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Posts Tagged ‘First Amendment’

This post reviews David Sehat, The Myth of American Religious Freedom (New York: Oxford University Press, 2011).  Sehat is Assistant Professor of History at Georgia State University.

Let me start off by saying that I absolutely loved this book.  It’s my favorite kind of history.  Sehat takes one idea and traces its history from the American founding to the present, giving his readers a deep understanding of the concept even as we are disabused of some common misperceptions along the way.  The concept here is American religious freedom.  The misperceptions are these.  Liberals often speak as if from our founding the United States has been a secular nation and that Christian efforts to impose Christian morality on everyone else are out of step with this history.  Conservatives often speak as if the United States has always been a Christian nation, and that Christianity is in fact the basis of the religious freedom we all hold so dear.  Both are wrong.

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This post reviews Linda Wang, “Who Knows Best? The Appropriate Level of Judicial Scrutiny on Compulsory Education Laws Regarding Home Schooling” in Journal of Civil Rights and Economic Development, 25 (Winter 2011); 413-448.

Wang, a recent J.D. from St. John’s University School of Law, here seeks to make sense of the conflicting and hazy Constitutional principles at play in cases regarding homeschooling law and liberty. (more…)

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This post reviews Teri Dobbins Baxter, “Private Oppression: How Laws that Protect Privacy Can Lead to Oppression” in Kansas Law Review 58, no. 2 (January 2010): 415-471   [Available for purchase here]

Baxter, Professor of Law at St. Louis University, here seeks to get leverage on how to best handle the FLDS (Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints) issue that blew up in Texas two years ago.  As I described in a recent post, the FLDS made the news in a big way when their Texas compound was raided in April of 2008 by Texas State authorities, who removed 437 children from the site, prompting the largest child custody battle in U.S. history and enormous media coverage.

After summarizing the raid and its aftermath, Baxter does two things.  First, she surveys the various U.S. Constitutional issues the situation raises.  Second, she delves deeply into most of the important state-level court cases that have limned the extent of parental rights in terms of homeschooling.  Why her focus on homeschooling law?  Read on to find out.  (more…)

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