Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Religious Folks Should Embrace Corporations as Persons - The Naked Private Square

Mirrors of Justice has links to two good law papers at Colombo, "The Naked Private Square". That deals with the religious free exercise rights of corporations. and  it relates to some of the religious freedom controversies currently vexing courts.

I might try to break down the arguments in both rather good papers later on. The abstract of the main article ( available for download)

In the latter half of the twentieth century, America witnessed the construction of a “wall of separation” between religion and the public square. What had once been commonplace (such as prayer in public schools, and religious symbols on public property) had suddenly become verboten. This phenomenon is well known and has been well studied.

Less well known (and less well studied) has been the parallel phenomenon of religion’s expulsion from the private square. Employment law, corporate law, and constitutional law have worked to impede the ability of business enterprises to adopt, pursue, and maintain distinctively religious personae. This is undesirable because religious freedom does not truly and fully exist if religion expression and practice is restricted to the private quarters of one’s home or temple.

Fortunately, a corrective to this situation exists: recognition of the right to free exercise of religion on the part of business corporations. Such a right has been long in the making, and the jurisprudential trajectory of the courts (especially the U.S. Supreme Court), combined with the increased assertion of this right against certain elements of the current regulatory onslaught, suggests that its recognition is imminent.

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