Law and Religion

A conference for CLE credit

Thu, 05/29/2008
Frist Campus Center, Multipurpose Room
Event Category: 
Special Event
By Invitation Only

Click here to register

The United States is a deeply religious country -- and a deeply constitutional country. But can it be religious and constitutional at the same time? The 2008 Continuing Legal Education conference will explore the law of religion and religious sources of law. We will consider topics including faith-based initiatives, public subsidies for religious schools, public prayer, the various meanings of separation of church and state and rights of religious minorities in other countries. And we will ask what religious practitioners should do if their religion demands a particular view of secular law. The opening lecture will be given by Christopher Eisgruber '83. Registration fees are $125 for Princeton University alumni and $300 for all others. This conference is free for Princeton students, faculty and staff with a Princeton University ID.

May 29, 2008

8:30 — 9:00 AM
Continental Breakfast and Registration

9:00 — 9:15 AM
Kim Lane Scheppele, Director, Program in Law and Public Affairs, Princeton University

9:15 — 10:30 AM
Opening Lecture
Christopher Eisgruber '83, Provost, Princeton University
"Separation of Church & State: Is it a Myth, a Mandate, or a Mistake?"
Few ideas loom larger in constitutional law than the "separation of church and state." That phrase appears nowhere in the Constitution, but it is far better known than the First Amendment's actual text. Professor Eisgruber will discuss the various meanings of "separation" in American constitutional thought and the Supreme Court's efforts to translate it into a workable jurisprudence using the concept of separation as a window upon competing theories of religious freedom and offering an assessment of the disagreements about religious freedom among the current Supreme Court Justices.

10:30 — 10:45 AM

10:45 AM — 12:30 PM
Recent Constitutional Controversies over Religious Liberty
During the last quarter-century, Supreme Court justices have divided sharply about such issues as public subsidies for religious schools, Ten Commandments displays, and extra-curricular prayer ceremonies at public schools. They have also occasionally produced surprising agreements, including one decision that struck down a law prohibiting animal sacrifice and another that required the government to permit the use of hallucinogenic tea in a religious ritual. With two new justices having on the Court, many closely contested issues will be up for grabs. Panelists will analyze past decisions and identify areas that bear watching.

Christopher Eisgruber '83, Provost, Princeton University

Alan E. Brownstein, University of California-Davis School of Law
Richard W. Garnett, University of Notre Dame Law School
Marci Hamilton, Kathleen and Martin Crane LAPA Fellow; Benjamin N Cardozo School of Law
Jeffrey Rosen, George Washington University Law School
Lawrence Sager, University of Texas at Austin School of Law

12:30 — 2:00 PM
Lunch at Prospect House

2:00 — 3:15 PM
Funding Faith: Social Services & Religious Schools under the Constitution
This panel will address the set of questions that arise when money enters the relationship between church and state, including: May the state give money to religious organizations to accomplish secular purposes, such as counseling, school buses, after-school tutoring programs or a basic secular education? How far may states go in giving money to faith-based organizations, even if the money is not directly used to forward religious belief? Panelists will consider when constitutional and public policy options are compatible and when they conflict?

Steve Macedo, Politics & UCHV Director, Princeton University

Sanford Levinson, University of Texas at Austin School of Law
Dominique Ludvigson, formerly with the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives
Laura Underkuffler, Duke University Law School

3:15 — 3:30 PM

3:30 — 4:45 PM
A Comparative Perspective on the Legal Rights of Minorities
In countries around the world, religious minorities have to struggle against majority opinion and often against majority law. How do other countries manage the relationship between religion and law so that religious minorities are protected? Panelists will explore U.S. policy in dealing with countries whose religious minorities are oppressed and look at some places with religious diversity to see what makes this issue particularly difficult to manage well.

Kim Lane Scheppele, Director, Program in Law and Public Affairs, Princeton University

Panelists (in formation)
Robert Ahdieh ’94, Microsoft-LAPA Fellow; Emory Law School
Michael Karayanni, Hebrew University of Jerusalem; Member, Institute for Advanced Study 2007-2008
Felice D. Gaer, Director, Jacob Blaustein Institute for the Advancement of Human Rights

4:45 — 5:00 PM

5:00 — 6:30 PM
Matters of Faith: What Does Religion Require of Public Officials, Judges and Lawyers?
In the context of the separation of church and state, American lawyers are inclined to think primarily about institutional arrangements. But what should religiously observant lawyers, judges and public officials do if their religion demands one thing and the secular law demands something else? Should the secular law be interpreted in such a way that it is consistent with religious practice? What happens when religions conflict? This discussion between two deeply religious lawyers will consider a wide range of options and agonies in seeking to answer these questions.

Robert P. George, James Madison Program, Princeton University
Aidan O'Neill, LAPA Fellow, Princeton University & QC Edinburgh and London