Richard W. Garnett

Richard W. Garnett

Paul J. Schierl/Fort Howard Corp. Professor of Law
Concurrent Professor of Political Science
Director, Program on Church, State & Society

Office: 3117 Eck Hall of Law
Phone: 574-631-6981
Fax: 574-631-8078
Staff Assistant: Alicia Cummins
CV: View
SSRN: View

Professor Richard W. Garnett teaches and writes in the areas of constitutional law, criminal law, the First Amendment, and law and religion. He is a leading authority on questions and debates regarding religious freedom and church-state relations, and is the founding director of Notre Dame Law School’s Program on Church, State, and Society.

Garnett clerked for the late Chief Justice of the United States, William H. Rehnquist, and also for the late Chief Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit, Richard S. Arnold. He earned his J.D. from Yale Law School in 1995 and his B.A., summa cum laude, from Duke University in 1990. He joined the faculty in 1999 after practicing law in Washington, D.C. with Miller, Cassidy, Larroca & Lewin.

Courses Taught

LAW60307, Constitutional Law

LAW60302, Criminal Law

LAW70304, Freedom of Religion

LAW70306, The Death Penalty

LAW70307, Freedom of Speech

LAW70359, Constitutional Criminal Procedure

LAW73303, Modern Constitutional Theory

LAW73836, Catholic Social Thought



John E. Coons, The case for Parental Choice: God, Family, and Educational Liberty (ed., with Nicole Stelle Garnett and Ernest Morrell)(Notre Dame Press, 2023).

Co-author of "Religion and the American Constitutional Experiment" (5th ed., 2022)

First Amendment Stories (editor, with Andrew Koppelman) (Foundation Press, 2011).


Articles and Review Essays


Justice Breyer and the Establishment Clause: Notes on “Appeasement”, “Legal Judgment”, and “Divisiveness”, ___ FIRST AMD. L. REV. ___ (forthcoming 2023)

Roe and Casey Were Egregiously Wrong and Should Be Overruled, HARVARD J. LAW & PUB. POL’Y PER CURIAM (Nov. 22, 2021)(with Charles J. Cooper, et al.).

The Communitarian Work and Vision(s) of Robert Cochran (and Thomas Shaffer), 47 PEPPERDINE L. REV. 361 (2020). 


Religious Freedom and Recycled Tires:  The Meaning and Implications of Trinity Lutheran, 2016-2017 Cato Sup. Ct. Rev. 105 (with Jackson C. Blais).

Religious Accommodations and—and Among—Civil Rights:  Separation, Toleration, and Accommodation, 88 S. Cal. L. Rev. 493 (2015).

Accommodation, Establishment, and Freedom of Religion, 67 Vand. L. Rev. En Banc 39 (2014).

“The Freedom of the Church”:  (Towards) an Exposition, Translation, and Defense, 21 J. Contemp. Legal Issues 33 (2013).

The Story of Kedroff v. St. Nicholas Cathedral, 38 J. Supreme Court History 80 (2013).

Neutrality and the Good of Religious Freedom:  An Appreciative Response to Professor Koppelman, 39 Pepperdine L. Rev. 1149 (2013).

Hosanna-Tabor, Religious Freedom, and Constitutional Structure, 2011-12 Cato Supreme Court Review 307 (with John M. Robinson).

Religious Freedom, Church-State Separation, and the Ministerial Exception, 106 Nw. U. L. Rev. Colloquy 175 (2011).

The Political (and Other) Safeguards of Religious Freedom, 32 Cardozo L. Rev. 1815 (2011).

Whom Should a Catholic University Honor? “Speaking” with Integrity, 49 St. John’s J. of Cath. Legal Stud. 233 (2010).

Religious Freedom, Church Autonomy, and Constitutionalism, 57 Drake L. Rev. 901 (2009).

Standing, Spending, and Separation: How the No-Establishment Rule Does (and Does Not) Protect Conscience, 54 Vill. L. Rev. 655 (2009).

Judicial Review, Local Values, and Pluralism, 32 Harv. J. L. & Pub. Pol’y 5 (2009).

A Hands Off Approach to Religious Doctrine: What Are We Talking About?, 84 Notre Dame L. Rev. 839 (2009).

Judicial Enforcement of the Establishment Clause, 25 Const. Comment. 273 (2008).

Do Churches Matter?  Toward an Institutional Understanding of the Religion Clauses, 53 Vill. L. Rev. 273 (2008).

“Two There Are”:  Understanding the Separation of Church and State, in M. Hogan & L. Frederking, eds., The American Experiment in Religious Freedom (2008).

Can There Really Be “Free Speech” in Public Schools?, 12 Lewis & Clark L. Rev. 45 (2008).

Religion and Group Rights:  Are Churches (Just) Like the Boy Scouts?, 22 St. John’s J. Leg. Comment. 515 (2007).

Pluralism, Dialogue, and Freedom:  Professor Robert Rodes and the Church-State Nexus, 22 J. L. & Religion 503 (2007).

Church, State, and the Practice of Love, 52 Villanova L. Rev. 281 (2007).

Civic Unity and Religious Pluralism, 23 Const. Comment. 241 (2006) (reviewing Noah Feldman, Divided By God:  America’s Church-State Problem—and What We Should Do About It (2005) and Kevin Seamus Hasson, The Right To Be Wrong: Ending the Culture War Over Religion in America (2005)).

Taking Accommodation Seriously:  Religious Freedom and the O Centro Case, 2006        Cato Sup. Ct. Rev. 257 (2006) (with Joshua D. Dunlap).

Religion, Division, and the First Amendment, 94 Geo. L.J. 1666 (2006).

The Freedom of the Church, 4 J. Cath. Social Thought 59 (2006).

Changing Minds:  Proselytism, Freedom, and the First Amendment, 2 Univ. of St. Thomas L. J. 453 (2005).

Jaycees Reconsidered:  Judge Richard S. Arnold and the Freedom of Association, 58 Arkansas L. Rev. 587 (2005).

Assimilation, Toleration, and the State’s Interest in Religious Doctrine, 51 U.C.L.A. L. Rev. 1645 (2004).

American Conversations With(in) Catholicism, 102 Mich. L. Rev. 1191 (2004) (reviewing John T. McGreevy, Catholicism and American Freedom: A History (2003)).

The Theology of the Blaine Amendments, 2 First. Amd. L. Rev. 45 (2003).

The New Federalism, the Spending Power, and Federal Criminal Law, 89 Cornell L. Rev. 1 (2003).

Christian Witness, Moral Anthropology, and the Death Penalty, 17 Notre Dame J. Ethics, L. & Pub. Pol’y 541 (2003).

The Right Questions About Schoo1 Choice: Education, Religious Freedom, and the Common Good, 23 Cardozo L. Rev. 1281 (2002).

Sectarian Reflections on Lawyers’ Ethics and Death-Row Volunteers, 77 Notre Dame L. Rev. 795 (2002).

Common Schools and the Common Good: Reflections on the School-Choice Debate, 75 St. John’s Law Rev. 219 (2001).

A Quiet Faith? Taxes, Politics, and the Privatization of Religion, 42 B.C. L. Rev. 771 (2001).

The Story of Henry Adams’s Soul:  Education and the Expression of Associations, 85 Minn. L. Rev. 1841 (2001).

Brown’s Promise, Blaine’s Legacy, 17 Const. Comm. 651 (2000) (reviewing Joseph P. Viteritti, Choosing Equality: School Choice, The Constitution, and Civil Society (1999)).

Taking Pierce Seriously: The Family, Religious Education, and Harm to Children, 76 Notre Dame L. Rev. 109 (2000).

Francis Bacon Takes On the Ghouls: The “First Principles” of Religious Freedom, 3 Green Bag 2d 447 (2000) (reviewing John Witte Jr., Religion and the American Constitutional Experiment (2000)).

School Choice, The First Amendment, and Social Justice, 4 Tex. Rev. L. & Pol. 301 (2000) (with Nicole Stelle Garnett).

Once More Into the Maze:  United States v. Lopez, Tribal Self-Determination, and Federal Conspiracy Jurisdiction in Indian Country, 72 N.D. L. Rev. 433 (1996).

Why Informed Consent? Human Experimentation and the Ethics of Autonomy, 36 Cath. Law. 455 (1996).

Note, Depravity Thrice Removed:  Using the “Heinous, Cruel, or Depraved” Factor to Aggravate Convictions of Nontriggermen Accomplices in Capital Cases, 103 Yale L. J. 2471 (1994).

Book Chapters


The Ministerial Exception and the Distinction Between Church and State, in shannon holzer, ed., routledge handbook on church & state (forthcoming Palgrave, 2023)(with Caleb Acker). 

Tandon v. Newsom, South Bay Pentecostal, Diocese of Brooklyn, and Calvary Chapel on Religious Liberty and the Pandemic, in morgan marietta, ed., scotus 2021: major decisions and developments of the us supreme court(Springer, 2022) (with Mitchell Koppinger).

Public Holidays and the Law, in timothy larsen, ed., the oxford handbook of christmas (Oxford University Press, 2020)(with Jackson C. Blais). 


Attempts, Complicity, Virtue, and the Limits of Law, in mark hill, et al., eds., christianity and criminal law(Routledge, 2020).  

Freedom 'for' Religion: (Yet) Another View of the Cathedral, in Religious Freedom and the Law: Emerging Contexts for Freedom for and Freedom From Religion (Brett G. Scharffs, Asher Maoz, and Ashley Isaacson Woolley eds., Routledge 2019).

Religious Accommodations and – and Among – Civil Rights:  Separation, Toleration, and Accommodation, in Leora Batnitsky & Hanoch Dagan, eds., Institutionalizing Rights and Religion: Competing Supremacies (Cambridge University Press, 2017).

Wrongful Discrimination?  Religious Freedom, Pluralism, and Equality in Timothy Samuel Shah & Thomas F. Farr, eds., Religious Freedom and Gay Rights:  Emerging Conflicts in North America and Europe (Oxford University Press, 2016).

The Freedom of the Church”:  (Towards) an Exposition, Translation, and Defense, in Micah Schwartzman, Chad Flanders, & Zoe Robinson, eds., The Rise of Corporate Religious Liberty (Oxford University Press, 2016).

The Worms and the Octopus:  Religious Freedom, Pluralism, and Conservatism, in S. Levinson, J. Parker, & M. Williams, eds., NOMOS:  American Conservatism (NYU Press, 2016).

Chief Justice Rehnquist, Religion, and the Constitution, in Bradford P. Wilson, ed., The Constitutional Legacy of William H. Rehnquist (West Academic Press, 2015).

Religious Freedom and the Antidiscrimination Norm, in Austin Sarat, ed., Legal Responses to Religious Practices in the United States:  Accommodation and its Limits (Cambridge University Press, 2012).

Religious Freedom and (and in) Institutions, in Gerard V. Bradley, ed., Challenges to Religious Liberty in the Twenty-First Century (Cambridge University Press, 2012).

“Two There Are”:  The Story of Kedroff v. St. Nicholas Cathedral, in R. Garnett & A. Koppelman, eds., First Amendment Stories (Foundation Press, 2011).

Religious Liberty, Church Autonomy, and the Structure of Freedom, in Frank Alexander & John Witte, Jr., eds., Cambridge Companion to Christianity and Human Rights (Cambridge University Press, 2010).

Less Is More:  Justice Rehnquist, the Freedom of Speech, and Democracy, in C.    Bradley, ed., The Rehnquist Legacy (Cambridge University Press, 2006).

Everlasting Splendours”:  Death-Row Volunteers, Lawyers’ Ethics, and the Dignity of    Creatures, in Michael A. Scaperlanda & Teresa Stanton Collett, eds., Self-        Evident Truths: Catholic Perspectives on American Law (CUA Press, 2007).

Regulatory Strings and Religious Freedom: Requiring Private Schools To Promote Public           Values, in S. Macedo, et al., eds., Educating Citizens: International Perspectives on Civic Values and School Choice 324 (Brookings Institution Press, 2004).

Christian Witness, Moral Anthropology, and the Death Penalty, in Erik C. Owens, et al., eds., A Call for Reckoning:  Religion and the Death Penalty 139 (Wm. B. Eerdmans Pub. Co., 2004).

Selected Additional Publications

Why Liberalism and Constitutionalism Need Christianity, law & liberty (Feb. 21, 2023).

How the Government Is Buying Our Submission, public discourse (March 7, 2023)(reviewing philip hamburger, purchasing submission: conditions, power and freedom(2021)).

Abortion Laws Across the Globe and at Home, public discourse (March 29, 2022)(with Nicholas Marr).

"Well Done, Good and Faithful Servant, 97 public notre dame l. rev. 69 (Special Issue)(2022)(with Nicole Stelle Garnett).

Gillman and Chemerinsky’s Masonic Religion Clauses, law & liberty (June 8, 2022)(reviewing howard gillman & erwin chemerinsky, the religion clauses (2021)).

Book Review, Ellis M. West, The Free Exercise of Religion in America:  Its Original Constitutional Meaning (2019), 82 Review of Politics ___ (2019).


Persons and the Point of the Law, 58 J. CATH. LEGAL STUD. 101 (2019). 


From First Street to the Speedway: NASCAR, Daytona, and Justice Thomas, in John Joseph Cassidy et al., Miller, Cassidy, Larroca and Lewin: Stories from an Amazing Law Firm of the Late Twentieth Century in Washington, D.C. (2019) (on file with author).

Exemplary Legal Writing 2018:  Five Recommendations, 2019 Green Bag Almanac & Reader 414 (with Christian R. Burset).

Equitable Establishments, First Things (March 2019).

“There Are No Ordinary People”: Christian Humanism and Christian Legal Thought, 56 J. Cath. Legal Stud. 77 (2017).

Afterword, S. Hendrianto, S.J., ed., Priests, Lawyers, and Scholars:  Essays in Honor of Robert J. Araujo, S.J. 152 (2017).

Church, State & Playgrounds, Commonweal (Sept. 8, 2017).

Life Affirming?, Notre Dame Magazine (August 2017).

Justice Scalia, Religious Freedom, and the First Amendment, in Elizabeth Slattery, ed., The Legacy of Justice Antonin Scalia:  Remembering a Conservative Legal Titan’s Impact on the Law (Special Report, The Heritage Foundation, Aug. 2016).

Article III, Section 1, The Interactive Constitution, National Constitution Center (with David A. Strauss)( (2016).

Case Closed?, Symposium on John Witte Jr.’s The Western Case for Monogamy Over Polygamy, 17 Politics, Religion & Ideology 310 (2016).

Introduction, Book Review Roundtable, “Polycarp’s Dilemma:  A Discussion of Nicholas Wolterstorff’s The Mighty and the Almighty:  An Essay in Political Theology, 30 J. Law & Religion 496 (2015).

Robert E. Rodes, Jr., 1927-2014, 61 Am. J. Jurisprudence 2 (2016)

Introduction:  Essays in Honor of Prof. Robert E. Rodes Jr., 90 Notre Dame L. Rev. 1981 (2015).

Freedom of Religion and the Freedom of the Church, Liberty Law Forum (Aug. 2014) (

The Freedom of Association, in S. Schechter, ed., Encyclopedia of American Governance (2015).

Commentary on Garcetti v. Ceballos, in Free to Teach, Free to Learn:  Understanding and Maintaining Academic Freedom in Higher Education (ACTA 2013).

Worth Worrying About?  Same-Sex Marriage & Religious Freedom, Commonweal (Aug. 2013).

Things Not Caesar’s, First Things (March 2012).

2012 Supreme Court Roundup, First Things (October 2012).

Executive Overreach, Commonweal (Sept. 14, 2012).

The Conscience of a Constitutional Conservative, Wall Street Journal (Oct. 23, 2012) (reviewing John Jenkins, The Partisan (2012)).

Understanding the HHS Lawsuits, Notre Dame Magazine (Summer 2012).

Jacques Maritain, Man and the State (1951), 1 J. Christian Legal Thought 13 (Spring 2011).

School Choice and the Challenges that Remain:  A Comment on Richard D. Komer’s “School Choice and State Constitutions’ Religion Clauses”, 4 J. School Choice 93 (2010).

Judicial Modesty, Commonweal (March 2010) (reviewing Michael J. Perry, Constitutional Rights, Moral Controversy, and the Supreme Court (2008)).

Religious Liberties:  The International Religious Freedom Act, 31 Hous. J. Int’l L. 469 (2009).

Freedom for Faith, Freedom for All, First Things (Dec. 2009) (reviewing David Novak, In Defense of Religious Liberty (2009)).

Briefly Noted, First Things (March 2009) (reviewing Paul Benjamin Linton, Abortion Under State Constitutions (2008)).

Briefly Noted, First Things (Feb. 2009) (reviewing Kenneth L. Grasso & Robert P. Hunt, eds., Catholicism and Religious Freedom:  Contemporary Reflections on Vatican II’s Declaration on Religious Liberty (2008)).

“Excluding Religion”:  A Response, 156 U. Penn. L. Rev. PENNumbra 113 (2008),

Righting Wrongs and Wronging Rights, First Things (Oct. 2008) (reviewing Nicholas Wolterstorff, Justice:  Rights and Wrongs (2007)).

Briefly Noted, First Things (March 2008) (reviewing Philip Bess, Till We Have Built Jerusalem:  Architecture, Urbanism, and the Sacred (2006)).

Briefly Noted, First Things (Oct. 2007) (reviewing Patrick M. Garry, Wrestling with God:  The Courts’ Tortuous Treatment of Religion (2007)).

A Matter of Opinion:  Hein v. Freedom From Religion Foundation, Inc., Liberty (Nov./Dec. 2007).

Our Structural Constitution:  Religious Freedom and Church Autonomy (A Response to Mark Chopko), 46 Chicago Studies 123 (2007).

Drop “Coffers,” 10 Green Bag 2d 299 (2007) (with Benjamin P. Carr).

Free To Believe, First Things (May 2007) (reviewing Christopher L. Eisgruber & Lawrence G. Sager, Religious Freedom and the Constitution (2007)).

Individuals First, Commonweal (April 6, 2007) (reviewing Charles Fried, Modern Liberty and the Limits of Government (2006)).

Law, Lawyers, the Court, and Catholicism, American Catholic Studies Newsletter, Cushwa Center for the Study of American Catholicism, Vol. 33, No. 2 (Fall 2006).

Debate, Judicial Activism and its Critics, 155 U. Penn. L. Rev. PENNumbra 112 (2006), (with Kermit Roosevelt).

Personal Reflections on the Chief, 10 Tex. Rev. L. & Pol. 283 (2006).

Chief Justice Rehnquist’s Enduring, Democratic Constitution, 29 Harv. J. L. & Pub. Pol’y 395 (2006).

William H. Rehnquist:  A Life Lived Greatly, and Well, 115 Yale L. J. 1847 (2006).

Introduction:  Religion, Division, and the Constitution, 15 Wm. & Mary Bill of Rights Journal 1 (2006).

Chief Justice Rehnquist and the Freedom of Speech, Engage (Vol. 7, Issue 1) (2006).

Bush v. Holmes:  School Vouchers, Religious Freedom, and State Constitutions, 17 Educ. & the Law 173 (2005) (with Christopher S. Pearsall).

Permanent Conflict, Commonweal (Nov. 18, 2005) (reviewing Noah Feldman, Divided by God (2005), Marci A. Hamilton, God vs. The Gavel (2005), and Winnifred Fallers Sullivan, The Impossibility of Religious Freedom (2005)).

Good News Club v. Milford Central School, in K. Hall, ed., The Oxford Companion to the    Supreme Court of the United States (2005).

Public Trial, in Matthew Spalding & David Forte, eds, The Heritage Guide to the Constitution (2005).

Hail to the Chief?, Legal Affairs (March 2005).

Citizens, Not Outlaws, National Review (Aug. 11, 2003) (reviewing Michael J. Perry, Under God?  Religious Faith and Liberal Democracy (2003)).

Final Justice, America (Oct. 27, 2003) (reviewing S. Banner, The Death Penalty:  An American History (2002) & F. Zimring, The Contradictions of American Capital Punishment (2003)).

The Rehnquist Choice, Trial (June 2002) (reviewing John Dean, The Rehnquist Choice (2002)).

Section 666, The Spending Power, and the Federalization of Criminal Law: Salinas, Fischer, and the Way Ahead, The Champion (May 2001) (with John P. Elwood).

Education Reform at the Crossroads: Politics, The Constitution, and the Battle Over School         Choice, 10 Geo. Mason Civ. R. L. J. 107 (2000).

What Are the Limits on Warrantless Drug Testing of Pregnant Women?, 1 A.B.A. Preview 31 (September 13, 2000).

Does the Constitution Permit Federal Prosecution for the Arson of a Private Residence?, 6 A.B.A. Preview 331 (March 8, 2000).

Are Payments to a Hospital for Services Provided Medicare Beneficiaries “Benefits” Under the Federal-Program Bribery Statute?, 5 A.B.A. Preview 251 (February 5, 2000).

Tribute to the Honorable Richard S. Arnold, 1 J. App. Prac. & Proc. 204 (1999).

The Justice of School Choice, The Weekly Standard (December 13, 1999) (reviewing Joseph P. Viteritti, Choosing Equality: School Choice, The Constitution, and Civil Society (1999)).

Selected Commentary

Professor Garnett’s analysis and commentary appears frequently in local, regional, and national print, broadcast, and electronic media.  He also contributes regularly to several law-related blogs, including Mirror of Justice and Prawfsblawg.  His recent published editorial and opinion work includes:

The Future for Religious Charter Schools, first things (Feb. 14, 2023)(with Nicole Stelle Garnett).

From School Choice to Parent Choice, city journal (Jan. 31, 2023)(with Nicole Stelle Garnett).

A Good Week for Religious Freedom, wall street journal (June 23, 2022).

Anti-Catholic Attacks After Dobbs, first things (June 29, 2022).

The Lone Ranger’s Long Game, city journal (June 28, 2022).

The Constitution Protects, Not Punishes, Religious Expression, newsweek (April 29, 2022)(with Joseph Graziano).

Separation of Church and State?, first freedom, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (Dec. 20, 2021).

Court Hears Why It Must Right its Past Wrongs Regarding Abortion, our sunday visitor (Dec. 19-25, 2021).

States Must Stop Discriminating Against Religious Schools, newsweek (Nov. 30, 2021)(with Olivia Rogers).

Revisiting the “Separation of Church and State” in Our Time of Deep Division, cornerstone (Oct. 8, 2021).

Rehnquist’s Reservations and the Future of Roe, law & liberty(Aug. 6, 2021).

What Is Religious Freedom?, first freedom (July 26, 2021).

Fulton and the Art of Cooperation: Religious Freedom as a Public Good, berkeley forum (July 26, 2021).

After Fulton, Religious Foster Care Agencies Still Vulnerable, first things (June 22, 2021).

The Supreme Court Has an Opportunity To Correct the Mistake of Roe v. Wade, our sunday visitor (May 20, 2021).

Religious Health Providers Deserve Legal Protection, Not False Charges of Discrimination, national catholic register (June 2, 2021).

Religious Freedom and the Roberts Court’s Doctrinal Clean-up, scotusblog (August 7, 2020).

Religious Schools and the Freedom of the Church, LAW & LIBERTY (July 10, 2020).

A Win for Religious Schools, first things (July 3, 2020).

Justices Fail To Correct a Serious Mistake in Latest Abortion Ruling, our sunday visitor (June 29, 2020).

Presidential Candidates Fail to Consider Harm Against Religious Institutions, REAL CLEAR RELIGION (Oct. 23, 2019). 

Principles or Improvisations?  Why (and How) the Justices Should Reject Anti-Religious Discrimination, SCOTUSblog (Sept. 18, 2019).

Some Thoughts for New Law Students, Public Discourse (Aug. 26, 2019).

Why Lawsuits Against Catholic Schools Should Fail, Indianapolis Star (Aug. 11, 2019).

Covering Columbus Is in Line with Notre Dame’s Catholic Character, The Irish Rover (Feb. 15, 2019).

The End of a Walking Dead Doctrine?, SCOTUSblog (Dec. 11, 2018).

The Church’s Accountability and Autonomy, Law & Liberty (Sept. 12, 2018).

Justice Kennedy, Judge Kavanaugh, and Our Two Supreme Courts, Church Life Journal (July 13, 2018).

A Personal Case for Judge Amy Coney Barrett, First Things (July 4, 2018).

Two Supreme Court rulings, Catholic News Service (June 27, 2018).

Colorado Baker Case Hints at How Supreme Court Will Rule on Trump Travel Ban, CNBC (June 4, 2018).

Conscience, Conditions, and Access to Civil Society, SCOTUSblog (Sept. 15, 2017).

Neil Gorsuch, the Supreme Court, and Religious Freedom, Religion & Politics (March 22, 2017).

Behind the First Amendment, U.S. Catholic (Oct. 2016).

Confronting a Nativist Past; Protecting School Choice’s Future, SCOTUSblog (Aug. 10, 2016).

Neither of the Above, Commonweal (Sept. 23, 2016).

Should Churches Be Tax Exempt?, U.S. Catholic (July 2016).

The Future of Accommodation, SCOTUSblog (May 18, 2016).

What’s Obama’s Supreme Court Strategy?, (March 17, 2016).

Integrity, Mission, and the Little Sisters of the Poor, SCOTUSblog (Dec. 17, 2015).

Dignitatis Humanae and the Conditions for Religious Freedom, Cornerstone, Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs Religious Freedom Project (Dec. 15, 2015).

Tax Exemptions Protect Religious Freedom.  We Should Keep Them., Washington Post (Sept. 15, 2015).

How To Protect Endangered Religious Groups You Admire, Christianity Today (Aug. 4, 2015) (with Prof. John D. Inazu and Prof. Michael W. McConnell).

When It Comes to Abolishing the Death Penalty, Who Should Decide?, America (June 29, 2015).

Hard Questions from Chief Justice on Same-Sex Decision, America (June 26, 2015).

Overlooked Speech Rulings from SCOTUS, America (June 19, 2015)

Should Washington Set Out To Change Religious Beliefs?, USA Today (May 20, 2015).

Correcting Misimpressions about Religious Freedom, South Bend Tribune (March 25, 2015).

Conscience and Community:  Understanding the Freedom of Religion, Cornerstone, Berkley Center for Religion, Peace & World Affairs Religious Freedom Project (Sept. 25, 2014).

Freedom of the Church, Law and Liberty (Sept. 15, 2014).

Religious Pluralism, Civic Unity, and the Judicial Role, SCOTUSblog (May 8, 2014).

Accommodations, Religious Freedom, and the Hobby Lobby Case, SCOTUSblog (Feb. 28, 2014).

The Righteousness in Hobby Lobby’s Cause, Los Angeles Times (Dec. 5, 2013).

Top Court Not Likely to Block Town Prayers, CNN Opinion (Nov. 7, 2013).

Legislative Prayer and Judicial Review, SCOTUSblog (Sept. 27, 2013).

Moral Anthropology, Social Ontology, and Authentic Human Freedom, Public Discourse (Sept. 12, 2013).

Mary Ann Glendon and the Structure of Religious Freedom, Public Discourse (July 23, 2013).

Simple Justice:  Kids Deserve School Choice, Public Discourse (Feb. 4, 2013).

Constitutional Basics After the Ruling, Chicago Tribune (July 1, 2012).

Confusion About Discrimination, Public Discourse (April 5, 2012).

HHS Mandate Still Undermines Religious Freedom, USA Today (February 15, 2012).

Hosanna-Tabor Ruling a Win for Religious Freedom, USA Today (January 12, 2012).

Why To Scrap the Contraception Mandate, USA Today (November 28, 2011).

A Right to Discriminate?, USA Today (April 25, 2011).

On Religious Liberty, What Would Kagan Do?, USA Today (July 26, 2010).

The Minority Court, The Wall Street Journal (April 17, 2010).

Life Is Good, Notre Dame Magazine (Spring 2010).

Behind the Angst at Notre Dame, USA Today (May 11, 2009).

How the No-Establishment Rule Does (and Does Not) Protect the Freedom of Conscience, Public Discourse (April 3, 2009).

We Must Guard Our Free Speech Fortress, USA Today (March 30, 2009).

Positive Secularism and the American Model of Religious Liberty, Public Discourse (Jan. 30, 2009).

Treasure A.C.E., National Review Online (Sept. 10, 2008).

Politics and the Pulpit, Indianapolis Star (Feb. 3, 2008).

When Catholicism was the Target, USA Today (Jan. 28, 2008).

Our Real National Pastime, USA Today (Sept. 10, 2007).

Carhart, Casey, and the Court’s Catholics, Jurist (April 25, 2007).

China’s Lesson on Freedom of Religion, USA Today (March 26, 2007).

What Would Lincoln Do?  A Test for the Roberts Court, The Weekly Standard (Oct. 16, 2006) (with Michael Stokes Paulsen).

Don’t Use First Amendment To Erase Divisions, Los Angeles Daily Journal (October 9, 2006).

Downsizing and the Catholic Church, USA Today (July 16, 2006).

Campaigning from the Pulpit: Why Not?, USA Today (April 16, 2006).

An Unassuming Decision, National Review Online (Feb. 23, 2006).

Two Justices Who “Get” Religion, USA Today (Jan. 23, 2006).

Just Right, N.Y. Sun (Nov. 1, 2005).

Rehnquist’s True Legacy, N.Y. Daily News (Sept. 7, 2005).

Tennis and Top Buttons:  Remembering William H. Rehnquist, Slate (Sept. 4, 2005).

Religious Expression Should Be Welcomed, Indianapolis Star (July 17, 2005).

Supreme Commandment, National Review Online (June 28, 2005).

Unanimous!, National Review Online (June 1, 2005).

How High a Wall?, Commonweal (May 2005).

Debate Club, Legal Affairs (Feb. 2005).

Law Schools and the Military, Commonweal (Jan. 2005).

Keep it to Yourself, Commonweal (Aug. 2004).

Crime Victims’ Rights Law Riddled With Pitfalls, Chicago Sun-Times (May 3, 2004).

Confine and Conquer:  The California Supreme Court and Religious Freedom,     National Review Online (March 3, 2004).

Let Off With a Warning, Legal Affairs (Jan./Feb. 2004).

Conservatives, Federalism, and Consistency, National Review Online (Dec. 1, 2003).

Judging Scalia, Commonweal (May 23, 2003).

Deciding the Future of Choice, National Review Online (May 20, 2003).

Yes to Vouchers, Commonweal (Aug. 16, 2002).

Future Church-State Battles Loom, The Wall Street Journal (July 1, 2002).

Choice Win: In the Spirit of Brown, National Review Online (June 27, 2002).

Personal Problems, The Supremes Ignore the Constitution in Atkins. National Review Online (June 20, 2002)

Square Deal, The New Republic

Kids’ Choice, Fresh air from the Supremes, National Review Online (Sept. 25, 2001).

Disrobed!  Actually, They Think for Themselves, The Washington Post (July 1, 2001).

A Supreme Court Ruling Bodes Well for School Vouchers, The Wall Street Journal    (June 13, 2001).

Hard Times in Law School, National Review Online (Jan. 11, 2001).

Misguided Voucher Verdict, The Washington Times (Dec. 14, 2000).

Lieberman Talks the Talk, The Los Angeles Times (Oct. 29, 2000).

Establishment Clause Housecleaning, National Review Online (June 28, 2000).

The Courts and Abortion, The Weekly Standard (June 12, 2000).

A Victory for the Family, The Wall Street Journal (June 6, 2000).

Free the States, or Free the People?, The Legal Times (April 10, 2000).

After 200 Years, School Choice Loses in Maine, The Wall Street Journal (May 3, 1999).

Legislative Testimony

Professor Garnett consults regularly with legislators and legislative staff on matters relevant to his scholarly interest and expertise.  He was also invited to testify before the United States Senate:

Beyond the Pledge of Allegiance:  Hostility to Religious Expression in the Public Square. United States Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Property Rights (June 8, 2004).

Selected Amicus Curiae Briefs 

Professor Garnett consults regularly with litigators and is a signatory to many amicus curiae briefs regarding questions relevant to his scholarly interests.  In addition, he is the author or co-author of the following:

Kennedy v. Bremerton Sch. Dist., ___ U.S. ___ (2022), Brief of Amicus Curiae Notre Dame Law School Religious Liberty Initiative in Support of Petitioner (with Nicole Stelle Garnett, et al.).

Carson v. Makin, ___ U.S. ___ (2022), Brief for the Partnership for Inner-City Education, Council of Islamic Schools in America, and National Council of Young Israel as Amicus Curiae in Support of Petitioners (with Nicole Stelle Garnett, et al.).

Shurtleff v. City of Boston, ___ U.S. ___ (2022), Brief of Amicus Curiae Notre Dame Law School Religious Liberty Initiative in Support of Petitioners (with Nicole Stelle Garnett, et al.).

Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, ___ U.S. ___ (2022), Brief of Amicus Curiae Ethics and Public Policy Center in Support of Petitioners and Reversal (with Charles W. Cooper, et al.).

Gordon College v. DeWeese-Boyd, cert. denied, ___ U.S. ___ (2022), Brief of Amici Curiae Benedictine College and Franciscan University of Steubenville in Support of Petitioners (with Nicole Stelle Garnett, et al.).

Chabad-Lubavitch of Michigan v. Schuchman, No. 15-1005, Brief of the Catholic University of America, et al., as Amici Curiae in Support of Petitioners (authored with David M. Hyams).

McCullen v. Coakley, 573 U.S. ___ (2014), Brief of Richard W. Garnett, et al., as Amici Curiae in Support of Petitioners.

Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church and School v. E.E.O.C., 565 U.S. 171 (2012) (Brief Amicus Curiae in Support of Petitioner of Prof. Eugene Volokh et al.).

Arizona Christian School Tuition Organization v. Winn, 563 U.S. 125 (2011) (Brief Amicus Curiae in Support of Petitioners of the American Center for School Choice).

Christian Legal Society v. Martinez, 561 U.S. 661 (2010) (Brief Amicus Curiae in Support of Petitioner of the Christian Medical and Dental Associations, et al.).

Gonzales v. Planned Parenthood, 550 U.S. 124 (2007), Brief Amicus Curiae in Support of Petitioner of the Christian Legal Society, et al. (with Michael Stokes Paulsen and Greg Baylor).

Sabri v. United States, 541 U.S. 600 (2004), Brief Amicus Curiae of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers in Support of Petitioner (with Joshua Dratel and Richard Greenberg).

Locke v. Davey, 540 U.S. 712 (2004), Brief Amici Curiae of the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, and Historians and Legal Scholars in Support of Respondent (with Kevin Hasson, Roman Storzer, and Anthony Picarello).

Zelman v. Simmons-Harris, 536 U.S. 639 (2002), Brief Amicus Curiae of the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty in Support of Petitioners (with Kevin Hasson, Eric Treene, and Roman Storzer).

Good News Club v. Milford Central School, 533 U.S. 98 (2002), Brief Amicus Curiae of Christian Legal Society and Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America in Support of Petitioners (with Carl Esbeck and Nathan Diament).

K.D.M. v. Reedsport School Dist., cert. denied, 531 U.S. 1010 (2000), Petition for Writ of Certiorari (with Michael Stokes Paulsen).

Troxel v. Granville, 530 U.S. 57 (2000), Brief Amici Curiae of Christian Legal Society, et al., in Support of the Respondent (with Michael Stokes Paulsen, Carl Esbeck, Gregory Baylor, and Kimberlee Wood Colby).

Fischer v. United States, 529 U.S. 667 (2000), Brief of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers as Amicus Curiae in Support of Petitioner (with Lisa Kemler).

Andrews, et al. v. Vermont Dep’t of Education, cert. denied, 528 U.S. 1066 (1999), Petition for Writ of Certiorari (with Michael Stokes Paulsen).

Works in Progress

Two There Are:  Understanding the Separation of Church and State (under contract with Cambridge University Press).

Areas of Expertise

  • Constitutional Law
  • Criminal Law & Procedure
  • Death Penalty
  • Education Reform & Policy
  • Law & Religion