Richard Garnett

Notre Dame Law School

Office
3117 Eck Hall Of Law
Notre Dame, IN 46556
Phone
574-631-6981
Email
rgarnett@nd.edu
Website

Paul J. Schierl/Fort Howard Corporation Professor of Law
Concurrent Professor of Political Science

  • Death penalty
  • Free speech
  • School choice
  • Catholic social thought
  • Church/state relations
  • Religion in the public square
  • Free exercise of religion
  • Federalism and criminal law
  • Supreme court
  • Criminal defense
  • Religious liberty
  • Education reform

Garnett’s Latest News

Garnett in the News

With Roe in peril, abortion rights advocates prepare appeals to religious liberty

Richard Garnett, director of Notre Dame University’s Program on Church, State and Society, expressed skepticism that religious freedom challenges to abortion restrictions could prevail.

Academics consider fallout, motivations from leak on Roe decision

Richard Garnett, a Notre Dame Law School professor who clerked for the late Chief Justice William Rehnquist in 1996-97, wrote in a May 5 essay for Newsweek Magazine, that it is not yet clear who or what was the source of the leak, what were the leaker’s motives, whether the draft opinion reflects the court’s final decision or what will be the revelation’s electoral or political fallout in a midterm election year.

Experts say Supreme Court leak ‘astonishing and appalling’

Sherif Girgis said he felt “kind of a gut punch” after the draft of a Supreme Court majority decision was leaked late on May 2... Richard W. Garnett, a Notre Dame Law School professor who clerked for the late Chief Justice William Rehnquist in 1996-096 said in a statement to Crux that for the court’s sake “we should all hope that the justices will not be swayed or influenced by such efforts” regardless of one’s views on the legal questions of the case.

The Breach of the Supreme Court's Trust Betrays All of Us | Opinion

Richard W. Garnett is the Paul J. Schierl/Ft. Howard Corporation Professor of Law at the University of Notre Dame.

Under pressure: Abortion leak exposes U.S. Supreme Court's disunity

University of Notre Dame Law School professor Richard Garnett, formerly a clerk for the late conservative Chief Justice William Rehnquist, called it "very troubling that any employee or member of the court would violate what is a very clear rule about the confidentiality of the justices' deliberations."

If Roe falls, Illinois abortion providers plan for influx of 20,000 to 30,000 more patients traveling here each year. ‘We will fight for what little is left of abortion access.’

Richard W. Garnett, law professor at the Notre Dame Law School, said that if Roe and Casey are overruled, the matter of abortion regulation will shift to political and legislative contexts.

Roe v Wade: US supreme court preliminary vote overturns abortion ruling, leaked draft shows - live updates

Notre Dame Law School professor Richard W Garnett, a supreme court expert who clerked for the late chief justice William Rehnquist during the 1996-97 term, says the leaking of the draft document represents a “gross betrayal of trust”.

What legal experts say will be impact of Roe v. Wade draft leak on SCOTUS

“It strikes me that if this leak was done with the intent of affecting justices’ behavior, it strikes me that whoever made that decision was really mistaken,” said Richard Garnett, a professor of freedom of speech, association and religion and constitutional law at Notre Dame.

A Supreme Court in Disarray After an Extraordinary Breach

The reasoning in the draft opinion is what one would expect from Justice Alito, a fierce critic of Roe and Casey, said Richard W. Garnett, a law professor at Notre Dame.

Extraordinary Abortion Leak Threatens Trust at Supreme Court

“For an employee or member of the court to intentionally leak a draft opinion would be a gross betrayal of trust, particularly if the leak were an effort to advance partisan aims or to undermine the court’s work and legitimacy,” said Rick Garnett, a Notre Dame Law School professor who clerked for then-Chief Justice William Rehnquist during the 1996-97 term.

Did Coach Kennedy violate the separation of church and state?

Professor Richard Garnett, Professor at the University of Notre Dame Law School, joined WGN Radio’s Karen Conti to address the Supreme Court case regarding high school football coach Joseph Kennedy, in Washington, being fired for kneeling at the 50 yard line after every game and saying a prayer.

Praying Football Coach and Tribute to Justice Breyer

Richard Garnett, a Professor at Notre Dame Law School, discusses the Supreme Court arguments in the case of the high school football coach fired for praying on the 50-yard line after games. 

The Constitution Protects, Not Punishes, Religious Expression | Opinion

Richard W. Garnett is the Paul J. Schierl/Ft. Howard Corporation Professor of Law at the University of Notre Dame. Joseph Graziano is a student fellow in the Notre Dame Law School Religious Liberty Initiative.

Court seems to side with football coach over postgame prayers

Richard Garnett, Notre Dame professor of law and director of the Notre Dame Program on Church, State and Society, said he was encouraged to see many justices skeptical of the school district’s argument that it had to censor Coach Kennedy’s private prayer in order to avoid any appearance that it had ‘endorsed’ his religious beliefs.”

Supreme Court conservatives appear sympathetic to former high school coach who led prayers after games

“It is a case about protecting all individuals’ right to speak freely – and to pray – in the public square,” Richard W. Garnett, a law professor at the University of Notre Dame, said in a statement.

U.S. Supreme Court: Justices question whether prayers at the 50-yard line were 'coercion" by high school coach

Notre Dame Law School Professor Richard W. Garnett, who oversaw the filing of an amicus brief in support of Kennedy, said he hopes the justices clear up the current judicial confusion over what constitutes an "establishment" of religion in public schools.

Supreme Court takes up case of high school coach fired for praying on the football field

“It is a case about protecting all individuals’ right to speak freely – and to pray – in the public square,” Richard W. Garnett, a law professor at the University of Notre Dame, said in a statement.

Supreme Court conservatives lean toward allowing football coach’s postgame prayers

“This is not a case about re-imposing prayer in public-school classrooms. Instead, it is a case about protecting all individuals’ right to speak freely — and to pray — in the public square,” said Notre Dame law professor Richard Garnett.

Supreme Court to hear case of praying coach who his lost job after kneeling on the field

"This is not a case about reimposing prayer in public school classrooms," said Richard Garnett, director of the Program on Church, State & Society at Notre Dame Law School.

Supreme Court considers whether high school football coach has right to pray on the field

Richard W. Garnett IV, a law professor at the University of Notre Dame, helped write a brief in support of Kennedy that calls on the court to reexamine its “endorsement test,” which asks whether a reasonable observer would think the government was endorsing a particular religious message.

Abortion Laws across the Globe and at Home

Richard W. Garnett is the Paul J. Schierl / Fort Howard Corporation Professor of Law, Concurrent Professor of Political Science, and Director of the Program on Church, State, and Society at the University of Notre Dame.

Boston lawyers head to Washington for match up on cross flag at City Hall

Rick Garnett, a professor at Notre Dame Law School, authored an amicus brief cataloguing governments’ many recent efforts to squelch religious speech, including the University of Iowa deregistering religious student groups, Florida State University removing a member of the student senate for sharing religious views in text messages and a high school in Washington state that punished a football coach for praying on the field after games.

Supreme Court hears arguments as to why it must right its past abortion wrongs

Richard W. Garnett is the Paul J. Schierl/Fort Howard Corporation Professor of Law at the University of Notre Dame.

States Must Stop Discriminating Against Religious Schools | Opinion

Richard W. Garnett is the Paul J. Schierl/Fort Howard Corporation Professor of Law at the University of Notre Dame. Olivia Rodgers is a 2L Law student at the Notre Dame Religious Liberty Initiative.

Religious Rights and State Secrets at SCOTUS (Podcast)

Richard Garnett, a professor at Notre Dame Law School, discusses the Supreme Court justices grappling with the religious rights of death-row inmates in the execution chamber.

As Supreme Court hears Texas abortion cases, questions linger about vitality of Roe v. Wade

"I will be interested in the extent to which the lawyers' arguments, and the justices' questions, wander from the precise, technical questions the court agreed to review," said Richard Garnett, who co-authored a brief in support of Mississippi in the Dobbs case.

Revisiting the "Separation of Church and State" in Our Time of Deep Division

Richard W. Garnett is the Paul J. Schierl/Fort Howard Corporation Professor of Law at the University of Notre Dame.

What to know about religious exemptions for the COVID-19 vaccine

Rick Garnett, a law professor and Director of the Notre Dame Program on Church, State & Society, noted that neither public nor private institutions of higher education would be obligated to offer religious exemptions amid a general vaccine mandate, especially during a public health crisis. 

Web Exclusive: Could more conservative SCOTUS change abortion landscape? Experts aren’t convinced

Richard Garnett, a professor at Notre Dame Law School and director of the Notre Dame Program on Church, State & Society, wrote in an email to Indiana Lawyer that “any challenges to regulations of abortion (that invoke federal claims, as opposed to state-law ones) are going to be kind of ‘on hold’ until Dobbs is decided. Or, if a lower court has to rule on such a challenge in the interim, any appeals will certainly depend on what the Court does in Dobbs.”

After Fulton, religious foster care agencies still vulnerable

Richard W. Garnett is professor of law and concurrent professor of political science at the University of Notre Dame.

Supreme Court’s day of culture war surprises

“We hear all the time about divisions and polarization and culture wars and all that stuff. But this is a 9-0 ruling in a case involving religion and gay rights. And that’s significant,” says Richard Garnett, director of the Program on Church, State, and Society at the University of Notre Dame School of Law, referring to the foster parent case.

Supreme Court foster care ruling likely to prompt more tests of religion vs. LGBTQ rights

"It's been implicit in some of the things the court has been doing in recent years, especially in these COVID cases," said Richard Garnett, director of the University of Notre Dame law school program on church, state and society.

Supreme Court rules in favor of Catholic agency in foster case

Richard Garnett, law school professor at the University of Notre Dame and director of the university’s Program on Church, State and Society, said the Supreme Court’s  ruling will have a significant impact.

Religious freedom vs. LGBTQ rights: Supreme Court sides with Catholic foster care agency

"It is striking, and telling, that the court's more liberal justices joined the court's decision," said Richard Garnett, director of the University of Notre Dame law school program on church, state and society. "Today's ruling illustrates that respect for religious freedom should not be a partisan, or left-right issue."

Supreme Court rules for Catholic foster care agency in Philadelphia, citing discrimination

Notre Dame law professor Richard Garnett predicted the ruling will not be so limited.

Supreme Court Sides With Catholic Agency In LBGTQ Foster Care Case—But Avoids Major Religious Freedom Questions

Legal scholars disagree about what the scale of the decision’s impact might be. “Today’s ruling is highly significant,” said Notre Dame Law School Professor Richard Garnett in a statement, pointing out that it veered from three decades of decisions that tended to disfavor religious liberty.

The Supreme Court has an opportunity to correct the mistake of ‘Roe v. Wade’

Richard W. Garnett is the Paul J. Schierl/Fort Howard Corporation Professor of Law at the University of Notre Dame.

Web Exclusive: Supreme Court commission goes beyond ‘court packing’

“Whether we think the founding fathers were right or not, they believed it was important for judicial power to be separate from legislative power and separate from executive power,” said Richard Garnett, a professor at the University of Notre Dame Law School.

Conservative justices aren’t alone in supporting religion at the Supreme Court

Even that assessment slightly overstates the gap between liberals and conservatives, said Richard Garnett, director of the program on church, state and society at the University of Notre Dame. 

No Right to Pray on the 50-Yard Line for Coach (Podcast)

Rick Garnett, a professor at Notre Dame Law School, discusses a 9th Circuit decision that rejects the claims of a high school football coach that he had the right to pray at the 50-yard line immediately after his team’s games. 

Satan’s Lawyers Try Christian-Right Tactics to Erect Winged Goat

Do they accept the church’s views as authentic or interpret them as merely a way to provoke Christians, asked Richard Garnett, a professor at the University of Notre Dame Law School and director of the Program on Church, State and Society. 

Supreme Court's COVID-19 cases stir up battle between religion, same-sex couples over foster care

“The opinions we're seeing and the votes we're seeing in the shadow docket coronavirus and church closing cases suggest that in the Fulton case, the court is going to come out in favor of the Catholic adoption agency,” said Richard Garnett, director of the University of Notre Dame law school program on church, state and society.

Will Supreme Court Expand Religious Rights? (Podcast)

Rick Garnett, a professor at Notre Dame Law School, discusses a divided U.S. Supreme Court ordering California to let indoor church services resume. Jimmy Gurule, a professor at Notre Dame Law School, discusses the case for the second impeachment of former President Donald Trump.

Has Biden already burned bridges with conservative Christians?

Legal experts generally agreed that the phrase only applied to instances where someone was mistreated because of their biological sex, said Richard Garnett, a law professor at the University of Notre Dame, to the Deseret News in 2019.

Capitol invasion adds to challenges facing incoming Biden administration

Richard Garnett, professor of law at the University of Notre Dame Law School, said Congress could take the fast track to impeachment.

'Of course Biden is the president-elect'

Those sentiments were matched by Notre Dame Law School professor and the director of the Church, State and Society program, Rick Garnett, who compared Trump's efforts to the "tiresome election-questioning" by Hillary Clinton in 2016 and "all those who purported to believe that 'the Russians' manipulated vote-counts in 2016."

Amy Coney Barrett helps steer the Supreme Court to the right but not toward Trump

Richard Garnett, director of the Church, State and Society program at Notre Dame Law School and a friend of Barrett’s, said she sticks by legal principles in the face of political forces.