Friday, September 30, 2016
The third RALS panel is focused on new scholarship and includes presentations from Bruce Ledewitz (Duquesne), James Duane (Regent), Judith Reisman (Liberty), Stacy Scaldo (Florida Coastal), and Tom Folsom (Regent).
Prof. Ledewitz spoke about the role of law schools in renewing American democracy, particularly the tone of our democracy. The state of crisis demands attention from law schools, but law schools focus instead on marketing themselves in a market of declining demand. The source of our democratic crisis is spiritual - we are living with the consequences of a materialistic technocratic culture that fosters nihilism. He recommends serious study of Lonergan's cosmopolis. Could the study of law be something that is high and holy? If not, why not?
Prof. Duane presented a paper titled, "The Day the Supreme Court Almost Outlawed Religious Discrimination in Jury Selection." He explored the Davis v. Minnesota case, in which a prosecutor stated openly that he was striking a juror based on religion. The Supreme Court, in deciding another jury selection case at the time, included religion on the list of prohibited grounds in draft opinions. Justice Souter asked Justice Blackmun to take it off the list, believing that another case regarding religion would be coming to the Court.
Prof. Reisman spoke about transgender fluidity, recounting the history of Kinsey's research and the Model Penal Code.
Prof. Scaldo spoke about "seditious acts of faith," exploring the Supreme Court's cases on the HHS mandate.
Tom Folsom proposed a unifying set of non-theocratic principles that might make religiously affiliated law schools more relevant in the legal education conversation. He suggested that we work to specify a common morality for a neo-tech, neo-global era, "Designing Law for Human Good," in the form of a Restatement.