What are the best constitutional law arguments to support and oppose the conscientious objector law and any billboard restriction law? (several thesis statements)

Equal Protection

San Antonio v. Rodriguez (679), Plyler v. Doe (685), Grutter v. Bollinger (707) PICS v. Seattle School District (632), Miller v. Johnson (761), University of Texas v. Fisher (Internet)


Griswold v. Connecticut (400), Roe v. Wade (409 skim read only), Planned Parenthood v. Casey (422), Lawrence v. Texas (437), U.S. v. Windsor (Internet), Hollingsworth v. Perry (Internet), Cruzan (445)

Freedom of Expression

Boy Scouts v. Dale (293), Schenck v. United States (196), Gitlow v. New York (205), Brandenburg v. Ohio (222), United States v. O’Brien (230)

Freedom of Expression

Tinker v. Des Moines (264) Texas v. Johnson (234), Chaplinsky v. New Hampshire (239), Cohen v. California (241)

Freedom of Expression

Hill v. Colorado (243), R.A.V. v. City of St. Paul (251), West Virginia v. Barnette (266), Hazelwood v. Kuhlmeier (303), Morse v. Frederick (261), Red Lion v. FCC (Internet)

Freedom of Expression

Citizens United v. FEC (744), Miller v. California (350), United States v. Williams (380), Brown v. Entertainment (363), New York Times v. Sullivan (328), Gertz v. Welsh (Internet), Hustler v. Falwell (338),

Freedom of Religion

Sherbert v. Verner (104), Wisconsin v. Yoder (108), Oregon v. Smith (114), City of Boerne v. Flores (122), Burwell v. Hobby Lobby (Internet), Everson v. Bd. of Education (130), Lemon v. Kurtzman (138)

Freedom of Religion

Zelman v. Simmons-Harris (153), Kitzmiller v. Dover (handout), Abington Township v. Schempp (170), Lee v. Weisman (177), Santa Fe v. Doe (Internet), Lynch v. Donnelly (Internet), County of Allegheny v. ACLU (185/Internet), Van Orden v. Perry (186) online of these cases or online cases or

Constitutional Law for a Changing America—Rights, Liberties and Justice– 8th edition

by Epstein & Walker; CQ Press 2010 ISBN 978-1-4522-2674-3

& U.S. Constitution — Internet or pamphlet format


The state approves all professional licenses for pharmacists and regulates the standards of the profession and all pharmacies. Under state law, all licensed pharmacies must–to the best of their ability–dispense all drugs approved by the FDA.

Plan B (aka the morning after pill) is a drug approved by the FDA.

Phantastic Pharmacy is refusing to carry and sell Plan B because its owners and its two pharmacists believe it acts as an abortifacient, and not as a birth control device. This is contrary to their religious views.

This same pharmacy is also refusing to sell alcohol and cigarettes, because the owner and pharmacists believe these products jeopardize life. They want to sell only products that promote health and physical wellbeing, which is congruent with their religious beliefs. At this point in time, Phantastic Pharmacy is within five miles of another pharmacy that provides these three items.

There are ten other pharmacies throughout the state that are also refusing to sell Plan B, alcohol, and cigarettes. However, Phantastic Pharmacy has been the most vocal in asserting its rights to refuse to sell any product that does not comport with its religious, ethical, and moral positions. It has even placed pictures of aborted fetuses, cancer-ridden lungs, and cirrhotic livers on local billboards to emphasize its stance against what it calls abortifacients, and other products contrary to good health.

Alcohol and tobacco are legal substances that are regulated, in part, by the FDA. There is no law that either requires the selling of alcohol or tobacco and no law that directly forbids a pharmacy from offering these products, although the key ingredient in cigarettes–nicotine–is a drug that is regulated and to some extent “approved” by the FDA.


The state legislature would like to write an exemption into the state’s existing law to allow pharmacies and pharmacists with religious-based conscientious objections to Plan B to retain their licenses while refusing to dispense the drug–provided that another pharmacy within five miles of the non-selling pharmacy is able and willing to sell this drug.


Some members of the public are objecting to the lack of Plan B, alcohol, and tobacco products at the 11 pharmacies that have removed these items from their shelves. This group calls itself the B-A-T proponents.

Other members of the public are questioning the proposed exemption. They also want the state to pass a law banning the public display of large gruesome photos of aborted fetuses and similar grotesque items on roadside billboards. They allege that these photos can cause drivers to be distracted and perhaps have more accidents. This group calls itself the Full Pharmacy group.

Still others are demanding that the legislature quickly pass the conscientious objection law to protect the religious rights of pharmacists. This group calls itself the Religious Protection group.

Essay Questions:

Is this proposed law to exempt pharmacies and pharmacists constitutional? (your main thesis)

How might the ban on billboards be constitutional or not? (a sub thesis)

What are the best constitutional law arguments to support and oppose the conscientious objector law and any billboard restriction law? (several thesis statements)

Your arguments might include religious rights, equal protection rights, personal autonomy rights, free speech rights and similar issues.