The Catholic University of America

CUA Law Hosts Religious Liberty Symposium

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On November 9, 2018, the Columbus School of Law's Center for Religious Liberty and The Heritage Foundation hosted a symposium entitled “The Future of Religious Liberty in America.”  The symposium consisted of balanced discussions, representing various viewpoints regarding religious liberty. The event  included welcoming remarks from John Malcolm, Vice President for the Institute for Constitutional Government and Director of the Meese Center for Legal & Judicial Studies and CUA Law Professor and Co-Director of the Center for Religious Liberty Mark Rienzi.


The program consisted of three panel discussions, a debate, and a keynote speech from the Honorable Amul Thapar, Judge for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit regarding “Smith, Scalia and Originalism.”

Panel I - Government Compulsion and Religious Freedom Continue to Collide: What is the Path Forward

Panel Moderator:
Mark Rienzi, Professor of Law and Co-Director of the Center for Religious Liberty, Columbus School of Law and President, Becket Fund for Religious Liberty

Kristen Waggoner, Senior Vice President of the U.S. Legal Division and General Counsel, Alliance Defending Freedom; Gerard Bradley, Professor of Law University of Notre Dame Law School; Dan Mach, Director, Program on Freedom of Religion and Belief, American Civil Liberties Union; and Marty Lederman, Visiting Professor of Law at Georgetown University Law Center.

Panel II - Under Attack: Religious Liberty on Campus

Panel Moderator: Elizabeth Slattery, Legal Fellow and Appellate Advocacy Program Manager, Edwin Meese III, Center for Legal and Judicial Studies, The Heritage Foundation

: Casey Mattox, Senior Fellow, Free Speech and Toleration, Charles Koch Institute; Tony Banout, Vice President, Institutional Advancement, Interfaith Youth Core; William Marshall, William Rand Kenen, Jr. Distinguished Professor of Law at the University of North Carolina School of Law; and Alyza Lewin, President and General Counsel, Louis D. Brandeis Center for Human Rights Under Law.

(From L to R: Mark Rienzi, The Honorable Amul Thapar, and William Saunders Jr.)

Lunch Keynote: "Smith, Scalia, and Originalism"

Introduction: John Malcolm, Vice President, Institute for Constitutional Government and the Ed Gilbertson and Sherry Lindberg Gilbertson Senior Legal Fellow, The Heritage Foundation

Speaker: The Honorable Amul Thapar, Judge, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit

Debate - The Conscience of a Lawyer: Does ABA Model Rule 8.4(G) Violate Their Rights?

Emilie Kao, Director, Richard and Helen DeVos Center for Religion and Civil Society, The Heritage Foundation

Panelists: Josh Blackman, Associate Professor of Law, South Texas College of Law Houston and Robert Weiner, Partner, Arnold & Porter and Chair, ABA Section of Civil Rights and Social Justice

Panel III - Establishment Clause: The Court is on Course to Revisit

Moderator: John Malcolm, Vice President, Institute for Constitutional Government and the Ed Gilbertson and Sherry Lindberg Gilbertson Senior Legal Fellow, The Heritage Foundation

Allyson Ho, Partner, Gibson, Dunn, & Crutcher LLP; Bob Destro, Professor of Law and Founding Director, Interdisciplinary Program in Law and Religion, The Catholic University of America, Columbus School of Law; Alex Luchenitser, Associate Legal Director, Americans United for Separation of Church and State; and Melissa Rogers, Nonresident Senior Scholar, Brookings Institution.


Jennifer Marshall, Vice President, Institute for Family, Community, and Opportunity and the Joseph C. and Elizabeth Anderlik Fellow The Heritage Foundation and William Saunders Jr. Director, Program in Human Rights, Institute for Human Ecology, The Catholic University of America and Co-director, Center for Religious Liberty, provided closing remarks.

Click here to view the panel presentations on the CUA Law YouTube channel.