“Ceci n’est pas une pipe: The Crucifix in Italian Schools in the Light of Recent Jurisprudence” by Francesco Alicino

With a 65-page decision, the Joint Section of the Supreme Court (Sezioni Unite della Corte di Cassazione), the highest Italian Court, has ruled on the display of the crucifix in public school classrooms. Issued on September 9, 2021, decision no. 24414/2021 synthesizes an extensive number of precedents, including those of the Italian Constitutional Court and

Church and State

“Lemon v. Kurtzman: Reflections on a Constitutional Catastrophe” by William E. Thro and Charles J. Russo

One of the most contentious issues in constitutional law is whether governmental action amounts to “an establishment of religion” in violation of the First Amendment. For the past fifty years, the Court has often, but not always, resolved Establishment Clause cases using the three-pronged test established by Lemon v. Kurtzman. Under the Lemon test, a court must ask

“Religious Liberty and Social Equality in the Aftermath of Fulton v. Philadelphia” by Kenneth Townsend

Religion clause jurisprudence is one of the more convoluted areas of constitutional law. The Supreme Court has articulated at least six different standards in recent years for determining whether a state has violated the First Amendment’s prohibition against “establishment of religion.”  The Court’s approach to free exercise cases is not much clearer and no less

“The Qur’an, Islamic Veiling, and Laïcité: French Law and Islamophobia” by James McBride

In the summer of 2021, the French National Assembly and Senate passed the so-called “anti-separatism” bill, signed into law by Emanuel Macron, ostensibly to protect laïcité, the French secularist doctrine designed to ensure government neutrality toward religion. The new law increases scrutiny by the government of religious associations, bars homeschooling (except in some instances which

“General Applicability: An Ambiguous Concept after Fulton” by Patrick Hornbeck

What does it mean to call a law generally applicable? The question is timely because of a confluence between the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision this summer in Fulton v. City of Philadelphia and ongoing litigation over COVID-19 prevention measures, especially vaccination mandates. In Fulton, the Court gestured toward two definitions of general applicability. The majority

“Law Without Gospel: Social Identity Pietism and the First Amendment Balance, Part Two” by Laura Ford

This is Part II of Laura Ford’s essay on Social Identity Pietism and the First Amendment Balance. The First Amendment Balance & Social Peace In a careful historical study of American cultural and jurisprudential developments relating to First Amendment religious freedom, Philip Hamburger has persuasively argued that the U.S. effort to separate religion from politics

“Law Without Gospel: Social Identity Pietism and the First Amendment Balance, Part One” by Laura Ford

This is the final remnant of the Christianity of their ancestors, the last enduring bit of their inheritance: a social gospel, without the gospel. – Joseph Bottum, An Anxious Age (2014) The law commands and requires us to do certain things. The law is thus directed to our behavior and consists in making requirements. For God

“The EU Needs an RFRA: The Leftovers of Religious Freedom in the Case Law of the Court of Justice” by Andrea Pin

Recently, the Court of Justice of the EU (CJEU) passed a new ruling on the Muslim headscarf. That headscarves cause debate shouldn’t be a surprise. Four years ago, the CJEU dealt with the very same issue: private employers asking Muslim women to remove their headscarves and Muslim women claiming the violation of Directive 2000/78 EC,

“Stop Accusing Religious Conservatives of ‘Using’ Religion” by Raphael A. Friedman

Identifying proper boundaries for religious liberty in American public life continues to be a hot-button issue. Stories of friction between religious groups and other members of society have pervaded the headlines, and such conflicts aren’t going away anytime soon.  Over the last few years, the Supreme Court has ruled on a number of cases in

“The European Margin of Dis-Appreciation and the Big No to Ritual Slaughter” by Sohail Wahedi

Religious traditions that are not historically rooted in the Christo-European culture face particular legal and political challenges that are unprecedented in the post-World War II-era. Despite the establishment of supranational bodies responsible for the promotion of human rights standards and the advancement of civil liberties, liberal democracies have failed to introduce and maintain a robust