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31 Villanova Law Review 833 (1986)


This article criticizes the Maher/Harris conditions doctrine on two levels. At the first level, it suggests that the Maher/Harris doctrine cannot justify the Court’s decisions to uphold government withdrawals of funding from rights-exercises. At the second level, after exposing and contrasting the definitional presuppositions of the Court in Maher and Harris with previous cases, the article suggests that the Maher/Harris doctrine is a failure because it uses utterly inadequate rights theory to resolve emerging issues of conflicting human need and conscience, issues which are mediated by government action. The author creates a space for a discussion of a new framework for adjudicating the role of government when it acts as intervenor among citizens through public benefits choices.