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Expressive Exclusion: A Defense

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Central to the freedom of association is the freedom to exclude. In fact, American constitutional law permits associations to discriminate on otherwise prohibited grounds, a principle of expressive discrimination or what I call "expressive exclusion." However, we lack a complete normative defense of it. Too often, expressive exclusion is justifi ed as a simple case of religious accommodation, or a simple case of freedom of association or speech—justifi cations that are defi cient. I argue that expressive exclusion is essential in creating genuine space for democratic dissent. It stands at the intersection of speech, association, and democracy.


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