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The Constitutional Politics of the Establishment Clause

By Richard Albert


In these reflections presented at a Symposium hosted by Duquesne University School of Law on \u22The Future of the Establishment Clause in Context: Neutrality, Religion, or Avoidance?\u22 I examine the constitutional politics driving the interpretation of the Establishment Clause. I suggest that the Supreme Court’s recent case law on taxpayer standing may signal a return to the founding design of the Establishment Clause. At the founding, the Establishment Clause constrained the actions of only the national government, disabled only Congress from establishing a religion, and vigorously protected the sovereignty of states. Each of these three signposts - national interdiction, congressional disability, and state sovereignty - may yet again soon hold true if the Supreme Court continues on what appears to be its current path toward de-incorporating the Establishment Clause

Topics: Civil Procedure, Constitutional Law, Courts, First Amendment
Publisher: Digital Commons @ Boston College Law School
Year: 2012
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