What Utah Could Learn From The Civil Rights Movement

Utah Governor Gary Herbert suggested that state officials who declined to defend state bans on gay marriage were taking “the next step toward anarchy.”  (Quoted in Scott D. Pierce, Utah Gov. Herbert Will Look Bad in Future Documentaries About Gay-Rights Movement, Salt Lake Tribune July 4, 2014.)   And he rejected out of hand the attempt […]

The Hobby Lobby Anomaly: Will the Decision Aid the Case for Same Sex Marriage?

The United States Supreme Court set forth its ruling on June 30, 2014, to the dispute over the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA’s) contraception mandate. Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc., October Term 2013 (Slip Op.) Writing for a four-member plurality, Justice Alito held that the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (the RFRA) supplied the basis for […]

Scalia’s Dissent in Abramski: Textualism, Purpose, and Politics

Justice Scalia is every conservative’s favorite member of the Supreme Court.  Conservatives on and off the Court speak enthusiastically about complying with the text of governing law and engaging in “objective interpretive method,” so that courts are not in the business of imposing their preferred politics on the Constitution and federal laws they apply.  So […]

Equality, Liberty, and the Tenth Circuit Decision in Favor of Gay Marriage

Modern right-libertarians sometimes contend that contemporary courts place undue emphasis on trying to explicate the requirements of constitutional equality and, in so doing, undercut securing the proper scope of the liberty rights secured by the Constitution. What they miss is that the fundamental rights long since recognized as part of the constitutional order become vastly […]

Recent News

Friends of Court, Marrage Equality, and Protecting Religion

Conservative religious organizations—the LDS Church, the Conference of Catholic Bishops, the National Association of Evangelicals, the Ethics and Religious Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention and the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod—all signed on to an amicus brief urging the Supreme Court to resolve the debate over marriage equality. One of their arguments, however, is at least […]

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Amicus Briefs on Marriage Equality and the Burdening of Churches and Believers

Conservative religious organizations—the LDS Church, the Conference of Catholic Bishops, the National Association of Evangelicals, the Ethics and Religious Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention and the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod—all signed on to an amicus brief urging the Supreme Court to resolve the debate over marriage equality. One of their arguments, however, is at least […]

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Religious Freedom and Marriage Equality

https://www.google.com/webhp?client=firefox-a&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&channel=s&hl=en&source=hp&biw=1280&bih=831&btnG=Google +Search#channel=s&hl=en&q=religious+freedom&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official [Picture of bible there--but didn't do it right--more tips?] Perhaps the largest misconception promulgated in the current debate over gay marriage is the commonly offered argument that its establishment would threaten religious freedom. The most direct and significant threat the prospect of gay marriage presents to American religion is that, if conservative religious […]

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Mormon Leader Says Speech is a Threat to Speech

It has become a theme of conservative religionists that there is a frightening new trend toward demonizing religious thought and expression and that this trend actually presents a significant threat to religious freedom.  The argument is common, but exemplary is Dallin H. Oaks’ suggestion that “[w]e are feeling increasing restrictions on unpopular views and unwelcome […]

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The Political Standing of Gays and Evangelicals

It has been almost two years since I reviewed a book by tea party constitutional guru, Cleon Skousen, The Five Thousand Year Leap:  28 Great Ideas That Changed the World (Ann. Ed. 2009).  See Cleon Skousen, the Tea Party, and Equal Rights Before the Law, April 12, 2012, in McAffee Machinations.  In that book Professor […]

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Enforce the Law Act—So Much for Libertarian Values Favoring Personal Freedom, States’ Rights, and Restrictive Standing Rules

During this last week, the House of Representatives voted to enact the Enforce the Law Act by a vote of 233-181.  The bill is unlikely to be adopted in the Senate, but it lends itself to conservative “talking points” about the Obama Imperial Presidency, so it struck republicans in the House as a worthwhile move.  […]

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Religious Liberty, Gay Marriage, and Sexual License

I recently attended a conference sponsored by a law school in this region. The conference held a couple of panel […]

Rick Perry, Religious Freedom, and Prayer in Public Schools

Governor Rick Perry remains a potential 2016 presidential candidate, and he just made a rousing speech at the CPAC conservative […]

The LGBT Community’s Right Against Invidious Discrimination and the Proper Scope of the Right to the Free Exercise of Religion

The Culture Wars continue unabated, and sometimes the fight is only resolved in court—but, sadly, individual constitutional battles often embody […]

Nevada and the Dam Breaking on the Same Sex Marriage Debate

There’s an old saying that, despite occasional claims that courts are just “umpires” who decide what the law requires and […]

Some First Things of Constitutionalism

The comments were originally delivered at “The Natural Law Challenge to Conservative Jurisprudence,” a conference hosted at the William S. Boyd […]

“The Natural Law Challenge to Conservative Jurisprudence”

Date: Tuesday, April 16th, 2013 Time: 12:00 pm Location: UNLV Moot Court On Tuesday, April 16, the William S. Boyd […]