Paul L. Caron

Sunday, May 14, 2023

Abortion And Religious Liberty

Following up on my previous posts:

Josh Blackman (South Texas; Google Scholar), Some Less-Tentative Thoughts On Abortion And Religious Liberty, One Year Later:

On June 20, 2022, I published a post titled Some Tentative Thoughts On The Jewish Claim To A "Religious Abortion." I started thinking about that post several weeks earlier. I only published it when I did to get ahead of the imminent Dobbs decision, which eventually was released on June 24 (a few days earlier than I expected). I spent as much as I did on the post because I knew it would be controversial. I was writing on two of the most hotly-contested topics in our polity, abortion and religious liberty, against the backdrop of a long-simmering divide within the Jewish community. I knew that my post would stir up a debate in my own circles–there would be tweets from law professors, essays on Slate, and maybe a few footnotes in post-Dobbs law review articles. But the reaction was far greater. The post went viral, and global. Beyond the usual suspects, my piece was discussed in Jewish publications in the United States and in Israel. And it was referenced in mainstream media sources. ...

People attacked me, in particular, as a Jew being critical of other Jews. In the lingo, chilul hashem, which is often used to describe a Jew defaming his own people. Or, to use the title of a recent book, a Bad Jew. ...

[S]everal law professors wrote full-length treatments of my short, tentative post. In the NYU Law Review, David Schraub wrote Liberal Jews and Religious Liberty. In the Iowa Law Review, Richard Schragger and Micah Schwartzman wrote Religious Freedom and Abortion. There are others. I also co-authored a law review article with Howie Slugh and Tal Fortgang in the Texas Review of Law & Politics, titled Abortion and Religious Liberty. ...

Let me state my conclusion simply: reform or progressive or liberal Jews–however they are denominated–can state sincere free exercise claims for religious freedom, regardless of whether they deem Jewish law as binding or not. I failed to sufficiently articulate this point in my "tentative thoughts" post.

Editor's Note:  If you would like to receive a weekly email each Sunday with links to the faith posts on TaxProf Blog, email me here.

Faith, Legal Education | Permalink