Evolving Conceptions of Liberty: Prospects for Law and Religious Freedom

September 26, 2016 (7:00pm - 9:30pm)

Jeff Shafer, Senior Counsel at the Alliance Defending Freedom, will present a lecture entitled "Evolving Conceptions of Liberty: Prospects for Law and Religious Freedom in the Obergefell Era" on Monday, September 26, at 7 p.m. in Keane Auditorium.

The lecture will be followed by a reception.

Mr. Shafer will discuss religious freedom in relation to recent Supreme Court rulings:

The Supreme Court’s 2015 decision in Obergefell v. Hodges purporting to redefine marriage for the nation illustrates the condition of contemporary law. As the Court in Obergefell did not pair its audacity with cogency, the decision presents abundant grounds for critique. Yet the outcome was eminently predictable. Why? Because culturally attuned judicial innovating has now itself become a norm, a functional certainty that has replaced the substantive certainty of stable law.  

The common segregation of court decisions from enduring legal standards raises concerns for religious dissenters. If “liberty” gave us Obergefell, how likely is “liberty” to give dissenters a shelter from Obergefell? The path leading to Obergefell presents an interesting story, as does the challenge in finding a path away from it, and from what it represents.

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