Episode 073 – Conversation with Prof. Nelson Tebbe

Episode 073 – Conversation with Prof. Nelson Tebbe.mp3

In this podcast, Brooklyn Law School Professor Nelson Tebbe discusses his recent article, Nonbelievers, 97 Va. L. Rev. 1111 (2011). The article addresses how courts should handle nonbelievers who bring religious freedom claims. The answer is not an easy one as the religion clauses of the Constitution protect only religion. Today, this problem is gaining prominence because of nonbelievers’ rising visibility. Prof. Tebbe argues that no wholesale response will do. Nonbelievers and believers should receive comparable protection in some situations but not in others. He suggests that adjudication of religious freedom claims generally is neither impossible nor senseless. He also discusses this week’s Supreme Court ruling in Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church and School v. E.E.O.C. where the Court adopted the “ministerial exception” rule.

Prof. Tebbe teaches courses on constitutional law, religious freedom, legal theory, and professional responsibility. His scholarship focuses on the relationship between religious traditions and constitutional law, both in the United States and abroad. He has written extensively on these topics. A list of his publications is available here.