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Book Review

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As one of four contributors to an issue celebrating Christopher Eisgruber and Lawrence Sager's Religious Freedom and the Constitution, I have chosen to write an Essay that differs from an ordinary review. I compare the authors' approach with two other recent formulations of what should be central for the jurisprudence of the Religion Clauses. Since I have recently published my own treatment of the Free Exercise Clause, and a second volume on the Establishment Clause is in the pipeline toward publication, I do not here present my own positive views (though I provide references for interested readers). Those views might be capsulized as a broad defense of the Supreme Court's traditional "no hindrance-no aid" approach to the Free Exercise and Establishment Clauses – a defense that rejects a fair amount of what the Court has actually decided but also rejects the idea that some simplifying conceptual approach can best guide adjudication in this sensitive domain. Thus, although I believe we can learn much from the three approaches I discuss here, I resist claims that any of them would alone produce just decisions about the legal treatment of religion in the United States.


Constitutional Law | First Amendment | Human Rights Law | Law | Religion Law


Religious Freedom and the Constitution by Christopher L. Eisgruber & Lawrence G. Sager, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2007, pp. 333, $28.95.

Copyright © 2007 Texas Law Review Association.