The Constitution & Religion: Leading Supreme Court Cases on Church and State. Edited by Robert S. Alley. Amherst, N.Y.: Prometheus Books, 1999. 545 pp. $74.95 cloth; $24.95 paper.
This is a straightforward collection of major Supreme Court cases, forty-- seven to be exact, with a modest introduction, a reproduction of two classic American historical documents (James Madison's "Memorial and Remonstrance," and Thomas Jefferson's "An Act Establishing Religious Liberty"), and a list of justices from McReynolds to Breyer, all of whom voted on church-state cases.
Selections range from Watson v. Jones (1871), a church property dispute in Louisville, Ky., to City of Boerne v. Flores (1997), a Texas case in which the Supreme Court declared the Religious Liberty Restoration Act unconstitutional. The cases are conveniently divided into three sections: the Establishment Clause, the Free Exercise Clause, and Internal Disputes in Religious Situations.
This paperback invites comparison with Miller and Flowers, Toward Benevolent Neutrality: Church, State and the Supreme Court (Waco, Texas, Baylor University Press, 1996, fifth edition). The good news is that Professor Alley's paperback edition is affordable enough to be assigned for college courses or be purchased by educated people who need to be able to read the cases. A hardcover edition is available as well.
The organization is pedagogically convenient. Teachers will note that there are no chapter introductions and no attempt to show doctrinal development, leaving plenty of room for professorial commentary as well as updates as new cases are handed down.
By way of contrast, Toward Benevolent Neutrality includes ninety-two Supreme Court cases, …