San Diego Law Review

Document Type

Is Religion Outdated (as a Constitutional Category)?


In what follows, after briefly summarizing Koppelman’s position, I argue that his view is vulnerable to the charge that using religion as a legal proxy is unfair to those with comparable, but otherwise secular, ethical and moral convictions. Koppelman has, of course, anticipated this objection, but his responses are either ambivalent or insufficient to overcome it. The case for adopting religion as a proxy turns partly on arguments against other potential candidates. In particular, Koppelman rejects the freedom of conscience as a possible substitute. But even if he is right that its coverage is not fully extensive with the category of religion, the law does not have to choose between them. It can and should provide significant protections for both.