The Religion Clauses of the First Amendment: Guarantees of States' Rights? (Paperback)
  • The Religion Clauses of the First Amendment: Guarantees of States' Rights? (Paperback)
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The Religion Clauses of the First Amendment: Guarantees of States' Rights? (Paperback)

(author)
£31.95
Paperback 214 Pages / Published: 03/05/2013
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Were the religion clauses of the First Amendment intended to protect individuals' right to religious freedom and equality or the states' traditional right to legislate on religion? This book examines all the arguments and historical evidence relating to this question, and demonstrates, contrary to the views of some scholars and Supreme Court justices, that the clauses were sought, drafted, and originally understood not as guarantees of states' rights but as normative restraints on the national government's power over religion.

Publisher: Lexington Books
ISBN: 9780739146781
Number of pages: 214
Weight: 304 g
Dimensions: 226 x 153 x 16 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
This book addresses the question whether the two religion clauses, Establishment and Free Exercise, should be understood as merely 'jurisdictional,' that is, as merely precluding Congressional action over religion without conveying any substantive understanding of religious freedom. West has done a thorough job of examining the evidence and demonstrating that the 'jurisdictional' interpretation of the religion clauses fails, regardless of what one thinks about using the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to apply the Establishment Clause against the states. -- Murray Dry, Middlebury College
West (emer., Univ. of Richmond) tackles the issue of whether the free exercise and establishment clauses of the First Amendment to the US Constitution have any real meaning or whether they merely leave to the states, as opposed to the federal government, the authority to regulate religious activity (i.e., the jurisdictional interpretation). That this seems even in doubt is odd to those who have studied the clauses and the jurisprudence around them. Nonetheless, the author takes on the logic for the jurisdictional interpretation, as opposed to the substantive interpretation of the religion clauses, and examines the historical evidence, including the views of the Federalist and anti-Federalist, presented by its defenders. Ultimately he concludes that there is very little historical evidence to support the jurisdictional interpretation. Highly recommended for scholars and advanced students of public law. Summing Up: Highly recommended. * CHOICE *
West's book is a carefully argued and persuasive rebuttal of the jurisdictional interpretation of the religion clauses and is therefore an important contribution to church-state constitutional debates. * Journal of Southern History *

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