Garnett addresses Senate hearing on religious expression

Author: Michael O. Garvey


Richard W. Garnett, associate professor of law in the Notre Dame Law School, testified today (Tuesday, June 8) about public religious expression before a U.S. Senate subcommittee.p. Garnett was among the expert witnesses testifying before the Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Property Rights in a hearing titled “Beyond the Pledge of Allegiance: Hostility to Religious Expression in the Public Square.”p. The subcommittee, chaired by Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, heard from experts who believe that legal rulings prior to the Pledge of Allegiance case now pending before the Supreme Court indicate a reprehensible hostility to religious expression in public settings and a serious misinterpretation of the First Amendment.p. Other witnesses included Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala.; Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La.; Rep. Chet Edwards, D-Texas; J. Brent Walker, executive director of the Baptist Joint Committee on Public Affairs; Judge Roy Moore, former chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court; Vince Phillip Muñoz, fellow of the American Enterprise Institute; and Melissa Rogers, a faculty member in the Divinity School at Wake Forest University.p. Garnett was graduated from Duke University in 1990 and earned a law degree from Yale Law School in 1995. Before joining the Notre Dame faculty in 1999, he served as a clerk for Supreme Court Chief Justice William Rehnquist and practiced law in Washington, D.C. At Notre Dame, he teaches courses on criminal law, criminal procedure, First Amendment law, and the death penalty. His areas of research interest and expertise include school choice, church-state relations, religion in the public square, free speech and expressive association, free exercise of religion, federalism and criminal law, and the death penalty.

Contact: Richard W. Garnett, associate professor of law, at 574-631-6981 or

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