Balancing Religious Freedoms in a Pluralistic Society

Chicago Lawyers Chapter - Online Event

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What should the nature of religious liberty look like in a pluralistic society? The Supreme Court has taken a renewed interest in adjudicating religious liberty cases. Recent terms have attempted to resolve issues as varied as the Bladensburg Peace Cross, the scope of the ministerial exemption, and the application of public health emergency orders to religious services. Next term, the court has been asked to reconsider its decision in Employment Division, Department of Human Resources of Oregon v. Smith, 494 U.S. 872 (1990). Does Smith need refinement? 

This event hosted by the Chicago Lawyers Chapter on August 20, 2020 surveyed the recent decisions and discussed the best ways forward to protect religious liberty amidst a bevy of conflicting interests in our diverse society.


  • Prof. Stephanie H. Barclay, Associate Professor of Law, Notre Dame Law School
  • Prof. Vincent Phillip Muñoz, Tocqueville Associate Professor of Religion & Public Life, University of Notre Dame
  • Moderator: Prof. Daniel O. Conkle, Robert H. McKinney Professor of Law Emeritus and Adjunct Professor of Religious Studies, Maurer School of Law, Indiana University Bloomington
  • Introduction: Richard Benson, Chicago Lawyers Chapter
  • Introduction: Eric Wessen, Chicago Lawyers Chapter

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As always, the Federalist Society takes no position on particular legal or public policy issues; all expressions of opinion are those of the speaker.