2016 National Lawyers Convention
RESOLVED: Hostile Environment Law, On and Off Campus, Often Violates the First Amendment.
The Ninth Annual Rosenkranz Debate was held on November 19, 2016, during The Federalist Society's 2016 National Lawyers Convention.
Ninth Annual Rosenkranz Debate & Luncheon
12:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.
- Prof. Deborah L. Rhode, Ernest W. McFarland Professor of Law; Director, Center on the Legal Profession; Director, Program in Law and Social Entrepreneurship, Stanford Law School
- Prof. Eugene Volokh, Gary T. Schwartz Professor of Law, UCLA School of Law
- Moderator: Hon. Jennifer W. Elrod, U.S Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit
- Introduction: Mr. Eugene B. Meyer, President, The Federalist Society
The Mayflower Hotel 2016 National Lawyers Convention
In his seminal decision in Employment Division v. Smith in 1990, Justice Antonin Scalia held that the First Amendment typically does not authorize courts to grant religious exemptions from generally applicable laws. This decision altered the 1963 Sherbert v. Verner test which had given courts the power to strike down any law that (1) if it substantially burdened religious practice, was not (2) based on a compelling government interest, and (3) narrowly tailored to achieve that interest. Rather, Scalia said that religious adherents should look to the political process for accommodation, and he consistently supported the constitutionality of such accommodations. In response to Smith, a primary means of such accommodation has been the passage of state and federal Religious Freedom Restoration Acts (RFRAs), which codify the Sherbert test. However, in the wake of Obergefell v. Hodges (or Hobby Lobby), RFRAs have become the focus of intense political controversy. What do these laws actually do in practice? Are they a good idea? Would a different approach to protect religious liberty be better?
This panel was held on November 17, 2016, during the 2016 National Lawyers Convention in Washington, DC.
Religious Liberties: Is the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) the Future of Religious Liberty?
3:30 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
- Dr. John C. Eastman, Henry Salvatori Professor of Law & Community Service, Chapman University Fowler School of Law; Senior Fellow, The Claremont Institute
- Prof. Richard W. Garnett, Paul J. Schierl/Fort Howard Corporation Professor, Concurrent Professor of Political Science, Notre Dame Law School
- Prof. William P. Marshall, William Rand Kenan, Jr. Distinguished Professor of Law, University of North Carolina School of Law
- Prof. Vincent Phillip Muñoz, Tocqueville Associate Professor of Religion & Public Life, University of Notre Dame
- Moderator: Prof. Michael M. Uhlmann, Professor of Politics and Policy/SPE, Claremont Graduate University
- Introduction: Mr. William L. Saunders, Senior Vice President of Legal Affairs and Senior Counsel, Americans United for Life
The Mayflower Hotel Religious Liberties Practice Group Podcast
Mr. Gregory S. Baylor of Alliance Defending Freedom discussed current and future challenges to the religious freedom of faith-based institutions of higher education, with a special focus on the ongoing debate over California Senate Bill 1146. Earlier versions of SB1146 would have significantly curtailed longstanding religious freedom protections in state anti-discrimination law, thereby exposing faith-based schools to liability for discrimination on the basis of religion, sexual orientation, and gender identity in student and employee relations. The bill's prime sponsor recently removed its most controversial provisions, but he indicated that a similar bill may be proposed in the next legislative session.
- Mr. Gregory S. Baylor, Senior Counsel & Director of the Center for Religious Schools, Alliance Defending Freedom