On Thursday, June 28, the Prolife Center at the University of St. Thomas and the Minnesota Catholic Conference will host “Religious Liberty, Conscience Rights, and Participation of Faith Communities in the Public Square.” The C.L.E. program runs from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. and will focus on exploring the legal protections of religious liberty — a topic that will likely be at the forefront of public debate in coming months prior to the fall election season.

St. Thomas School of Law Professor Teresa Collett explained that the conference was developed in response to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ call to join in protecting religious freedom, which they called “our first, most cherished liberty.” A number of speakers will address topics related to religious liberty, including former Minnesota Supreme Court Justice Eric Magnuson, who will speak on constitutional principles of religious liberty.

Panels and individuals will cover related topics. Collett and Father Reginald Whitt will discuss the religious liberty issues related to the Health and Human Services mandates, including contraception. In addition, one of the nation’s leading trial attorneys, Roger Magnuson, a partner at Dorsey & Whitney, will discuss religious liberty issues when government seeks control over religious organizations’ activities, which, in some cases, prevent religious organizations from providing critical services in areas such as work with human trafficking victims.

Of particular interest to attorneys will be University of Minnesota Law Professor Richard Painter’s discussion of the professional regulations regarding lawyer’s speech and political activities. A full list of speakers and a schedule can be found online.

The event has been approved for 6.75 hours of general C.L.E. credit, two hours of elimination of bias credit and one hour of ethics credit. The cost of the event is $20 for those attending who do not wish to obtain the C.L.E. credit and $75 for those seeking C.L.E. credit. More information and registration material can be viewed online or by visiting www.stthomas.edu/law.