Book Talk with author Robert Daniel Rubin
May 9th at 7:00pm

Judicial Review and American Conservatism:  Christianity, Public Education, and the Federal Courts in the Reagan Era          Cambridge Historical Studies in American Law and Society, March 2017



The Christian Right of the 1980s forged its political identity largely in response to what it perceived as liberal “judicial activism.” Robert Daniel Rubin tells this story as it played out in Mobile, Alabama. There, a community conflict pitted a group of conservative evangelicals, a sympathetic federal judge, and a handful of conservative intellectuals against a religious agnostic opposed to prayer in schools and a school system accused of promoting a religion called “secular humanism.”

Robert holds his Ph.D. in History and American Studies from Indiana University. He and his family are members of Beth Shalom.



Advance praise for Judicial Review and American Conservatism:

“Rubin’s original and insightful book covers important new ground. I’m impressed with his thought-provoking analysis, clear command of the material, and strong writing. In focusing on one particular region and set of court cases, he sheds new light on the history of the conservative legal movement and tells a fascinating story that will be of interest to many readers.” Daniel K. Williams, University of West Georgia and author of Defenders of the Unborn: The Pro-Life Movement before Roe v. Wade

“Robert Daniel Rubin’s well-researched and clearly-argued book is a must read for those interested in how ‘religious liberty’ became a legal concept that conservative Christian litigants have used to wage a culture war against liberal and judicial overreach. His exhaustive account of the Alabama church-state cases of the 1980s, presided over by Judge Brevard Hand, illuminates our fraught contemporary judicial struggles.” Andrew Hartman, author of A War for the Soul of America: A History of the Culture Wars

Judicial Review and American Conservatism tells a fascinating and timely story. In a wide-ranging and well-told tale about the battle between a parent and the Mobile, Alabama schools over prayer in the classroom, Robert Daniel Rubin insightfully chronicles the rise of legal conservatism in 1970s America.” Michael Grossberg, Indiana University


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