Archive for September, 2014

September 30, 2014

DeGirolami on Religion and the Roberts Court

Marc DeGirolami’s new essay, Constitutional Contraction: Religion and the Roberts Court, will be published inMarc DeGirolami a symposium issue of the Stanford Law and Policy Review next year. Here is the abstract:

This essay argues that the most salient feature to emerge in the first decade of the Roberts Court’s law and religion jurisprudence is the contraction of the constitutional law of religious freedom. It illustrates that contraction in three ways.

First, contraction of judicial review. Only once has the Roberts Court exercised the power of judicial review to strike down federal, state, or local legislation, policies, or practices on the ground that they violate the Free Exercise or Establishment Clauses. In this constitutional context the Court has been nearly uniformly deferential to government laws and policies. That distinguishes it from its two predecessors — the Rehnquist and Burger Courts — both of which exercised judicial review more regularly.

Second, contraction in the range of voting patterns. The votes of the Justices in law and religion cases overwhelmingly are either unanimous or split 5-4, with relatively few separate dissents or concurrences expressing distinctive approaches, and with the split correlating with partisan political or ideological divisions. The “liberal” and “conservative” wings vote in bloc, and frequently reason in bloc as well. This again contrasts with the voting patterns of prior Courts in religious freedom cases.

Third, contraction in coverage. As a substantive matter, the Court is narrowing the religion clauses. Every member of the Court seems now to accept that Employment Division v. Smith properly interpreted the Free Exercise Clause. Matters are more complicated for the Establishment Clause, where there is far greater division among the Justices. Nevertheless, the essay claims that the Court is moving in a variety of ways toward a narrow interpretation of the Establishment Clause as well.

Whether the Roberts Court’s contraction of the religion clauses, and its general preference for narrow readings of both, are positive developments will depend on one’s views about fundamental questions of constitutional interpretation. Yet there is a conceptual unity to the Court’s approach — logical and complementary, even if not inevitable: just as the Rehnquist Court narrowed the scope of constitutional protection for free exercise, so, too, is the Roberts Court narrowing the scope of constitutional prohibition under the Establishment Clause. In this corner of constitutional law, the Court is gradually withdrawing from the scene.

September 30, 2014

Video of Panel on Religious Freedom Featuring Movsesian and Simons at Lanier Theological Library

The Lanier Theological Library in Houston has posted a video of a panel on religious liberty that took place at

Mark Movsesian

Mark Movsesian

the library earlier this month. Among other subjects, the panel addressed the rise of contemporary Islamism, the treatment of Christians in the Mideast, the prevalence of Islamic-law arbitration in Europe and the US, and the legality of American drone strikes on American citizens affiliated with Islamist groups. The panel was hosted by Mark Lanier and included Professor Mark Movsesian, Dean Michael Simons, Professor James Hoffmeier (Trinity Evangelical Divinity School), and Fr. Mario Arroyo (Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston).

 

 

 

mike-simons

September 29, 2014

Wade’s Article on Diversity on Corporate Boards Published

Cheryl Wade

Cheryl Wade

Professor Cheryl Wade was invited to participate at a Financial Roundtable on comparative corporate governance sponsored by the law schools at the University of British Columbia and Osgoode Hall last month. Each participant contributed a chapter about corporate governance, finance, or securities law that discussed where the world is in the aftermath of the financial crisis.

Professor Wade’s article, Gender Diversity on Corporate Boards: How Racial Politics Impedes Progress in the United States, was just published in a symposium issue of the Pace University School of Law International Law Review on Comparative Sex Regimes and Corporate Governance.

September 29, 2014

St. John’s to Host Program on “A New Era of SEC Enforcement”

This Friday, St. John’s University School of Law will host a breakfast talk with SEC Enforcement Division Director Andrew J. Ceresney and Robert E. Rice, Chief Counsel to SEC Chair Mary Jo White.  The program will focus on the modern challenges facing the commission, including new financial instruments, high frequency trading, and international investigations.  This event will take place at St. John’s new Manhattan campus and is co-sponsored by St. John’s Law Review and the Corporate and Securities Law Society.  To register for the program and for additional information, please visit the event page.

September 26, 2014

Simons Speaks at Religiously Affiliated Law Schools Conference

Michael Simons

On September 19, Dean Michael Simons spoke at the University of St. Thomas School of Law in Minneapolis as part of the 2014 Religiously Affiliated Law Schools Conference. Dean Simons was part of a panel of deans discussing “Religious Identity in a Time of Challenge for Law Schools.”

September 25, 2014

Sovern Writes for Virtual Symposium on ContractsProf Blog

Jeff Sovern

Jeff Sovern

ContractsProf Blog has organized a virtual symposium on Omri Ben-Shahar’s and Carl Schneider’s book, More That You Wanted to Know: The Failure of Mandated Disclosure. So far, ten scholars have provided posts, including professors from Georgetown, NYU, Minnesota, Fordham, Cornell, Washington, Iowa, and other law schools. Professor Jeff Sovern’s contribution is about whether single-letter grade disclosures, such as those seen at the entrances of New York City restaurants, are a useful form of disclosure.

September 18, 2014

Gregory Interviewed by NBC News and The New York Times

David Gregory

David Gregory

Professor David Gregory was interviewed by Brian Williams for the September 16th broadcast of the NBC National Evening News.  He was featured during the segment on the current crisis facing the National Football League.

Professor Gregory was also interviewed by The New York Times to discuss the issues facing the NFL.  He was quoted in the article “In League Ruled by Fiat, Response Seen as Flailing” in the September 16th issue.

September 16, 2014

Barrett Introduces Amar’s Jackson Lecture

John Barrett

John Barrett

On July 21st, Professor John Q. Barrett introduced Chautauqua Institution’s 10th annual Robert H. Jackson Lecture on the Supreme Court of the United States.  The Jackson lecturer, Professor Akhil Reed Amar of Yale Law School, then spoke on “Robert Jackson and the Judicialization of the Judiciary.”  YouTube video of Professor Barrett’s introduction is here, and the entire program is here.

September 15, 2014

Professor Eva Subotnik Chairing Federal Law Clerk Copyright Seminar

Eva Subotnik

Eva Subotnik

This Tuesday, Professor Eva Subotnik will be chairing and co-teaching the annual Law Clerks Copyright Seminar, sponsored by the Copyright & Literary Property Committee of the New York City Bar Association.  This program, which will be co-taught by top IP practitioners in the NYC area, provides the incoming federal law clerks of the Second and Third U.S. Circuit Courts of Appeals with an overview of copyright law as well as an introduction to new legal developments in this area.  The program will be held on Tuesday, September 16, 2014, from 5pm to 7:45pm, at the Daniel Patrick Moynihan U.S. Courthouse, 500 Pearl Street, Room 850, in Manhattan.  Information about the program can be found at:  www.nycbar.org/clerks

September 3, 2014

Review of DeGirolami’s Book in Commentary Magazine

Adam J. White has a review of Marc DeGirolami’s book, The Tragedy of Religious Freedom, in the September Marc DeGirolamiissue of Commentary Magazine. The print edition features a selection from the book.

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