Paul L. Caron

Sunday, June 25, 2023

Michael McConnell And Marcus Cole Receive Religious Liberty Awards

Becket Gala

Michael W. McConnell (Richard and Frances Mallery Professor of Law and Director of the Constitutional Law Center, Stanford) and Marcus Cole (Joseph A. Matson Dean and Professor of Law, Notre Dame) were honored last month at Becket's annual gala in New York City for their work defending religious liberty.

Michael McConnell received the 2023 Canterbury Medal, religious liberty’s highest honor:

The 2023 Canterbury Medal Gala honored Professor Michael W. McConnell, Director of the Constitutional Law Center at Stanford Law School and a former federal judge, for his decades-long commitment to the cause of religious liberty. As a professor, scholar, advocate, and public servant, Professor McConnell’s career has provided a strong and unfailing defense of religious liberty for all.

In his distinguished career, Professor McConnell has played a key role in advancing the principle of religious freedom for all people. As an advocate, Professor McConnell has argued many religious liberty cases in the U.S. Supreme Court and other federal courts. Following his unanimous confirmation by the Senate, Professor McConnell served as a federal judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit from 2002-2009. He also played a central role in founding the first religious liberty law clinic at Stanford Law School, where he continues to teach courses on constitutional law, the First Amendment, and constitutional history.

Michael McConnell's acceptance speech (video; text).

Marcus Cole received the 2023 Legal Service Award "for his trailblazing expansion of the clinic concept in launching Notre Dame’s Religious Liberty Initiative." Marcus Cole's acceptance speech (text).

Becket has unique, specialized experience launching legal clinics at the nation’s top law schools, offering cutting-edge opportunities to train the rising generation of scholars and advocates to defend the fundamental rights of people of all faiths. Over ten years ago, Becket helped launch the nation’s first religious liberty clinic at Stanford Law School and has since launched many other clinics nationwide. The importance of clinical education in law school as well as the integral contributions of Professor McConnell and Dean Cole to launch the Stanford Religious Liberty Clinic and Notre Dame’s Religious Liberty Initiative respectively are captured in this video:

Pepperdine Caruso Law is excited to join Stanford and Notre Dame in this important work with our new Hugh and Hazel Darling Foundation Religious Liberty Clinic. Our clinic is led by Visiting Professor Eric Rassbach, Vice President and Senior Counsel at Becket. Eric co-teaches the course with Adjunct Professor Daniel Chen, Counsel at Becket, and Michael Helfand, Brenden Mann Foundation Chair in Law and Religion and Co-Director of the Nootbaar Institute for Law, Religion and Ethics at Pepperdine Caruso Law. Students also work under the supervision of Jones Day attorneys, including Noel Francisco, former Solicitor General of the United States.


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