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A Rawlsian Approach

Powerful Essays
Three Constitutional questions have come before the Court on writ of certiorari. I will briefly summarize the arguments put forth in the appellate courts. I then present my analysis of these contentions and offer my humble opinion on how the Court ought to proceed.

The petitioner in the first case has brought a suit alleging two Constitutional violations. First he claims that his right to freely exercise religion has been abridged, and secondly that his freedom from government establishment of religion is being infringed upon. He asserts that the University of Kansas’ denial of his scholarship application on the basis of his religious preference is unconstitutional. He also contends that the university has violated the establishment provisions of the 1st Principle by accepting funds from a non-secular entity. The respondent argues a 1st Principle violation as well. The University of Kansas holds that the “freedom of religious practice” vindicates their scholarship requirements. They continue that the Constitution provides for limits on the freedom of religious exercise only to “maintain public order.” The respondent’s lawyers claim that establishment is not implicated under the circumstances: The scholarship is only administered by the university through a private donor’s funding, thus the school is not showing preference to a religion, it is simply distributing a privately funded grant in accordance with the donors wishes.

I would overturn the circuit court’s decision and rule in favor of the student. The state has a duty to “facilitate equal religious liberty,” however; it cannot give preference to any religious view. The Constitution clearly precludes government establishment; “The state can favor no particular religio...

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...awls Original Position." Ethics 114. University of Montana, Missoula. 6 Sep 2011. Lecture.

Rawls, John. A Theory of Justice. Revised. 35. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2003. 191. Print.

Rawls, John. A Theory of Justice. Revised. 35. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2003. 191. Print.

Rawls, John. A Theory of Justice. Revised. 11. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2003. 54. Print.

Rawls, John. A Theory of Justice. Revised. 35. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2003. 191. Print.

Plato, . Euthyphro,Apology, Crito. 1. Upper Saddle River: Prentice Hall, 1947. 6. Print.

Plato, . Euthyphro,Apology, Crito. 1. Upper Saddle River: Prentice Hall, 1947. 2. Print.

Plato, . Euthyphro,Apology, Crito. 1. Upper Saddle River: Prentice Hall, 1947. 7. Print.

Huff, Thomas. "Plato." Ethics 114. University of Montana, Missoula. 11 Nov 2011. Lecture.
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