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Religious freedom, Religion clauses, Free exercise of religion, Free speech


Constitutional Law | First Amendment


This short piece replies to three prominent scholars who have offered thoughtful responses to my article, Excluding Religion. It first takes up their invitation to explore some of the ramifications of the article for legal and political theory, albeit in a limited way. Second, it revisits the article’s central argument - namely, that governments ought to have greater constitutional leeway to deny aid to religious actors and entities than is commonly thought - and shows how that proposal emerges from the conversation intact. Third, the reply defends certain limits on the practice of excluding religion, particularly the presumptive prohibition on singling out particular sects. In conclusion, the piece describes some aspirations that may legitimately motivate scholarship in this area.


Written in response to Thomas C. Berg, Response, Religious Choice and Exclusions of Religion, 157 U. PA. L. REV. PENNUMBRA 100 (2008); Richard W. Garnett, Response, "Excluding Religion ": A Response, 157 U. PA. L. REV. PENNUMBRA 113 (2008); Steven D. Smith, Response, Playing Around with Religion's Constitutional Joints, 157 U. PA. L. REV. PENNUMBRA 123 (2008).

This article predates the author's affiliation with Cornell Law School.