The Limits of Religious Values in Judicial Decisionmaking

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Publication Date


Publication Information

Scott C. Idleman, The Limits of Religious Values in Judicial Decisionmaking, 81 Marq. L. Rev. 537 (1998)

Source Publication

81 Marquette Law Review 537 (1998)


A number of scholars in recent years have advanced the normative position that judicial decisionmaking may, under certain circumstances, be legitimately informed by religious values. This article delineates the limits of this position. After first addressing a number conceptual matters, the article sequentially explores the possible constraints imposed by the U.S. Constitution (such as the Establishment, Free Exercise, and Due Process Clauses), certain philosophical and jurisprudential norms (such as the need for judges to provide public accessible reasons), the professional ethics of the judicial office (such as the mandate of judicial impartiality), and various prudential norms that informally constrain judicial decisionmaking.