Protecting Religious Liberty

Conference
June 14, 2016
9:00AM to 3:30PM
Hayek Auditorium

Throughout our history, Americans have been a highly religious people. Indeed, many of the original colonists came to the New World specifically to escape religious persecution. And though somewhat less devout than we once were, the United States still leads the developed world in religiosity.

Today, however, many feel that religious freedom is under serious—perhaps unprecedented—threat. With everything from health-insurance mandates, to the censoring of high school graduation speeches, to punishing vendors who refuse to work gay weddings, religious liberty seems to be increasingly curbed by powerful and intrusive government.

What should we do when a law or government action, often not intended to inhibit religious exercise, nevertheless does? How much of a connection between church and state is “too much,” such that it infringes on the rights of nonbelievers? How can we maximize harmony between religious and nonreligious Americans?

While these sorts of questions have arisen throughout American history, they may now be more important than ever. In this conference, we will seek to answer them.

9:00 – 9:10AM Welcoming Remarks

Neal McCluskey, Director, Center for Educational Freedom, Cato Institute
9:10 – 10:25AM Panel 1: Religion and Education: The Constant Battleground

Charles Glenn, Professor of Educational Leadership, Boston University
Charles Haynes, Vice President, Newseum Institute/Religious Freedom Center; Senior Scholar, First Amendment Center
Neal McCluskey, Director, Center for Educational Freedom, Cato Institute
Jonathan Zimmerman, Professor of History of Education, New York University

Moderated by Jason Russell, Reporter, Washington Examiner

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10:25 – 10:45AM Break
10:45AM – 12:00PM Panel 2: Religious Toleration and Religious Freedom: Its History, Its Importance

Doug Bandow, Senior Fellow, Cato Institute
John M. Barry, Author, Roger Williams and the Creation of the American Soul: Church, State, and the Birth of Liberty
Robert P. George, McCormick Chair in Jurisprudence, Princeton University

Moderated by Trevor Burrus, Research Fellow, Center for Constitutional Studies, Cato Institute

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12:00 – 12:45PM Lunch
12:45 – 1:15PM Lunch Address

Douglas Laycock, Robert E. Scott Distinguished Professor of Law; Professor of Religious Studies, University of Virginia

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1:20 – 2:35PM Panel 3: Public Accommodations: What Are the Limits?

Louise Melling, Deputy Legal Director and Director of Center for Liberty, American Civil Liberties Union
Roger Pilon, Vice President for Legal Affairs, Cato Institute
Mark Rienzi, Senior Counsel, Becket Fund for Religious Liberty; Associate Professor of Law, Catholic University

Moderated by Ilya Shapiro, Senior Fellow in Constitutional Studies; Editor-in-Chief, Cato Supreme Court Review, Cato Institute

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2:35 – 3:20PM Closing Address

Hon. William H. Pryor, Circuit Judge, U.S. Court of Appeals, Eleventh Circuit
3:20PM Closing Remarks

Trevor Burrus, Research Fellow, Center for Constitutional Studies, Cato Institute

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