Dr. Patrick Lee — Why Privatizing Marriage Doesn’t Work

Dr. Patrick Lee, Director of the Franciscan University Institute of Bioethics and Professor of Philosophy, explains why the argument that government should not be involved in marriage at all will not work.

Robert A. Destro — ‘Non-Establishment’ Principle: Text, Structure, and the Politics of Power

Robert A. Destro, Director of the Interdisciplinary Program in Law and Religion at the Columbus School of Law, Catholic University of America, delivers his talk entitled “Rethinking the ‘Non-Establishment’ Principle: Text, Structure, and the Politics of Power”.  Professor Destro’s talk was part of the Truth, Conscience, and Religious Freedom Conference, sponsored by the Veritas Center for Ethics in Public Life at Franciscan University of Steubenville.

Dr. Robert George — The Nature and Basis of Religious Freedom

Dr. Robert George, McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence at Princeton University delivers his talk entitled “The Nature and Basis of Religious Freedom”.  Dr. George’s talk was part of the Truth, Conscience, and Religious Freedom Conference, sponsored by the Veritas Center for Ethics in Public Life at Franciscan University of Steubenville.

The Supreme Court: Activism and Abdication

Serious Catholics and political conservatives since the 1950s have strongly criticized the Supreme Court for making public policy and acting as a kind of “super-legislature” to further a leftist socio-political agenda, instead of interpreting the law and judging. We have seen such judicial lawmaking on pornography, abortion, legislative reapportionment, sodomy laws, and the list could go on. While this has certainly been a valid and much-deserved ongoing criticism of the Court, cases in each of its last three terms indicate a new, contrary problem: over-deference to the political branches on both the federal and state levels.

In 2011, the Court decided the companion cases of Camreta v. Greene and Alford v. Greene, which concerned whether a child protective system (CPS) operative and a law enforcement official who backed him up could be sued under federal civil rights laws for an aggressive interrogation of a nine-year-old girl—which under international norms possibly constituted psychological torture—to get her to say that her father abused her. Along with many other organizations, the Society of Catholic Social Scientists filed an amicus curiae brief supporting the girl’s claim (I drafted the brief), mostly because we wanted to focus the Court’s attention—as we tried to do over a decade before in the important parental rights case of Troxel v. Granville—on the CPS’s systemic misconduct that in one article I called “a grave threat to the family.”

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