First Amendment

“Conscience Exemptions”

Engage Volume 14, Issue 1 February 2013
Lynn Wardle June 28, 2013

“Conscience Exemptions”The term “conscience exemptions” is used today to describe provisions of law that are intended to protect personal rights of conscience (including especially religious conscience) by creating exceptions to particular legal commands or prohibitions. While concern over protecting rights of conscience is as old as our nation, and an essential cornerstone of our Constitution, the contemporary term “conscience exemption” is a misleading phrase that does not fully capture the meaning and importance of protecting rights of conscience of individuals and groups of individuals in our constitutional system....[Read More!]

2008 Church Autonomy Conference Opening Remarks - Event Audio/Video

Religious Liberties Practice Group
John Garvey April 08, 2008
Dean John Garvey of Boston College Law School opened The Federalist Society's 2008 Church Autonomy Conference titled "The Things That Are Not Caesar’s: Religious Organizations as a Check on the Authoritarian Pretensions of the State" at the Georgetown University Law Center in Washington, DC, on March 14, 2008.

A Constitutional Campaign Finance Plan

Free Speech & Election Law Practice Group Newsletter - Volume 2, Issue 1, Spring 1998
Michael W. McConnell November 03, 2009
We take the unusual step in this issue of reprinting an article that appeared earlier in a different publication, but we think Professor McConnell’s ideas merit further attention. We say that, not necessarily because we agree with all that he says, but rather because his proposal on how to address the vexing issue of campaign finance reform is two things such proposals rarely are - provocative, and respectful of the First Amendment. And because it is provocative, we invite readers to submit for publication in our next issue reactions to Professor McConnell’s proposal. Professor McConnell, in turn, has agreed to address your responses. So please let us know your thoughts - send them by email, fax, or regular mail to either of the editors, William McGrath and Allison Hayward, or to the Federalist Society headquarters.

A Conversation with Federal Communications Commissioner Ajit Pai - Podcast

Telecommunications & Electronic Media Practice Group Podcast
Ajit V. Pai, Gregory E. Sopkin September 09, 2013

A Conversation with Federal Communications Commissioner Ajit Pai - PodcastAjit Pai was nominated to the Federal Communications Commission by President Barack Obama and on May 7, 2012 was confirmed unanimously by the United States Senate. He was interviewed by Gregory Sopkin of Wilkinson Barker Knauer, LLP for a Federalist Society Teleforum on current hot topics before the Commission. Topics included incentive auctions, federal spectrum, the IP transition, process reform, and media ownership. Commissioner Pai's goal in all of these areas is to create a regulatory environment in which competition and innovation will flourish, and he seeks to shape regulation that gives private firms the strongest incentive to raise and invest capital; to develop new products and services; and to compete in established and new markets. Specifically, Commissioner Pai is working to remove uncertainty that can deter businesses and investors from taking risks, to revisit outdated regulations, and to set clear, modernized rules for the road.


  • Hon. Ajit V. Pai, Federal Communications Commission
  • Moderator: Mr. Gregory E. Sopkin, Partner, Wilkinson, Barker, Knauer, LLP

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A Conversation with Federal Trade Commissioner Maureen Ohlhausen - Podcast

Telecommunications & Electronic Media Practice Group Podcast
Maureen K. Ohlhausen, Dean A. Reuter December 19, 2013

Maureen OhlhausenMaureen K. Ohlhausen was nominated to the Federal Trade Commission by President Barack Obama and, on March 29, 2012, was confirmed unanimously by the United States Senate. She will be participate in a Teleforum on the FTC’s activities in the area of consumer privacy, including recent revisions to the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) Rule.

The rise of sophisticated technologies over the last few years has allowed websites and other online entities to gather and distill large amounts of data about particular internet users. Although there are many efficiency gains from this activity, such as the development of new services and better-targeted advertising, people have also become concerned about possible invasions of privacy from monitoring an individual’s internet activity. Recognizing that children’s online privacy is an especially sensitive area, COPPA prohibits an operator of a website or online service that is directed to children, or who has actual knowledge that it is gathering personal information from a child, from collecting such information without providing notice of its data collection and obtaining verifiable parental consent for it. The FTC recently expanded the COPPA Rule’s coverage to include more types of personal information, such as IP addresses, and to expand the definition of an operator to reach entities that do not collect or use children’s information. Commissioner Ohlhausen addressed how she seeks to balance the FTC’s mandate under Section 5 of the FTC Act to protect consumers against unfair or deceptive acts with the legitimate rights of business to gather and use information for commercial purposes and why she dissented from the FTC’s revision to the COPPA Rule.


  • Maureen Ohlhausen, Commissioner, Federal Trade Commission
  • Moderator: Dean Reuter, Vice President and Director of Practice Groups, The Federalist Society

[Listen now!]