PLS 315-01

Reynolds case:

  • earliest free-ex case
  • outsider groups tend to focus on free-ex
    • communitarian viewpoint
  • belief v. action
    • belief is free
    • action can be regulated
  • cannot target specific religion
  • law of general app:
    • burdens free-ex for a few
      • when permissible, when not?
    • if exception needed, under what conditions?
    • constitutional?
    • rational basis/goal?
      • very low legal standard/threshold

Gobitis case (1940)

  • exception?
  • exercise in discipline
  • rejects JW arguments, upholds salute

Barnette (1943)

  • overturns Gobitis
    • dissent ultimately replaces majority
  • JWs discriminated against in aftermath
  • WWII context
  • competing interests
    • promote patriotism
    • free-ex
  • coercion not a good basis for unity
    • other means available
  • strict scrutiny
  • compelling interest
  • when is imposition of burden allowable?
    • clear and present danger

Cantwell v. CT (1940)

  • another JW case
  • solicitors must have license for door-to-door activity
  • unequally applied as a matter of policy
    • JWs always denied on application
    • eventually stopped applying
    • proselytized anyway
  • no “time place & manner” restrictions
  • anti-Catholic rhetoric
    • incitement to riot

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