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Topics of Our Times: First Amendment Center Events
5:30 - 7 p.m.
Knight Conference Center at the Newseum, 8th Floor (Rooms 802-806)

The First Amendment Center, in conjunction with the Newseum, hosts a series of First Amendment-related evening events, including book events. Many of the most timely and controversial topics of our times are discussed by some of the leading authorities in the nation. New and forthcoming books will also be profiled.

Join us for rich conversation conducted at a unique forum.


Sept. 8
“Same-Sex Marriage and Religious Liberty”

What kind of religious freedom conflicts are likely to emerge if society embraces same-sex marriage? A redefinition of marriage would affect a host of laws involving marital status and legal rights. These laws, in turn, regulate a host of religious institutions. When, if ever, should claims of religious liberty prevail over claims of sexual liberty?

Book: Same-Sex Marriage and Religious Liberty: Emerging Conflicts, by Anthony R. Picarello, et al., general counsel, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, & Douglas Laycock, Alice McKean Young Regents Chair Emeritus Professor of Law, University of Michigan


  • Chai Feldblum, professor of law, Georgetown University
  • Jonathan Turley, professor of law, George Washington Law Center
  • Robin Wilson, professor of law, Washington & Lee University


    June 2
    “The Flag, the Media & the First Amendment”

    Book: Taking on the Pledge of Allegiance: The News Media & Michael Newdow’s Constitutional Challenge, by Ronald Bishop, Drexel University Department of Culture & Communication

    Moderator: Gene Policinski, First Amendment Center


  • Judge Alfred Goodwin, 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals
  • David Savage, Los Angeles Times
  • Ronald Bishop, author

    June 9
    “Free Speech, Human Dignity & Contemporary Controversies”

    How should the free-speech principle operate when it comes to protests at military funerals, invasions of privacy, hate speech, and the like?

    Book: Free Speech & Human Dignity,by Steven H. Heyman, Chicago-Kent College of Law

    Moderator: Ronald Collins, First Amendment Center


  • Lee Levine, First Amendment lawyer, Levine Sullivan Koch & Schulz
  • Paul M. Smith, First Amendment lawyer, Jenner & Block
  • Steven H. Heyman, author

    June 23
    “The Federalist Papers & the Future of Liberty in America”

    What do the lessons of the Founding period tell us about protecting free speech in modern America?

    Book: Liberty’s Blueprint: How Madison & Hamilton Wrote The Federalist Papers, Defined the Constitution, and Made Democracy Safe for the World, by Michael I. Meyerson, University of Baltimore, School of Law

    Moderator: Stephen Vladeck, American University, Washington College of Law


  • David O. Stewart, lawyer and author of The Summer of 1787: The Men Who Invented the Constitution (2007)
  • Louis Fisher, Congressional Research Service, Library of Congress and author of The Constitution and 9/11 (2008, forthcoming)
  • Michael Meyerson, author

    July 9
    Topics of Our Times: "Living with our deepest differences: Religious liberty, civility and the future of America"
    7:30-9 p.m.
    The Newseum, 8th Floor, Rooms 802-806 (use 6th Street entrance)

    Book: The Case for Civility: And Why Our Future Depends on It, by Os Guinness, former executive director, Williamsburg Charter Foundation

    Moderator: Charles Haynes, First Amendment Center

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