The Supreme Court's Monumental Term, and What Might Come Next

Lecture Series Description: In its 2021-22 term, the conservative-majority U.S. Supreme Court issued rulings on abortion rights, gun rights, federal administrative power, religion in the public square, and other issues—rulings ranging from important to monumental. In addition to their direct consequences, the decisions also triggered debate about the Court that hit new heights of polarization. We will review several major decisions and their implications, the ongoing debates about constitutional theory interpretation, and historical vantage points on the role of the Supreme Court and of political pushback against it.

Lecture Series Information: Thursdays, 1:00-2:45 p.m., starting October 13, 2022, O’Shaughnessy Educational Center Auditorium, University of St. Thomas St. Paul Campus and simulcast online via Zoom.   

Lecture Series EducatorThomas Berg is the James L. Oberstar Professor of Law and Public Policy at the University of St. Thomas School of Law (Minnesota), where he teaches constitutional law, intellectual property, religious liberty, and the religious liberty appellate clinic. He is the author or co-author of five books, including The State and Religion in a Nutshell (West) and Religion and the Constitution (Aspen Law Books, with McConnell and Lund). His forthcoming book is Religious Liberty in a Polarized Age (Eerdmans Publishing, 2023). He has also written or co-written more than 150 book chapters and scholarly and popular articles, and approximately 70 briefs in the Supreme Court and lower courts on freedom of religion and expression and other legal questions. He is also the co-editor of the essay collection Patents on Life: Religious, Moral, and Social Justice Aspects of Biotechnology and Intellectual Property (Cambridge U. Press 2019). He has co-directed St. Thomas’s Murphy Institute for Catholic Thought, Law, and Public Policy, and he contributes regularly to SCOTUS Blog, Christianity Today, and other venues. He has degrees from the University of Chicago (law, religious studies), Oxford University (philosophy and politics, on a Rhodes Scholarship), and Northwestern University (journalism). He practiced law in Chicago and was a law clerk on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.

Fee for the series: $50.00 per person (this is a three-week series)

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Link to campus mapSt. Paul Campus Map (7-2022)

Detailed Lecture Series Syllabus:

Oct. 13 Key Decisions: Individual Rights and Government Structures
Oct. 20 No Session
Oct. 27 The Recurring Fights Over Judicial Review, Constitutional Interpretation, and the Court's Role in American Life
Nov. 3 Religion and the Constitution: A Closer Look at Free Exercise and Non-Establishment of Religion