March 16, 2006

Constitutional scholar Alan Brownstein to speak on free exercise of religion at Case Western Reserve University School of Law

UC Davis professor to deliver Brahms Lecture on Law & Religion

Freedom of religion is a right that Americans value highly. But throughout the nation's history, the right to free exercise of religion has often clashed with the need for government to carry out its responsibilities in a broad range of legal areas. As the nation grows more ethnically and religiously diverse, disputes over the exercise of religious liberty have occurred more frequently and are becoming more complicated and far-reaching. The situation calls for a more complex response than the courts and lawmakers have traditionally offered.

Alan E. Brownstein, professor at the University of California, Davis School of Law, will discuss conflicts involving the free exercise of religion and state authority when he delivers the William A. Brahms Lecture on Law & Religion at the Case Western Reserve University School of Law. Brownstein's talk, "Taking Free Exercise Rights Seriously," will be held Thursday, March 30 from 4:30-5:30 p.m. in room A59 of the law school, 11075 East Blvd., Cleveland. It is free and open to the public and one hour of free CLE credit is available for lawyers who attend. It will be webcast live on the Internet. Viewing information is available at http://

Brownstein's talk is being presented by the Center for Professional Ethics, which is directed by Professor Robert Lawry. The lecture will be followed by a reception at the law school.

"It is a pleasure to welcome Professor Brownstein to the Case School of Law," said Gerald Korngold, dean and McCurdy Professor of Law. "His constitutional scholarship has helped advance our understanding of the relation between the responsibilities of government and the right of individuals to practice their religion."

Brownstein teaches constitutional law, law and religion, and torts. While his scholarship mainly focuses on church-state issues, he has also written extensively on freedom of speech, privacy and autonomy rights and other constitutional law subjects. His articles have been published in numerous academic journals including the Stanford Law Review, Cornell Law Review and the UCLA Law Review.

A graduate of Antioch College and Harvard Law School, Brownstein was an attorney in general litigation and corporate practice with the law firm of Tuttle & Taylor in Los Angeles before joining the UC Davis law faculty. From 1977-78 he clerked for Frank Coffin, chief judge of the U.S. District Court of Appeals for the 1st Circuit in Portland, Maine. He is a frequent lecturer at academic conferences and regularly participates as a speaker or panelist in law related programs before civic, legal, religious and educational groups.

The William A. Brahms Lecture on Law & Religion was established with a generous gift from William A. Brahms, a 1954 graduate of the law school and a 1951 graduate of Adelbert College of Case Western Reserve University. Presented by the law school's Center for Professional Ethics, the lecture brings distinguished individuals to discuss various topics concerning religion in the teaching and practice of law.

For further information, please contact Alice Simon at (216)-368-3304, or

Posted by: Heidi Cool, March 16, 2006 08:20 AM | News Topics: Events, Lectures/Speakers, Public Policy/Politics

Case Western Reserve University is committed to the free exchange of ideas, reasoned debate and intellectual dialogue. Speakers and scholars with a diversity of opinions and perspectives are invited to the campus to provide the community with important points of view, some of which may be deemed controversial. The views and opinions of those invited to speak on the campus do not necessarily reflect the views of the university administration or any other segment of the university community.