State Sovereignty, Associational Interests, and Collective Religious Liberty

In: Secular Studies

Abstract

In Chapter 5 of Liberalism’s Religion, Cécile Laborde considers the freedom and autonomy of religious associations within liberal democratic societies. This paper evaluates her central arguments in that chapter. First, I argue that Laborde makes things too easy for herself in dismissing controversies over the state’s legitimate jurisdictional authority. Second, I argue that Laborde’s view of when associations’ ‘coherence interests’ justify exemptions is too narrow. Third, I consider how we might develop an account of judicial deference to associations’ ‘competence interests’.

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  • Masterpiece Cakeshop v Colorado Civil Rights Commission, 584 U.S. ___ (2018).

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