Frederick M. Gedicks – BYU J. Reuben Clark Law School

Frederick M. Gedicks

Guy Anderson Chair and Professor of Law

Professor Gedicks has held the Guy Anderson Chair at the Law School since 2005. He is widely published on law and religion, constitutional law, and constitutional interpretation, including three books, Freedom of Religion and Secular Government (West Academic, forthcoming 2017) (with Robert W. Tuttle, Nelson Tebbe & Micah Schwartzman), The Rhetoric of Church and State: A Critical Analysis of Religion Clause Jurisprudence (Duke University Press, 1995), and Choosing the Dream: The Future of Religion in American Public Life (Greenwood Press, 1991) (with Roger Hendrix).

Professor Gedicks's current research is focused on legal issues posed by religious accommodation statutes after the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. (2014), including "'Substantial' Burdens: How Courts May (and Why They Must) Judge Burdens on Religion under RFRA," 85 George Washington Law Review 94 (2017); "Is Hobby Lobby Worse for Religious Liberty Than Smith?," 9 University of St. Thomas Journal of Law & Public Policy 223 (2016) (with Andrew Koppelman); "Of Burdens and Baselines: Hobby Lobby's Puzzling Footnote 37," in The Rise of Corporate Religious Liberty 323 (Oxford University Press 2015); "One Cheer for Hobby Lobby: Improbable Alternatives, Truly Strict Scrutiny, and Third-Party Employee Burdens," 38 Harvard Journal of Law & Gender 153 (2015); and "RFRA Exemptions from the Contraception Mandate: An Unconstitutional Accommodation of Religion," 49 Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review 343 (2014) (with Rebecca Van Tassell). Professor Gedicks was principal author and counsel of record of a Supreme Court amicus brief filed for himself and twenty other church-state scholars in Hobby Lobby which argued that for-profit employer exemptions from the contraception mandate violate the Establishment Clause, and published a widely read op-ed in the Washington Post on the same topic, Paying for the Boss's Beliefs," January 20, 2014, at A15 col.3.

Other recent publications include "Cross, Crucifix, Culture: An Approach to the Constitutional Meaning of Religious Symbols," 13 First Amendment Law Review 71 (2015) (with Pasquale Annicchino); "Incorporation of the Establishment Clause Against the States: A Logical, Textual, and Historical Account," 88 Indiana Law Journal 699 (2013); and "Narrative Pluralism and Doctrinal Incoherence in Hosanna-Tabor," 64 Mercer Law Review 405 (2013).

Professor Gedicks grew up in New Jersey and southern California. Following graduation from law school and a clerkship on the Ninth Circuit, he practiced corporation and securities law in Phoenix, Arizona, until he entered law teaching. Professor Gedicks joined the BYU law faculty in 1990 after four years at Mercer University in Macon, Georgia, and a year at the University of Denver. He has been a visiting professor at the University of North Carolina (Chapel Hill), the University of Notre Dame, and the University of Utah. Professor Gedicks is fluent in Italian and has taught and lectured at law schools throughout Italy.

Courses Taught

  • 1st Amendment
  • 14th Amendment
  • Business Associations
  • Constitutional Interpretation
  • Federal Courts
  • Freedom of Religion
  • Jurisprudence
  • Law & Literature
  • Law and Religion Colloquium
  • Public Interest Law
  • Securities Regulation
  • Structures of the Constitution
  • Telecommunications
  • Torts


  • J.D., University of Southern California, 1980
  • B.A., Brigham Young University, 1977