Mark and I were delighted and honored to host Justice Samuel Alito at the Center for Law and Religion’s colloquium in law and religion yesterday. Justice Alito discussed the Court’s decisions, and his opinions, in Hobby Lobby v. Burwell; Town of Greece v. Galloway; Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church and School v. EEOC; CLS v. Martinez; Salazar v. Buono; and Summum v. Pleasant Grove, as well as his dissent from denial of certiorari in Ben-Levi v. Brown and two free exercise decisions he authored as a Third Circuit judge, Fraternal Order of Police v. City of Newark and Blackhawk v. Pennsylvania.
We had a lovely day today as well, as Justice Alito discussed several important free speech cases in which he dissented with my constitutional law class–US v. Stevens, Snyder v. Phelps, and US v. Alvarez. It was a true pleasure to have him. A few pictures below.
In June, Oxford University Press will release “Religious Freedom and Gay Rights: Emerging Conflicts in North America and Europe” edited by Timothy Shah (Georgetown University), Thomas Farr (Georgetown University), and Jack Friedman (Georgetown University). The publisher’s description follows:
In the United States and Europe, an increasing emphasis on equality has pitted rights claims against each other, raising profound philosophical, moral, legal, and political questions about the meaning and reach of religious liberty. Nowhere has this conflict been more salient than in the debate between claims of religious freedom, on one hand, and equal rights claims made on the behalf of members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community, on the other. As new rights for LGBT individuals have expanded in liberal democracies across the West, longstanding rights of religious freedom — such as the rights of religious communities to adhere to their fundamental teachings, including protecting the rights of conscience; the rights of parents to impart their religious beliefs to their children; and the liberty to advance religiously-based moral arguments as a rationale for laws — have suffered a corresponding decline. Timothy Samuel Shah, Thomas F. Farr, and Jack Friedman’s volume, Religious Freedom and Gay Rights brings together some of the world’s leading thinkers on religion, morality, politics, and law to analyze the emerging tensions between religious freedom and gay rights in three key geographic regions: the United States, the United Kingdom, and continental Europe. What implications will expanding regimes of equality rights for LGBT individuals have on religious freedom in these regions? What are the legal and moral frameworks that govern tensions between gay rights and religious freedom? How are these tensions illustrated in particular legal, political, and policy controversies? And what is the proper way to balance new claims of equality against existing claims for freedom of religious groups and individuals? Religious Freedom and Gay Rights offers several explorations of these questions.
In June, Cambridge University Press will release “God and the Secular Legal System” by Rafael Domingo (University of Navarra, Spain). The publisher’s description follows:
This timely book offers a theistic approach to secular legal systems and demonstrates that these systems are neither agnostic nor atheist. Critical but succinct in its approach, this book focuses on an extensive range of liberal legal approaches to religious and moral issues and subjects them to critical scrutiny from a secular perspective. Expertly written by a leading scholar, the author offers a rare combination of profundity of ideas and simplicity of expression. It is a ringing defense of the theistic conception of secular legal systems and an uncompromising attack on the agnostic and atheist conception.