Religious freedom in America topic of Stranahan Lecture March 26

March 22, 2013 | Events, UToday, Law
By Rachel Phipps

Richard W. Garnett, associate dean for faculty research, professor of law and concurrent professor of political science at the University of Notre Dame, will address the state of religious freedom in the United States during the Stranahan Lecture at the UT College of Law.



The free, public talk will begin at noon Tuesday, March 26, in the Law Center McQuade Auditorium.

In a lecture titled “Challenges to Religious Freedom in America Today,” Garnett will consider the rights of religious believers and institutions versus governmental action, and their respective roles in American public life.

“Professor Garnett’s topic is particularly timely given recent legal and political debates over the role of religion in American public life,” said Lee J. Strang, UT professor of law. “From the recent HHS mandate regarding health insurance coverage for birth control and the morning-after pill, to recent declines in religious affiliation and practice among Americans, both religious and nonreligious Americans are asking themselves, ‘What role should religion play in American public life?’ Professor Garnett’s lecture will tackle this thorny question head on and is sure to provoke thought and conversation.”

Garnett teaches and writes about the freedoms of speech, association and religion. He is a leading authority on the role of religious believers and institutions in politics and society. He is the author of dozens of law review articles and book chapters, and his forthcoming book, Two There Are: Understanding the Separation of Church and State, will be published by Cambridge University Press.

He is regularly invited to share analysis and commentary in national print and broadcast media, including The Wall Street Journal, Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, USA Today, Fox News and MSNBC, among many others, and Garnett regularly contributes to several law-related blogs, including Mirror of Justice and PrawfsBlawg.

Garnett is also the founding director of Notre Dame Law School’s Program in Church, State and Society. He clerked for the late Chief Justice of the United States William Rehnquist and also for the late Chief Judge Richard Arnold of the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit.

The Stranahan National Issues Forum is a joint program of the UT College of Law and its chapter of the Federalist Society for Law and Public Policy Studies. It is made possible by an endowment from the Stranahan Foundation. The forum’s purpose is to address issues of national importance through the lens of the American legal system, and Garnett joins a long list of high-profile speakers who have delivered the Stranahan Lecture at the University.

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