Part II of this Note presents the factual background and procedural history of Davey v. Locke. Part III discusses the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment. Section A provides a basic background on the Supreme Court's free exercise jurisprudence. Section B applies the Court's precedent to Davey, and concludes that the Ninth Circuit sidestepped a true "prohibition" analysis. Sections A, B, and C of Part IV discuss the differing neutrality examinations within free exercise, free speech, and establishment jurisprudence, respectively. Section D discusses the overlapping application of neutrality criteria in establishment and free speech funding cases. Section E concludes that in Davey the Ninth Circuit improperly grafted free speech criteria under an establishment neutrality paradigm onto its free exercise neutrality examination in Davey. Part V discusses the federalism implications of the impending Supreme Court decision. Section A explains Washington's asserted interest in the separation of church and state. Section B proposes that states' more protective establishment provisions should provide a compelling justification for an incidental burden of a religious observer's free exercise sufficient to survive strict scrutiny. Section C argues that Washington State's Establishment Clause is a sufficiently compelling justification for Washington not to fund Davey's theological education. Part VI concludes the Note.
Katie Axtell, Public Funding for Theological Training Under the Free Exercise Clause: Pragmatic Implications and Theoretical Questions Posed to the Supreme Court in Locke v. Davey, 27 SEATTLE U. L. REV. 585 (2003).