Murphy Institute News
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It’s been a rough year. In the last few months, five police officers were killed in Dallas, and closer to home, Jamar Clark and Philando Castile were killed by law enforcement officers. Sometimes it’s hard to find common ground when tensions run high. To address the sometimes contentious relationship between police officers and people of color, the University of St. Thomas School of Law held a forum Sept. 14.
It was a raw discussion between people who are often at odds. It was about race, responsibility, privilege and trust, and it was about the most contentious and critical issue in the Twin Cities for the past two years.
I am not a Con Law scholar, and have not spent as much time as my colleagues analyzing Justice Scalia's writing. I knew him only as the spouse of one of his clerks. In that vein, here are the memories I shared with our student newspaper, and a picture of my husband and me paying our respects at the Supreme Court yesterday.
In May 1995, a group of nearly 200 religious leaders of multiple faiths issued a sharp statement calling for reversal of the U.S. Patent Office’s recent decision to issue patents on portions of the human genome and on several genetically engineered animals (most notably, a laboratory mouse especially susceptible to cancer). “[H]umans and animals are creations of God, not [of] humans,” the statement said, “and as such should not be patented as human inventions.”1
Fast forward 20 years.
At the conclusion of a year that has seen equal pay and parental leave emerge as major topics of national conversation in the United States, University of St. Thomas School of Law Professor Elizabeth Schiltz was invited to Rome to present her work on mothers in the workplace for the Pontifical Council for the Laity’s International Study Seminar, “Women and Work.”
U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia emphasized the importance of the Catholic law school environment during a visit to the University of St. Thomas School of Law on Oct. 20, 2015.
Morgan Fuller, a UST dual degree (Law and Catholic Studies) student and a scholar at The Terrence J. Murphy Institute for Catholic Thought, Law and Public Policy, was selected by the Paul Ramsey Institute (PRI) in California for a bioethics fellowship. The PRI encourages emerging leaders to advance biotechnology and bioethical research that are grounded in moral responsibility.
The Murphy Institute sponsored a faculty roundtable discussion of Thomas Piketty’s recent book, Capital in the Twenty-First Century, in order to bring its argument into dialogue with the social teaching of the Catholic Church. Four professors from the University of St. Thomas – Mariana Hernandez Crespo (School of Law), Matthew Kim (Economics Department, College of Arts and Sciences), Daryl Koehn (Business Ethics Department, Opus College of Business) and Robert Kennedy (Catholic Studies) – took up this task from different standpoints and disciplines.
Minnesota native and St. Thomas graduate John A. Ryan is one of the most prominent moral theologians and advocates for social justice in the history of the Church. During most of his lifetime, he advanced social reforms such as a minimum wage, unemployment insurance, the income tax, eight-hour work days, restrictions on child labor, protections for labor unions, and public ownership of mines, forests and utilities.
Issues of the just and fair treatment of people with developmental disabilities have been on my radar screen all of my life. I have an older brother with developmental disabilities, so I grew up watching my parents’ struggles to secure a decent education and employment for him. Almost 20 years ago, my son was born with developmental disabilities, so I’ve applied the lessons learned from watching my parents to my legal training to do the same for him.
In the 30 or so years between the birth of my brother and the birth of my son, there is no question that the legal protections for and social attitudes toward people with developmental disabilities have improved.
When Catholic Studies and the Terrence J. Murphy Institute for Catholic Thought, Law and Public Policy gave me the opportunity to be the first intern to work with the Caritas in Veritate Foundation, an organization that provides research support for the Catholic voice in Geneva, it was an easy decision, even if it meant putting off the bar exam. Primarily, I worked alongside the brilliant, faithful and joyful men and women at the diplomatic mission of the Holy See to the United Nations in Geneva.
Author and professor Dr. William Cavanaugh will discuss “Religious Freedom and the Security State” in a 7 p.m. lecture Monday, Feb. 24, in the auditorium of the O’Shaughnessy Educational Center on the St. Paul campus of the University of St. Thomas.
Two legal scholars, one a Muslim and the other a Catholic, will discuss anti-Sharia laws at the next “Hot Topics: Cool Talk” forum, which will be held 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 23, in the O’Shaughnessy Educational Center auditorium on the St. Paul campus of the University of St. Thomas.
A famous philosopher once said that it is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.
In this election season, voters are polarized by a host of emotionally charged issues that include same-sex marriage, threats to religious liberty, immigration, health-care reform, taxation, government spending and life issues such as contraception, abortion, embryo rights and stem cell research.
The University of St. Thomas has announced the creation of the Terrence J. Murphy Institute for Catholic Thought, Law and Public Policy.
The new institute is named for the late Monsignor Terrence Murphy, who served the university for 50 years, including 25 years as its president. Murphy was the university’s chancellor when he died Feb. 25. His 2001 book, A Catholic University: Vision and Opportunities, emphasized the themes of teaching religious and ethical values, ecumenism and openness to those of all faiths and cultures; service; recognizing and meeting community needs; and an entrepreneurial spirit.