Religious Liberty and the Contraception Coverage Mandate

Part of the HOT TOPICS: COOL TALK series

Date & Time:

Monday, April 2, 2012
12:30 PM - 1:30 PM


Free and open to the public


University of St. Thomas School of Law
Room 235


Approved for Continuing Legal Education Credit

Hot Topics: Cool Talk "extra:" 

"Does Government-Mandated Contraception Coverage Violate Religious Freedom?"


Tom Berg, the James Oberstar Professor of Law and Public Policy. Berg graduated from the University of Chicago Law School and holds a master’s in religion from the University of Chicago and a master’s in philosophy and politics from Oxford University. He is the author of the law book, The State and Religion in a Nutshell, co-author of Religion and the Constitution, and author of approximately 60 articles in law reviews and religion journals on religious freedom, constitutional law, and the role of religion in law, politics and society.

Fr. Daniel Griffith, faculty fellow of law and chaplain and fellow of the Murphy Institute. A diocesan priest, Griffith is a graduate of the St. Paul Seminary School of Divinity, where he received master’s degrees in theology and divinity, and was ordained in 2002. Griffith also is a graduate of St. Thomas, where he studied political science, and of the William Mitchell College of Law.  He currently is teaching the law school course, Catholic Thought, Law and Public Policy. He has served as pastor of St. Peter in North St. Paul and St. Edward in Bloomington. He now is serving at Our Lady of Lourdes in Minneapolis, where he will become pastor in July.

Susan Stabile, the Robert and Marion Short Distinguished Chair in Law. Stabile is a noted scholar on topics related to the intersection of Catholic social thought and the law. Her articles have been published in the Journal of Catholic Legal Studies, the Journal of Catholic Social Thought and the Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy. She is a fellow of the Holloran Center for Ethical Leadership and an affiliate senior fellow of the St. John’s University Vincentian Center for Church and Society.  A spiritual director who leads retreats and other programs of spiritual formation, Stabile has served on the ministerial staff of St. Ignatius Retreat House in New York.


Rob Vischer is professor and associate dean for academic affairs at the School of Law. His scholarship focuses on the intersection of law, religion and public policy, and he is the author of the 2010 Conscience and the Common Good: Reclaiming the Space Between Person and State.



The Hot Topics: Cool Talk Series

The Murphy Institute for Catholic Thought, Law and Public Policy is pleased to present this unique series at the School of Law that explores both the Catholic positions and some challenging perspectives on major policy issues important to this year's election. Each program brings together two expert speakers respectfully engaging in one of these hot topics:  same sex marriage amendment, balancing the budget, health care reform, embryo rights and stem cell research, punishment theory, immigration policies, religious liberty, rights of conscience and the contraception coverage mandate, and responsible citizenship.

To make an accessibility request, call Disability Resources at (651) 962-6315.