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75 UMKC Law Review 401 (2006)


This article uses as its focal point the emerging civil disobedience movement in southwestern United States, aimed at providing humanitarian assistance to undocumented workers crossing the U.S. border, and the government's prosecution response to that movement. It argues that the courts that have considered such civil disobedience in previous cases, such as the 1980s Sanctuary movement, have a limited understanding of the right of conscience, and utilizes the insights of Reformation theology on the nature of the conscience to argue that it is necessary for the United States to respect the public role of conscience of civil disobedients in mass movements. The article also proposes that the United States should establish a national truth commission to investigate claims of mass civil disobedience movements as a more effective way of engaging mass civil disobedience movements toward truth-telling and a just society.