Church, State, and Original Intent

Church, State, and Original Intent

by Donald L. Drakeman

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This provocative book shows how the United States Supreme Court has used constitutional history in church-state cases. Donald L. Drakeman describes the ways in which the justices have portrayed the Framers’ actions in a light favoring their own views about how church and state should be separated. He then marshals the historical evidence, leading to a surprising conclusion about the original meaning of the First Amendment’s establishment clause: the framers originally intended the establishment clause only as a prohibition against a single national church. In showing how conventional interpretations have gone astray, he casts light on the close relationship between religion and government in America and brings to life a fascinating parade of church-state constitutional controversies from the Founding Era to the present.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780521134521
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publication date: 11/16/2009
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 297
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.20(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Donald L. Drakeman is a Lecturer in the Department of Politics at Princeton University. He is the author of Church-State Constitutional Issues, and his writings have appeared in Constitutional Commentary, Journal of Church and State, American Journal of Legal History, The Christian Century, Religion and American Culture and several law reviews. He is also co-editor of Church and State in American History. He has served as legal counsel for a coalition of religious organizations acting as friends of the Court in federal church-state litigation, and he has been a member of the Religious Liberty Committee of the National Council of Churches and the Civil Rights Committee of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York. He is a co-founder and Chairman of the Advisory Council of the James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions at Princeton University and a former co-chair of the Advisory Council for Princeton's Department of Religion.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction; 2. Reynolds: the historical construction of constitutional reality; 3. Everson: a case of premeditated law office history; 4. The battle for the historical high ground; 5. Original meanings: where is the historical highground?; 6. Incorporating originalism; 7. Conclusion.

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