Author: Steven D. Smith (Steven D. Smith)

About the Author

Minimalist Religious Freedom as a Self-Inflicted Wound

Philip Muñoz’s new book helps illuminate the “social contract–natural rights” style of reasoning that was undoubtedly influential at the Founding. But I find it hard to follow—or, for that matter, to fathom—when this sort of reasoning from fictions is deployed normatively to justify contemporary prescriptions that would otherwise seem unjust or undesirable.


Bare-Bones Religious Freedom

In Religious Liberty and the American Founding, Phillip Muñoz believes that there is a kind of natural rights logic that leads to his minimalist version of religious freedom. His central premise is that the Constitution should be interpreted according to the “natural rights” logic that was prevalent in the Founding period; and he tries to follow this logic to its conclusions, come hell or high water.


Why the Government Shouldn’t Force Bakers—Or Anyone—to Express Support for Same-Sex Marriage

Antidiscrimination laws are fully within the government’s authority—but only when the government is not using such laws as part of a campaign to compel people to express “by word or act” their support for a government-prescribed orthodoxy. The second in a two-part series.

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