Panel 3: Constitutional Theories of RLUIPA

Eric Schillinger, Staff Writer, ESchilling@albanylaw.edu & Daniel Katz, Staff Writer, DKatz@albanylaw.edu    

     We’re back live in the Dean Alexander Moot Court Room for the third panel of the Albany Government Law Review’s Symposium – God and the Land.1  The final panel of the day focused on the constitutional issues surrounding RLUIPA and the interaction of land use and religion.2  Four speakers made up the third panel, land use attorney Wendie L. Kellington,3 the former chief referee of Former Chief Referee for Oregon Land Use Board of Appeals and presently a member of the faculty at Puget Sound Law School.  Elizabeth Reilly,4 dean of the University of Akron School of Law, is our second speaker.  Following Ms. Reilly was Leslie Griffin,5 Larry and Joanne Doherty Chair of Legal Ethics at U of Houston Law Center.  Last to speak was Frederick Gedicks,6 Guy Anderson Chair at the Bingham Young School of Law.

     Wendie Kellington began her discussion with an examination of how discrimination in land use proceedings is rarely overt.  Providing a historical background, Ms. Kellington argued that the revolutionary passions that made up the world of eighteenth century America were key to the development of the free exercise clause.  She argued that during the revolution, American colonists wanted  to overthrow all hereditary forms of government, create a government of laws and not of men, and develop a republican system of government that could protect the governed and grow with time.  She stated that the key to the free exercise clause’s development relied on this revolutionary spirit, and that in today’s society, where the passionate struggle for revolution in government is long over, American society lacks the tenacity it once had in this realm. Continue reading “Panel 3: Constitutional Theories of RLUIPA”

Judge McConnell of the Tenth Circuit Offers the Edwin Sabota ’79 Memorial Lecture

Robert Magee, Staff Writer, RMagee@albanylaw.edu

     The second day of the symposium began in the Dean Alexander Moot Courtroom at Albany Law School with the Edward C. Sebota ’79 Memorial Lecture, delivered by the Honorable Michael McConnell of the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals.  He presented an overview of the judicial interpretation of the Free Exercise Clause as compared to similar interpretations of the Free Speech clause. He further explored the Supreme Court’s historical treatment of these protections and explained why and how and the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA) (1) came to be.

    After graduating from the University of Chicago Law School in 1979, Judge McConnell clerked for Judge James Skelly Wright of the D.C. Circuit and then Justice Brennan of the U.S. Supreme Court, from 1980-1981. He went on to teach at his alma mater and then the University of Utah college of law, where he teaches to this day. (2) 

     Judge McConnell was appointed to the 10th Circuit in September of 2001.  While sitting on the bench Michael McConnell has authored three opinions which have come before the Supreme Court which have been adopted by the Court. (3) Continue reading “Judge McConnell of the Tenth Circuit Offers the Edwin Sabota ’79 Memorial Lecture”