William and Mary Law School

April 18 Symposium to Examine Law and Religion in the U.S.

On Friday, April 18, the J. Reuben Clark Law Society and the Institute of the Bill of Rights Law will host a symposium titled "The Williamsburg Charter Revisited: Significant Developments in Law and Religion Since 1988" from 1 to 4 p.m. in room 119 of the Law School. Admission is free and all are welcome. During the event, preeminent scholars and a leading attorney will discuss significant developments in Constitutional jurisprudence in the past 20 years with a focus on how interpretations of the First Amendment's Establishment Clause have affected religions and churches in the United States.

The Williamsburg Charter was signed in Williamsburg, Virginia, in 1988, and was a reaffirmation of the First Amendment and a celebration of religious liberty in America. The charter's name honored Williamsburg's historic role in preserving religious freedom. More than 100 individuals signed the Charter (from all across the political and religious spectrum), including former Presidents Jimmy Carter and Gerald Ford, Chief Justice William Rehnquist and former Chief Justice Warren Burger, Senators Edward Kennedy and Strom Thurmond, and representatives from all major U.S. religions and churches in the United States.

Approval is pending for 1.5 CLE credits in Virginia.

Participants include:

  • Thomas Berg, St. Ives Professor of Law and Co-Director of the Murphy Institute for Catholic Thought, Law, and Public Policy, St. Thomas School of Law
  • Lynda Butler, interim Dean and Chancellor Professor of Law, William & Mary Law School
  •  Brett Scharffs, Professor of Law, J. Reuben Clark Law School, Brigham Young University
  • Gene C. Schaerr, Partner, Appellate and Critical Motions Practice, Winston & Strawn LLP
  • William Van Alstyne, Lee Professor of Law, William & Mary Law School
For more information, contact klthor@wm.edu or call 757-221-1840.
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