Center For Constitutional Studies’ Spring Conference On Religious Freedom To Feature Former Bush Cabinet Member Gov. Mike Leavitt And Author Noah Feldman
March 26, 2013
For Immediate Release
University Marketing & Communications: Mike Rigert
Written by: Mike Rigert
The Center for Constitutional Studies will host its inaugural academic spring conference titled “Religious Liberty in an Age of Change,” April 9-10, at Utah Valley University.
Among the many prominent scholars who will address critically important constitutional issues affecting citizens and institutions from a variety of perspectives will be special keynote guest Michael O. Leavitt, former Secretary of Health and Human Services under the George W. Bush administration and Utah’s 14th governor. Throughout his distinguished public service, Leavitt has ardently defended freedom of conscience and religious liberty. He has also been an active participant in a variety of interfaith cooperation activities seeking to better secure the religious liberty of individuals and institutions in America.
Noah Feldman, an award-winning author, contributing writer for the New York Times Magazine and the Bemis Professor of International Law at Harvard Law School, will also be a special keynote guest, joining other notable scholars in their fields at the conference.
Leavitt, who will deliver his Tuesday keynote address, “Religion and the Free Exercise Thereof,” April 9 at 7 p.m. in the UCCU Center, became Secretary of Health and Human Services in January 2005. Widely regarded as a health care innovator and welfare reformer, he also has served as administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and was elected to three terms as Utah’s governor. Leavitt has also been a champion of public and higher education, among his many other accomplishments.
Feldman is a leading expert in constitutional studies with emphases on the relationship between law and religion, constitutional design, and legal theory. He served as senior constitutional adviser to the Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq and advised the Iraqi Governing Council on the drafting of the Transitional Administrative Law or interim constitution in 2003. Feldman is a senior adjunct fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations and a contributing writer to the New York Times Magazine and the Bloomberg View. Feldman is the author five books, including “Divided by God: America’s Church-State Problem — and What We Should Do About It,” and “Scorpions: The Battles and Triumphs of FDR’s Great Supreme Court Justices.”
Feldman will deliver his Wednesday morning keynote address, “New Challenges to Religious Liberty in the Middle East,” April 10 at 9 a.m. in the UVU Science Building auditorium, room 134.
“We are honored to have such distinguished guests as Gov. Leavitt and Dr. Feldman come to this important UVU academic conference to share their insights and discuss such relevant topics as religious freedom in an ever-changing climate,” said UVU President Matthew S. Holland, a noted scholar himself in early American political thought. “The theme for the Center for Constitutional Studies’ spring conference is a very timely one.”
Other scholars participating in the center’s spring conference include Randall Balmer from Dartmouth College; Jonathan Turley at George Washington University; Matthew J. Franck with the Witherspoon Institute; Daniel Dreisbach at American University; Vincent P. Munoz with the University of Notre Dame; and Mark L. Rienzi of the Catholic University of America.
“The conference will address critically important issues involving the First Amendment’s freedom of religion clauses and Article VI of the U.S. Constitution,” said Rick Griffin, director of the Center for Constitutional Studies at UVU. “In particular, the all-star lineup of participants will explore several recent political and legal developments that are affecting the religious liberties of individuals and religious institutions, such as the HHS mandate, the legal definition of marriage, the rise of secularism and the evangelical right, and Article VI’s ‘no religious test clause.’”
Admission to the conference is free and open to the public. Leavitt’s keynote address on April 9 at 7 p.m. in the UCCU Center is a free ticketed event. Tickets for conference events are available at the Center for Constitutional Studies in the UVU Library, suite 305, UVU Campus Connection in the Sorensen Student Center or the UCCU Center will call ticket office at 801-863-7464.
For more information about the conference, visit uvu.edu/ccs, or call the center at 801-863-5470.