Conscience and Republican Government
Contribution to Book
Contemporary Challenges to Conscience
In this chapter, the question is whether an individual can demand an exemption from a law that applies to all. This chapter describes a number of approaches to this problem that have been attempted in the American experiment at governance, and it seeks to evaluate their efficaciousness. Over the last two centuries, however, protections for freedom of conscience have become attenuated—indeed some have become corrupted—so that today, freedom of conscience in the American Republic no longer stands on as firm a ground as in the past. There is, from the lessons of American experience, no single formula of governance that can guarantee the right of conscience. But there are a number of factors that can conduce to its observance.
Forte, David, "Conscience and Republican Government" (2019). Law Faculty Contributions to Books. 257.