Thursday, August 25, 2011

Duquesne University Law School to Probe The Future of the Establishment Clause

Here is the announcement of an upcoming program I hope some of you can attend.

The Future of the Establishment Clause in Context: Neutrality, Religion, or Avoidance?

The Establishment Clause of the Constitution prohibits Congress from making any law “respecting an establishment of religion”. There is no agreement today on the Supreme Court, or in American law generally, as to what that command means. This disarray has led to intractable controversies over such issues as “one Nation under God” and “In God We Trust”. Government neutrality toward religion is now challenged by some members of a newly assertive, national religious majority. Conversely, a growing number of nonbelievers, especially among the young, reject even generic references to God. Disappointingly, the Supreme Court has responded to these developments by limiting standing to bring Establishment Clause challenges, rather than by a coherent reinterpretation of the text.

In conjunction with a symposium issue of The Chicago-Kent Law Review, six scholars will explore the future of the Establishment Clause in terms of this contested context at Duquesne University School of Law on November 3, 2011. They will inquire into the possibilities set forth by the three paths open to us into the future of religion in the public square: a new government neutrality, a new relationship of government and religion and a new understanding of how the Establishment Clause is to be enforced.


Bruce Ledewitz, Professor of Law, Duquesne University School of Law
Christopher Lund, Assistant Professor of Law, Wayne State University Law School

Zachary R. Calo, Assistant Professor of Law, Valparaiso University School of Law
Samuel J. Levine, Professor of Law, and Director of the Jewish Law Institute, Touro College Jacob D. Fuchsberg Law Center

Richard Albert, Assistant Professor of Law, Boston College Law School
Mark C. Rahdert, Charles Klein Professor of Law & Government, Temple University Beasley School of Law

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