February 14, 2018 | Professor Michael A. Helfand‘s article, “Reasoning Though Clashes between Religion and Equality: Case Law, Skeptics, and Social Coherence” (SSRN) will be published in Constitutional Commentary (2018, forthcoming). The article is a review of Nelson Tebbe’s new book, Religious Freedom in an Egalitarian Age (Harvard University Press, 2017).
Introduction excerpt from “Reasoning Though Clashes between Religion and Equality”:
One of the few widely shared views regarding contemporary clashes between law and religion is that we are in a state of “deep contestation,” as increasing degrees of social, political and legal polarization have become the norm. This concern over this increasingly deep social division and political polarization has been particularly salient of late. Thus, the admixture of the constitutional recognition of same-sex marriage, litigation surrounding the Affordable Care act’s “contraception mandate,” and claims for religious accommodation from laws that violate faith commitments has created a highly fraught legal environment. And this has led scholars to worry that disagreements have become so deep that there may not even be a way for those who differ to reason about these matters collectively. In the somewhat depressing words of John Inazu, “These deep and often irresolvable differences call into question our constitutional aspiration for ‘a more perfect union,’ our national metaphor of a great ‘melting pot,’ and the promise of our nation’s seal E pluribus unum (‘Out of many, one’).”