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This paper, commissioned and published in June 2008 in connection with the White House-sponsored Conference on Innovations in Effective Compassion, addresses the changing legal environment relevant to government partnerships with religious providers of social services. In particular, the paper maps the federal government's regulatory agenda in connection with the Faith-Based and Community Initiative (FBCI) onto the changes in constitutional law over the past several decades. After briefly surveying the key developmental points in the relevant constitutional law, the paper explores specific changes in federal regulations governing aid to religious providers of welfare services, and considers the litigation efforts that have occurred in conjunction with the FBCI. Some of the litigation may be traced, at least in part, to inadequacies in the FBCI's regulatory reform. In addition, the paper provides recommendations for federal and state regulatory language that could be used to facilitate the FBCI while keeping it within constitutional bounds. The paper includes a research bibliography and a table of all litigation that bears on the Initiative.

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GWU Legal Studies Research Paper No. 443; GWU Law School Public Law Research Paper No. 443

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