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

Education

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

Publications

  • The ‘Fixation Thesis’ and Other Falsehoods, 72 Florida Law Review (forthcoming 2020). [SSRN]
  • Working Without a Net: Supreme Court Decision-Making as Performance, 2018 BYU Law Review 57. [SSRN]
  • Rule of Law, Socially Constructed Reasons, and Marriage Equality, 6 Journal of Law, Religion and State 115 (2018). [SSRN]
  • It’s a Wonderful Originalism! Lawrence Solum and the Thesis of Immaculate Recovery, 31 DPCE [Diritto Pubblico Comparato ed Europeo] Online 563 (2017). [SSRN]
  • 'Substantial' Burdens: How Courts May (and Why They Must) Judge Burdens on Religion under RFRA, 5 George Washington Law Review 94 (2017). [SSRN]
  • Is Hobby Lobby Worse for Religious Liberty Than Smith?, 9 University of St. Thomas Journal of Law & Public Policy 223 (2016) (with Andrew Koppelman). [SSRN]
  • The Religious-Question Doctrine: Free-Exercise Right or Anti-Establishment Immunity?, (Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies, Working Paper No. 2016/10, 2016). [SSRN]
  • Of Burdens and Baselines: Hobby Lobby’s Puzzling Footnote 37, in The Rise of Corporate Religious Liberty (Micah Schwartzman, Chad Flanders & Zoë Robinson, eds., Oxford University Press, 2016). [SSRN]
  • One Cheer for Hobby Lobby: Improbably Alternatives, Truly Strict Scrutiny, and Third-Party Employee Burdens, 38 Harvard Journal of Law & Gender 153 (2015). [SSRN]
  • Public, Private, Religious? Religious Freedom Restoration Acts in the U.S. States, 2015 Quaderni Costituzionali 772. [SSRN]
  • Religion, Meaning, Truth, Life, 51 San Diego Law Review 1069 (2015). [SSRN]
  • Cross, Crucifix, Culture: An Approach to the Constitutional Meaning of Confessional Symbols, 13 First Amendment Law Review 71 (2014) (with Pasquale Annicchino). [SSRN]
  • 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). [SSRN]
  • Invisible Women: Why an Exemption for Hobby Lobby Would Violate the Establishment Clause, 67 Vanderbilt Law Review En Banc 51 (2014) (with Andrew Koppelman). [SSRN]
  • Incorporation of the Establishment Clause Against the States: A Logical, Textual, and HIstorical Account, 88 Indiana Law Journal 699 (2013). [SSRN]
  • Narrative Pluralism and Doctrinal Incoherence in Hosanna-Tabor, 64 Mercer Law Review 405 (2013). [SSRN]
  • True Lies: Canossa as Myth, 21 J. of Contem. Legal Issues 133 (2013). [SSRN]
  • With Religious LIberty for All: A Defense of the Affordable Care Act's Contraception Coverage Mandate, 6 Advance 135 (Fall 2012). [SSRN]
  • Atmospheric Harms in Constitutional Law, 69 Maryland L. Rev. 149 (2009). [SSRN]
  • Truth and Consequences: Mitt Romney, Proposition 8, and Public Reason, 61 Alabama Law Review 337 (2010). [SSRN]
  • The Recurring Paradox of Groups in the Liberal State, 2010 Utah Law Review 47. [SSRN]
  • Indeterminacy and Establishment: A Comment on Greenawalt, 25 Constitutional Commentary 279 (2009). [SSRN]
  • An Originalist Defense of Substantive Due Process: Magna Carta, Higher-Law Constitutionalism, and the Fifth Amendment, 58 Emory Law Journal 585-673 (2009). [SSRN]
  • Three Questions about Hybrid Rights and Religious Groups, 117 Yale Law Journal Pocket Part 192 (2008). [SSRN]
  • Uncivil Religion: Judeo-Christianity and the Ten Commandments, 110 West Virginia Law Review 274-304 (2007) (with Roger Hendrix). [SSRN]
  • Religions, Fragmentations, and Doctrinal Limits, 15 William & Mary Bill of Rights Journal 25-41 (2007). [SSRN]
  • Religious Exemptions, Neutrality, and LaVcité, 12 Indiana Journal of Global Legal Studies 473-92 (2006).
  • The Permissible Scope of Legal Limitations on the Freedom of Religion or Belief in the United States, 19 Emory International Law Journal 1187-275 (2006). [SSRN]
  • Suitability Claims and Unrecommended Securities Purchases: An Agency Theory of Broker-Dealer Liability, 37 Arizona State Law Journal 535-88 (2005). [SSRN]
  • Spirituality, Fundamentalism, Liberty: Religion at the End of Modernity, 54 DePaul Law Review 1193-231 (2005). [SSRN]
  • Religious Experience in the Age of Digital Reproduction, 9 St. John’s Law Review 127-60 (2005) (with Roger Hendrix). [SSRN]
  • The Establishment Clause Gag Reflex, 2004 Brigham Young University Law Review 995-1004. [SSRN]
  • Reconstructing the Blaine Amendments, 2 First Amendment Law Review 85-106 (2004). [SSRN]
  • The 'Embarrassing' Section 134, 2003 Brigham Young University Law Review 959-72.
  • Restorative Justice and the Two-Track Establishment Clause, 2003 Utah Law Review 523-32.
  • Church Discipline and the Regulation of Membership in the Mormon Church, 7 Ecclesiastical Law Journal 31-47 (2003).
  • A Two-Track Theory of the Establishment Clause, 43 Boston College Law Review 1071-109 (2002). [SSRN]
  • Towards a Defensible Free Exercise Doctrine, 68 George Washington Law Review 925-52 (2001).
  • The Normalized Free Exercise Clause: Three Abnormalities, 75 Indiana Law Journal 77-122 (2000).
  • An Unfirm Foundation: The Regrettable Indefensibility of Religious Exemptions, 20 University of Arkansas - Little Rock Law Review 555-74 (1998).
  • The Improbability of Religion Clause Theory, 27 Seton Hall Law Review 1233-58 (1997).
  • Conservatives, Liberals, Romantics: The Persistent Quest for Certainty in Constitutional Interpretation, 50 Vanderbilt Law Review 613-46 (1997).
  • Perception versus Reality: Postmodernism, Interpretation, and Truth in Religion and Law, BYU Clark Memorandum 8-17 (Fall 1996).
  • Introduction: An Ambivalent View of the Religious Equality Amendment, 1996 Brigham Young University Law Review 561-68.
  • RFRA and the Possibility of Justice, 56 Montana Law Review 95-117 (1995).
  • The Ironic State of Religious Liberty in America, 46 Mercer Law Review 1157-66 (1995).
  • The Great American Paradox, Liberty Magazine, Sept./Oct. 1994, at 10-13.
  • The Poverty of Academic Rhetoric, 4 Mercer Law Review 543-51 (1993).
  • The Integrity of Survival: A Mormon Response to Stanley Hauerwas, 42 DePaul Law Review 167-73 (1992).
  • Public Life and Hostility to Religion, 78 Virginia Law Review 671-96 (1992).
  • The Rise and Fall of the Religion Clauses, 6 BYU Journal of Public Law 499-512 (1992).
  • Arrogance Cloaked as Neutrality, 65 St. John's University Law Review 1235-70 (1992) (review essay on Laurence Tribe & Michael Dorf, On Reading the Constitution (1991)).
  • The Religious, the Secular, and the Antithetical, 20 Capital University Law Review 113-45 (1991).
  • Some Political Implications of Religious Belief, 4 Notre Dame Journal of Law, Ethics, and Public Policy 419-449 (1990).
  • Toward a Constitutional Jurisprudence of Religious Group Rights, 1989 Wisconsin Law Review 99-169).
  • Justice or Mercy?--A Personal Note on Defending the Guilty, 13 Journal of the Legal Profession 139-48 (1988).
  • Democracy, Autonomy, and Values: Some Thoughts on Religion and Law in Modern America, 60 Southern California Law Review 1579-619 (1987) (with Roger Hendrix).
  • Motivation, Rationality, and Secular Purpose in Establishment Clause Review, 1985 Arizona State Law Journal 677-726.
  • Student Note, Contractual Agreements to Arbitrate Disputes: Waiver of the Right to Compel Arbitration, 52 Southern California Law Review 1513-54 (1979).