Nationally known constitutional scholar to speak on faith, citizenship and elections

Douglas Kmiec, a nationally known constitutional scholar and legal commentator, will give a lecture, "The Call to Faith-ful Citizenship and the 2008 Primary," from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 11, in Room 238 of the University of St. Thomas School of Law in downtown Minneapolis.

The lecture, sponsored by the university’s Terrence J. Murphy Institute for Catholic Thought, Law and Public Policy, is free and open to the public. A reception follows. Reservations are requested at murphyinstit@stthomas.edu.

Kmiec, who holds the Caruso Family Chair in Constitutional Law at Pepperdine University School of Law, is a former dean and professor at the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., and was a longtime member of the law faculty at the University of Notre Dame, where he directed its Thomas J. White Center on Law and Government and founded its Journal of Law, Ethics & Public Policy. Kmiec served as constitutional legal counsel during the Reagan and George Bush administrations (1985-89) and was a White House Fellow (1982-83). He received Distinguished Service Awards from two cabinet departments – the Department of Justice in 1987 and the Department of Housing and Urban Development in 1983. In 1988, he was awarded the Edmund J. Randolph Award by the attorney general.  More recently, Kmiec also chaired former presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s Committee on the Constitution.

He is the co-author (with legal historian Stephen Presser of Northwestern) of three 1998 books on the Constitution — The American Constitutional Order; Individual Rights and the American Constitution and The History, Structure and Philosophy of the American Constitution.  His 1995 book, Cease-Fire on the Family: The End of the Culture War attracted acclaim for proposing ways to "end the culture war" by renewing personal virtue and civic responsibility. He has also written The Attorney General’s Lawyer: Inside the Meese Justice Department (Praeger, 1992) and several respected legal treatises.

Kmiec also will deliver the MacLaurin Institute’s fourth-annual Faith and Law Lecture at 7 p.m. Wednesday, March 12, in Room 25 of Mondale Hall at the University of Minnesota. The institute is a Christian study center serving the University of Minnesota community.

St. Thomas ‘ Terrence J. Murphy Institute, founded in 2004, is a collaboration between the St. Thomas’ Center for Catholic Studies and School of Law; it was created to explore the various interactions between law and Catholic thought.

For further information about Kmiec’s talk at St. Thomas, call the Murphy Institute, (651) 962-4842.