Abstract/Details

Can the states increase religious freedom if they try? Judicial and legislative effects on religious actor success in the state courts


2008 2008

Other formats: Order a copy

Abstract (summary)

In the shadow of a 15 year battle between the federal courts and Congress over how much protection is afforded religious behavior, more than half of the states have declared the highest level of protection either through a state-level Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), or through a court decision. This study finds the results of the states' attempts by calculating how often actors seeking protection for a religious act win the judge's vote. The study's date range is the eight years following the last volley in the federal battle, City of Boerne v. Flores: 1998-2005. The unit of analysis is each judge vote, 3,254 in all. And the research question is if and under what conditions are these institutional attempts actually helping religious actors win more judge votes?

To make sure the effects of the institutional attempts are independent of other factors, as well as to conduct exploratory research on how other factors affect religious freedom, several controls will be used. Those controls are specifically: characteristics about the judge and county, characteristics about the religious claimant and case, and characteristics about the legal opinion. The results of the study show: (1) States appear to protect religious actors more than federal courts with a 44% favorable vote-rate in the state courts. But (2) neither legislative nor judicial attempts affect religious success, most evidence shows. Judicial attempts can find some significantly positive results in specific models. (3) The most explanatory predictor is the way constitutional language is used in the opinion.

Indexing (details)


Subject
Law;
Political science
Classification
0398: Law
0615: Political science
Identifier / keyword
Social sciences; Free exercise of religion; Judicial behavior; RFRA; Religious Freedom Restoration Act; Religious freedom; State courts
Title
Can the states increase religious freedom if they try? Judicial and legislative effects on religious actor success in the state courts
Author
Claborn, David
Number of pages
212
Publication year
2008
Degree date
2008
School code
0118
Source
DAI-A 69/08, Dissertation Abstracts International
Place of publication
Ann Arbor
Country of publication
United States
ISBN
9780549663553
Advisor
Goldman, Sheldon
Committee member
Demerath, N. J., III; Moscardelli, Vincent
University/institution
University of Massachusetts Amherst
Department
Political Science
University location
United States -- Massachusetts
Degree
Ph.D.
Source type
Dissertations & Theses
Language
English
Document type
Dissertation/Thesis
Dissertation/thesis number
3315477
ProQuest document ID
304564982
Copyright
Database copyright ProQuest LLC; ProQuest does not claim copyright in the individual underlying works.
Document URL
http://search.proquest.com/docview/304564982
Access the complete full text

You can get the full text of this document if it is part of your institution's ProQuest subscription.

Try one of the following:

  • Connect to ProQuest through your library network and search for the document from there.
  • Request the document from your library.
  • Go to the ProQuest login page and enter a ProQuest or My Research username / password.