Is the Supreme Court Threatening Religious Groups?

Fifth program in the 2012-2013 Hot Topics: Cool Talk discourse series which focuses this year on Religious Liberty issues around the world.

Date & Time:

Friday, March 8, 2013
12:30 PM - 1:30 PM


Room 235, School of Law

Approved for an "elimination of bias" Continuing Legal Education credit.

In his book, The Four Freedoms and the Future of Religious Liberty, Inazu wrote that the First Amendment’s freedoms of speech, press, religion and assembly once reinforced each other and "protected citizens from forced participation in state orthodoxy and created spaces for these citizens to generate and pursue ideas and ways of life apart from the watchful gaze of government. They protected, among other things, a pluralistic civil society that tolerated genuine disagreement and shielded private groups from the imposition of majoritarian norms.”

Are the First Amendment's freedoms of speech, press, and religion --once heralded as the four "pillars which sustain the temple of liberty under law" --crumbling under the pressures of contemporary anti-discrimination norms?  Are "religious groups" losing the constitutional protections they once enjoyed?  Should they?  Join us on March 8 when constitutional law experts, professors John Inazu and Nelson Tebbe, debate the question "Is the Supreme Court Threatening Religious Groups?"

Arguing "Yes"

John Inazu, is a professor of law at Washington University Law where his scholarship focuses on the First Amendment freedoms of speech, assembly, and religion, and related questions of legal and political theory. His first book, Liberty's Refuge: The Forgotten Freedom of Assembly(Yale University Press, 2012), seeks to recover the role of assembly in American political and constitutional thought.  He is a graduate of Duke University School of Law and holds a Ph.D. in political science from the University of North Carolina.


Arguing "No"

Nelson Tebbe is a professor of law at Brooklyn Law School.  He teaches courses on constitutional law, religious freedom, legal theory, and professional responsibility.  He is immediate past Chair of the Law and Religion Section of the Association of American Law Schools and he is co-organizer of the Annual Law and Religion Roundtable.  Tebbe  was also a Fulbright Scholar at the University of Cape Town. A graduate of Yale Law School and Brown University, Professor Tebbe also holds a Ph.D. with distinction in the academic study of religion from the University of Chicago.


Moderating the program:

Rob Vischer is Dean and Professor of Law, University of St. Thomas School of Law



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