The University of Texas at Austin   School of Law

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Fall 2013 - Con Law II: Religious Liberty

Sager, Lawrence

Course ID: 481C  Unique # 29477  Credit Hours: 4
Meeting DaysTimesLocation
   Monday 2:15 pm - 3:22 pm TNH 2.139
   Tuesday 2:15 pm - 3:22 pm TNH 2.139
   Wednesday 2:15 pm - 3:22 pm TNH 2.139
Exam Type   Date   Time      Name Range   Room  
  Floating      
Registration Information
This course is restricted to upper division students only.

Description
Our Constitution does not include a single reference to God, yet devotes more attention to religious liberty than to any liberty-bearing feature of our constitutional commitments.  And our constitutional tradition is marked by a number of provocative circumstances:  An example is the rule of Sherbert v.  Verner, which purported to give religiously-motivated persons a right to disregard legal impediments to their projects except when the laws in questions were justified by a compelling state interest; but Sherbert -- in the 27 years that it was nominally the governing rule -- was invoked successfully in only four cases, three of which involved state unemployment benefits.  For all of its quirks, though, our constitutional tradition of religious liberty is robust, detailed and attractive -- probably the most so of any in the world.  In this class we will seek a critical understanding of religious liberty -- primarily in our federal constitutional tradition, but with reference as well to state statutory and constitutional law, and to reflective experience elsewhere in the world.

Textbooks
Religious Freedom & the Constitution - Eisgruber + Sager
  Harvard, edition: 2010
  ISBN: ISBN-13: 978-0674045   (required)
Religion and the Constitution - Michael W. McConnell
  Aspen, edition: 2011
  ISBN: ISBN-13: 978-0735507   (required)