Home » En Banc » En Banc Roundtable

En Banc Roundtable

Welcome to the Vanderbilt Law Review En Banc Roundtable. This feature, which began in autumn 2009, hosts debates among legal academics and practitioners, usually on notable cases pending before the U.S. Supreme Court, although other legal issues may also be addressed. These articles can be on anything related to the selected issue, such as the merits of a particular argument, the practical implications of a potential ruling, the propriety of certiorari in a case, or the implications of proposed regulatory path. Roundtable allow participants to voice their views in a scholarly forum as the law is being made at the highest level. Articles from the feature have twice been cited in Supreme Court opinions: in Free Enterprise Fund v. PCAOB, decided in 2010, and in Golan v. Holder, decided in 2012.

Roundtable: Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby Stores

Our current Roundtable considers Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc., which was argued at the Supreme Court on March 25, 2014. In Hobby Lobby, the Court will consider whether Hobby Lobby is entitled to an exemption from the Affordable Care Act’s contraception mandate under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (“RFRA”). The Court could address many questions: Is a for-profit corporation a “person” for the purposes of the RFRA? Would denying Hobby Lobby an exemption usher in an era of overly constrained religious liberty? Does an exemption from the mandate improperly impose the costs of religious observance onto third-party employees? Professors Richard Garnett, Gregory Magarian, Andrew Koppelman, Frederick Gedicks, and James Oleske tackle these questions and more in their First Takes on Hobby Lobby.

Professors Richard Garnett, Gregory Magarian, Andrew Koppelman, Frederick Gedicks, and James Oleske have each considered the precedents and offered their views on how the Court might—or should—approach this case in their “First Takes” essays below. Soon, the authors will respond to one another’s arguments in the “Responses” phase of the Roundtable. We hope you find this Roundtable to be both informative and engaging.

Roundtable: First Takes

Accommodation, Establishment, and Freedom of Religion
PDF · Richard W. Garnett · 67 Vand. L. Rev. En Banc 39 (2014).

Invisible Women: Why an Exemption for Hobby Lobby Would Violate the Establishment Clause
PDF · Frederick Mark Gedicks & Andrew Koppelman · 67 Vand. L. Rev. En Banc 51 (2014).

Hobby Lobby in Constitutional Waters: Two Life Rings and an Anchor
PDF · Gregory P. Magarian · 67 Vand. L. Rev. En Banc 67 (2014).

Obamacare, RFRA, and the Perils of Legislative History
PDF · James M. Oleske, Jr. · 67 Vand. L. Rev. En Banc 77 (2014).

Roundtable: Responses

Whose Accommodation?
PDF · Gregory P. Magarian · 67 Vand. L. Rev. En Banc 135 (2014).

The Public Meaning of RFRA Versus Legislators’ Understanding of RLPA: A Response to Professor Laycock
PDF · James M. Oleske, Jr. · 67 Vand. L. Rev. En Banc 125 (2014).


Current and Previous Roundtables


En Banc