religious liberty.

Take Care

No Peeking? Korematsu and Judicial Credulity

3/22/17  //  Commentary

The Supreme Court's decision in the Japanese Internment Cases offers a chilling reminder of why courts cannot close their eyes to clear evidence of bigotry in executive orders supposedly justified by security concerns.

Ian Samuel

Harvard Law School

Leah Litman

U.C. Irvine School of Law

McKayla Maroney Is Not Impressed (With DOJ's Brief in the Fourth Circuit)

3/27/17  //  In-Depth Analysis

The Department of Justice has filed a brief in the Fourth Circuit defending President Trump's revised entry ban. This is not an impressive brief: it is rife with misstatements of fact and incorrect legal arguments.

Leah Litman

U.C. Irvine School of Law

Women Should Decide When and How to “Dress Like a Woman”

3/17/17  //  Commentary

The President should set a better example for other employers and leave the question of how to dress like a woman—with all of the trade-offs and nuances it entails—to the people who actually have to do it.

Richard Thompson Ford

Stanford Law School

The Establishment Clause and the Muslim Ban

3/18/17  //  Commentary

Why the Establishment Clause Has Emerged as the Chief Stumbling Block for Trump's Muslim Ban

Michael C. Dorf

Cornell Law School

The First Amendment Belongs Only to Americans? Wrong

3/29/17  //  Commentary

The First Amendment makes America great for everyone, not just for citizens.

Nikolas Bowie

Harvard Law School

Leah Litman

U.C. Irvine School of Law

A Lurking Threat to LGBT Rights & Religious Freedom

4/3/17  //  In-Depth Analysis

Today, the Fifth Circuit hears argument in a major case about the future of religious liberty and LGBT rights. The law under review, HB 1523, is flagrantly unconstitutional. And the result of this appeal may profoundly influence Trump's still-evolving policies.

Joshua Matz

Publisher

The Imperatives of Structure: The Travel Ban, the Establishment Clause, and Standing to Sue

4/3/17  //  In-Depth Analysis

In the Fourth Circuit travel ban appeal, DOJ contends that the plaintiffs lack standing. But a deeper examination of the Establishment Clause proves that the plaintiffs’ claims must be heard on the merits.

Ira C. Lupu

George Washington University Law School

Peter J. Smith

George Washington University Law School

Robert W. Tuttle

George Washington University Law School

Deep Problems with the Proposed Executive Order on Religious Freedom

3/28/17  //  In-Depth Analysis

There are major constitutional problems with the leaked draft of a "religious freedom" executive order, which singles out for protection only traditional and conservative religious views on sex, marriage, sexual relations, gender identity, and pregnancy.

Ira C. Lupu

George Washington University Law School

Robert W. Tuttle

George Washington University Law School

Why Courts Have Probed Trump’s Motives for the Travel Ban

4/4/17  //  Commentary

Perceptions of presidential bad faith have given judges the fortitude to do what the law already demands of them, even though their actions might prompt the President to bash them by name on TV or Twitter.

Joshua Matz

Publisher

A Landmark Victory for LGBT Rights (And The Path Ahead)

4/5/17  //  Commentary

The en banc Seventh Circuit has held that Title VII protects against sexual orientation discrimination. SCOTUS is likely to grant review of this important issue in the near future. But it remains unclear what position the Trump Administration will take.

Joshua Matz

Publisher

The World Is Not Made Brand New Every Morning

3/20/17  //  Commentary

Judge Kozinski thinks that we cannot account for President Trump's campaign statements in the Muslim Ban cases. That is wrong. Courts can, and should, reckon with this history in assessing whether Trump's ban comports with religious neutrality.

Jonathan Taylor

Gupta Wessler PLLC