Oleske on Lukumi Babalu Aye

James M. Oleske Jr. (Lewis & Clark Law School) has posted Lukumi at Twenty: A Legacy of Uncertainty for Religious Liberty and Animal Welfare Laws. The abstract follows.

Twenty years after the Supreme Court’s decision in Church of the Lukumi Babalu Aye v. City of Hialeah, uncertainty reigns in the lower courts and among commentators over the issue of constitutionally compelled religious exemptions. Despite the Court’s general disavowal of such exemptions in Employment Division v. Smith, Lukumi appeared to breathe life into a potentially significant exception to Smith. That exception – which this Article calls the “selective-exemption rule” – provides that religious exemptions may still be required by the Free Exercise Clause when the government has selectively made available other exemptions to a law.

This Article addresses the key unresolved questions about the scope of the selective-exemption rule and challenges the received reading of the leading circuit court decision interpreting the rule. Relying heavily upon that reading, prominent religious liberty advocates have been pressing for a remarkably broad Read more

Foster, “Faith in Empire”

In March, the Stanford University Press will publish Faith in Empire: Religion, Politics, and Colonial Rule in French Senegal, 1880-1940 by Elizabeth A. Foster (Tufts University). The publisher’s description follows.Faith in Empire

Faith in Empire is an innovative exploration of French colonial rule in West Africa, conducted through the prism of religion and religious policy. Elizabeth Foster examines the relationships among French Catholic missionaries, colonial administrators, and Muslim, animist, and Christian Africans in colonial Senegal between 1880 and 1940. In doing so she illuminates the nature of the relationship between the French Third Republic and its colonies, reveals competing French visions of how to approach Africans, and demonstrates how disparate groups of French and African actors, many of whom were unconnected with the colonial state, shaped French colonial rule. Among other topics, the book provides historical perspective on current French controversies over the place of Islam in the Fifth Republic by exploring how Third Republic officials wrestled with whether to apply the legal separation of church and state to West African Muslims.