Law, Religion and Politics

Course Number
GAFL 581 001
Course Code
Course Key
Course Description
This course addresses the contemporary interplay between government, religion, and politics with focus on issues during the COVID-19 pandemic and the 2020 presidential election.  Due to the rise in statutory religious liberty statutes at the federal and state levels over the last 20 years--which have placed constraints on government beyond the First Amendment--adjustments between the government’s interest and religious liberty have become complicated.  Public administrators need to anticipate challenges to government action, including the limits imposed by the First Amendment and these relatively new statutory constraints.  This course will teach future public policy administrators how to assess the myriad of instances where policy determinations must take into account the likely impact of politically powerful and connected religious leaders and organizations on the public interest.  This knowledge has never been more important than it is now with the COVID-19 pandemic and the 2020 presidential election occurring at the same time, both of which entail fascinating questions related to religious liberty and public safety.