Category Archives: CLR News

Notre Dame Law Review Symposium on Dignitatis Humanae (Nov. 5-6)

University_of_Notre_Dame_739399_i0Next month, Marc and I will both be presenting papers at a symposium on the 50th anniversary of Dignitatis Humanae, the Vatican II declaration on religious freedom. The symposium, sponsored by the Notre Dame Law Review, will take place in South Bend. In addition to Marc and myself, panelists include Thomas Berg of the University of St. Thomas School of Law, Paul Horwitz of the University of Alabama School of Law, Christopher Lund of Wayne State University Law School; Brett Scharffs of Brigham Young University Law School, Steven Smith of the University of San Diego School of Law, Anna Su of the University of Toronto Faculty of Law, and Richard Garnett and Phillip Muñoz of Notre Dame Law School.  The panels will be moderated by Judge Richard Sullivan of the Southern District of New York. The Symposium will feature a keynote address from John H. Garvey, President of The Catholic University of America.

Further details are here. CLR Forum readers, please stop by and say hello!

Throwback Thursday: June 2014


At the Center’s Conference on International Religious Freedom in Rome, at which Pope Francis gave the keynote address. In addition to His Holiness, that’s Center Director Mark Movsesian, Associate Director Marc DeGirolami, and St. John’s Law School Dean Michael Simons (L-R).

Oxford University Press Adds Movsesian Lecture to Online Legal Research Library

For those who are interested, I see that Oxford University Press has added my lecture on Mideast Christians, which I delivered last year at the Lanier Theological Library in Houston, to its online legal research library. The Oxford link is here. Thanks!

Religious Freedom and the Supreme Court: A Conversation with Judge Richard Sullivan (Oct. 27)

220px-Richard_J._SullivanThe Center for Law and Religion invites you to join us for a conversation with United States District Judge Richard J. Sullivan (left) about current and potential issues before the U.S. Supreme Court involving religious freedom. Topics will include the ongoing contraception mandate litigation, conflicts between the rights of same-sex couples and rights of religious conscience, and the future of religious freedom in the United States. Light refreshments will be provided.

The event will take place on  Tuesday, October 27, 2015, from 6-8 p.m., at the offices of Simpson, Thacher & Bartlett,  425 Lexington Avenue, New York, NY 10017. It will be hosted by Mary Kay Vyskocil, St. John’s Law Class of ’83. The event is free, but space is limited and advance registration is required. To attend, please RSVP to Jean Nolan at 718-990-8059 or by October 21, 2015.

Welcome to Gerald Russello

Mark and I are delighted to welcome Gerald Russello to the Forum as our guest Gerald Russello
for the next month or so. Gerald is a partner at an international business law firm, where he has specialized in securities enforcement and regulatory matters. But he also has a “second life” as a frequent and thoughtful commenter on many matters of immediate concern to our readers. I’ve learned greatly from his incisive essays. And he is the tireless editor of The University Bookman, the arm of the Russell Kirk Center For Cultural Renewal devoted to essays and reviews about books that “diagnose the modern age and support the renewal of culture and the common good.”

Welcome Gerald!!

Center Appoints Student Fellows for 2015-2016


Cipolla and Vlahos

We’re delighted to report that the Center for Law and Religion has appointed two student fellows for 2015-2016, Stephanie Cipolla (3L) and Christina Vlahos (2L). Cipolla, who served as a fellow last year as well, graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a B.A. in political science. Before coming to St. John’s, she spent a year working for the CEO of Catholic Charities – Archdiocese of New Orleans. She is a staff member on the St. John’s Law Review.

Vlahos, who joins us as a new fellow this year, graduated from Columbia College (Columbia University) with a B.A. in English Literature and Modern Greek Studies.  She is a staff member on the St. John’s Law Review.

Our student fellows help out with various Center activities, including, most importantly, keeping this blog updated with daily Scholarship Roundup posts and our weekly Around the Web feature. This is our fifth class of student fellows. We selected our first in 2011.

We welcome Stephanie and Christina and wish them success in the year ahead!

International Law and Religion Moot Court: Venice 2016


The Fondazione Marcianum in Venice

The Fondazione Marcianum, a research center in Venice, will hold its second annual international law-and-religion moot court competition this coming March. The competition, which gathers law students from universities around the world, is the only one of its kind: a truly international competition in which students argue a case before panels simulating both the US Supreme Court and the European Court of Human Rights. Full disclosure: I took part as a judge in last year’s competition and found it extremely worthwhile. This year, I’ve helped craft the problem and will deliver one of the keynote addresses.

This year’s problem relates to the establishment of religion — to school prayer, specifically. You can download the problem here. I greatly encourage law students to consider competing. It’s a truly unique educational experience. Any questions, please contact the Fondazione here.

Announcing the Third Biennial Colloquium in Law and Religion

The Center for Law and Religion at St. John’s Law School isCLR Logo pleased to announce its third biennial Colloquium in Law and Religion, scheduled for Spring 2016. This seminar invites leading law and religion scholars to make presentations to a small audience of students and faculty.

The following speakers have confirmed:

February 1: Brett G. Scharffs (Brigham Young University School of Law)

February 16: Robin Fretwell Wilson (University of Illinois School of Law)

February 29: Robert P. George (Princeton University)

March 14: Mark Tushnet (Harvard Law School)

April 4: Justice Samuel A. Alito (United States Supreme Court)

April 18: Elizabeth H. Prodromou (Boston University & Tufts University Fletcher School of Diplomacy)

Topics will be announced at a future date.

For more information or if you would like to attend the sessions, please contact the colloquium’s organizers, Marc DeGirolami ( and Mark Movsesian ( For information about past colloquia, please click here, Spring 2012, and here, Spring 2014 (hosted with Villanova Law School).

Center Faculty Participate in Libertas Project Sponsored by Templeton Foundation and Hosted by Villanova Law School

Mark and I are at lovely Villanova University School of Law for the next few Libertasdays, participating in the religious freedom component of the Libertas Project, sponsored by the Templeton Foundation and organized by our old friend, Professor Michael Moreland. We’ll have more to report as the discussion gets underway.

Movsesian at ICON-S Conference This Week

ICON-S-logoOn Thursday, I’ll be appearing on a panel at the annual ICON-S conference on Public Law, to be held this year at New York University. The conference is sponsored by the International Journal of Constitutional Law, and draws scholars from around the world. My panel, “The Foundation of an Uncertain Law,” will discuss Cambridge’s new collection of commentary on the jurisprudence of Pope Benedict XVI, Pope Benedict XVI’s Legal Thought: A Dialogue on the Foundation of Law (Cartabia & Simoncini eds. 2014). Other panelists include Michel Rosenfeld (Yeshiva), Ran Hirschl (Toronto), and John Garvey (Catholic University of America). The panel will be moderated by Sabino Cassese, formerly of the Italian Constitutional Court. CLR Forum readers at the conference, please stop by and say hello!