CUA Law Professor Mark Rienzi's article, "Symposium: The calm before the storm for religious-liberty cases?", was published on the SCOTUSblog. See below.
With respect to religious-liberty litigation, October Term 2018 represented the calm before the storm. Its main feature was a major establishment clause decision that significantly clarified the law concerning religiously inspired public monuments. And the Supreme Court gave several indications that it will be active on free-exercise issues next term, particularly in cases in which the court’s own doctrine is creating real harm. This is not surprising, as the broader societal valence of religious-liberty conflicts has not abated, and many of the major precedents in the field (such as Lemon v. Kurtzman and Employment Division v. Smith) have created disequilibrium in the law and uncertainty for litigants. Ongoing social conflict and unstable precedent are a recipe for a stream of cases reaching the court, at least until the social conflict ebbs or the court’s decisions create a new doctrinal equilibrium.
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