November 17, 2017

The Administration’s “Religious Liberty” Guidance and What it Means for Everybody’s Freedom

On October 6, Attorney General Sessions issued a guidance regarding “Federal Law Protections for Religious Liberty,” which declared as its central instruction that “to the greatest extent practicable and permitted by law, religious observance and practice should be reasonably accommodated in all government activity.…” But what is “practicable and permitted by law,” what is reasonable accommodation, and how broadly might the guidance sweep? As the Supreme Court gets ready to hear oral argument in the Masterpiece Cakeshop case on December 5, our panel discussed what are and should be the boundaries of religious exemptions and the potential impact of the October guidance.

Gretchen Borchelt, Vice President for Reproductive Rights and Health at the National Women’s Law Center
Frederick Gedicks, Guy Anderson, Chair and Professor of Law at BYU Law
Susan Sommer, Associate Legal Director and Director of Constitutional Litigation for Lambda Legal