©2017 by Brian Hutler

Brian Hutler is a Hecht-Levi Postdoctoral Fellow at the Berman Institute of Bioethics at Johns Hopkins University.

Here's a recent publication in Philosophy & Public Affairs

Brian's work concerns the tensions and connections between freedom, equality, and other political values.  He is currently working on topics related to religious exemptions for health care providers, the relationship between free speech and informed consent, and the just distribution of food-related goods.

 

Brian holds a J.D. and a Ph.D. in Philosophy from the UCLA Law and Philosophy Program. His dissertation, titled Cooperation, Religious Freedom, and the Liberal State, was supervised by Barbara Herman and Seana Shiffrin.

 

Education

 

Ph.D., UCLA Philosophy, 2018

Dissertation: Cooperation, Religious Freedom, and the Liberal State

Co-chairs: Barbara Herman and Seana Shiffrin

Committee: John Carriero, Mark Greenberg, Robert Goldstein

           

J.D., UCLA School of Law, 2014

            Law and Philosophy Dual Degree Program

                       

B.A., New York University, 2006

            Cum laude, with highest honors in Philosophy

            Honors Thesis: “Contents of Belief” (advised by Jim Pryor)  

 

Research

Against the Political Use of Religious Exemptions (Philosophy & Public Affairs)

Many religious freedom laws provide exemptions to persons who refuse to comply with certain laws on religious grounds. But these exemptions are increasingly used (by claimants and others) to advance political goals. For example, religious freedom lawsuits helped to undermine the Affordable Care Act’s guarantee of coverage for contraceptives. And the recent Masterpiece Cakeshop case was part of a broader effort to protest the right to same-sex marriage. This paper argues that the state should not grant religious exemptions when they are used to advance political goals. A religious exemption creates a legal inequality between citizens that can only be justified if the protection is not used politically. As such, the state should ensure that laws providing religious exemptions are written, interpreted, and enforced so as to prevent their political misuse.

Compromise and Religious Freedom (forthcoming in Law and Philosophy)


Compromise may seem inconsistent with religious freedom because the religious practices that warrant legal accommodation are too rigid and inflexible to allow for half-measures. But there are numerous examples in which compromise actually works in practice. In Holt v. Hobbs, for example, a Muslim prison inmate proposed a compromise according to which he could grow a half-inch beard rather than a full beard. This paper argues that compromise-based accommodation is consistent with both the nature of religious practices and with the purpose of religious accommodation. Moreover, compromise-based accommodation may help to promote neighborly relationships between citizens. Religious accommodation cannot solve all of our political controversies, but it may help citizens from diverse backgrounds live together. With this more limited goal in mind, compromise can be a legitimate and effective way to structure religious accommodation.

Religious Arbitration and the Establishment Clause (Ohio State Journal on Dispute Resolution)

 

Religious arbitration agreements, which compel parties to resolve their legal disputes through religious tribunals, are increasingly common. This Article investigates whether the Establishment Clause provides any reason to be concerned about the increasingly widespread use of religious arbitration agreements. This Article develops an argument, drawing on the Establishment Clause’s nondelegation doctrine, that judicial enforcement of such agreements may be unconstitutional in some cases. In particular, the government should not delegate its authority to enforce the civil law to religious institutions because the government should not act in such a way that a citizen’s ability to access the rights or benefits of citizenship depends on her religious beliefs or affiliation.

 

Academic Positions

 

Lecturer, Department of Legal Studies and Business Ethics, The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania (2018-2019)

Lecturer, University of Pennsylvania Department of Philosophy (2018)

Predoctoral Fellow, UCLA School of Law (2016 – 2017)

 

Lecturer, Department of Philosophy, UCLA

Topics in Modern Philosophy: The Idea of Progress (Summer 2017)

Philosophy of Law (Summer 2015)

Introduction to Political Philosophy (Summer 2014)

Theories of Punishment (Summer 2012)           

 

Fellow, Collegium of University Teaching Fellows, UCLA (2014)

International Law and the Legitimacy of Global Governance (under the mentorship of Máximo Langer)

 

Teaching Assistant, Department of Philosophy, UCLA

Introduction to Political Philosophy, Gavin Lawrence (Winter 2016)

Rawls’s Political Philosophy, Seana Shiffrin (Fall 2015)

Aristotle’s Ethics, Gavin Lawrence (Summer 2013)

Truth-Telling and Promising, Seana Shiffrin (Spring 2011)

Introduction to Ethics, Gavin Lawrence (Winter 2011)

Introduction to Political Philosophy, A.J. Julius (Fall 2010)

 

Presentations

 

“Conscientious Objection or Civil Disobedience, but Not Both”
       American Philosophical Association, Eastern Division Meeting, New York City

       (Jan. 8, 2019)


“Conscientious Objection or Civil Disobedience, but Not Both”
       Law, Religion and Complicity Conference, Center for Human Values,

       Princeton University (May 8, 2018)


“Speaker Anonymity as a Shield or a Sword”
        Freedom of Expression Scholars Conference, Yale Law School (April 27, 2018)

 

“Compromise and Religious Accommodation”

American Law and Religion Roundtable, Notre Dame School of Law, Chicago, Ill. (June 15, 2017)

 

Comments on Ryan Doerfler “Arguing with Friends”

Bechtel Conference, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pa. (May 22, 2017)

“On the Distinction between Conscientious Objection and Civil Disobedience”     

Ethics Breakfast, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pa. (April 12, 2017)

 

“Religious Arbitration and the Establishment Clause”

Zicklin Center for Normative Business Ethics Workshop, the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania (March 17, 2017)

 

Comments on Gabriel Mendlow “Punishing Pure Thought”

American Philosophical Association, Central Division Meeting, Kansas City, Mo. (March 2, 2017)

 

“Hate Speech, Political Conversation, and Citizenship”                   

Freedom of Expression Scholars Conference, Yale Law School (April 30, 2016)

 

Comments on Suzanne Love “The Material Conditions of Freedom”

UCLA Law and Philosophy Graduate Conference (April 10, 2016)

 

“Rawls on Accepting the Punishment for Civil Disobedience”

American Philosophical Association, Eastern Division Meeting, Washington D.C. (Jan. 8, 2016)

Rocky Mountain Ethics Congress, University of Colorado, Boulder (Aug. 8, 2015)

 

Comments on Micha Glaeser “(How) Does Morality Depend on Law?”

UCLA Law and Philosophy Graduate Conference (April 13, 2013)