Voices of Reason - Nick Little: The Religious Freedom Restoration Act in the Wake of Hobby Lobby
The Religious Freedom Restoration Act in the Wake of Hobby Lobby: Sword or Shield?
Nick's lecture will cover the development of church-state relations and how we came to the enactment of RFRA in 1993. In particular, Nick will focus on how RFRA has been shifted by the religious right, moving from a law to protect minority religious belief from government persecution to becoming one of the most important weapon majority religions have to seek to impose their morality on the nation as a whole. Nick will discuss how this interpretation of RFRA led to the Hobby Lobby decision, and will look ahead at how the religious right is expected to seek to expand the impact of that decision, as well as how the secular community can seek to defend the separation of church and state.
Free and open to the public (Registration Required)
Nick Little is the legal director of the Center for Inquiry, based out of Washington, D.C. After his education at Oxford University and the University of Warwick in the U.K., Nick moved to the United States and received a law degree from Vanderbilt University. Nick successfully represented an apostate from the Middle East, who faced deportation to and execution in his native Sudan for the crime of converting away from Islam, winning him asylum in the United States. He also worked with mentally ill New Yorkers to ensure adequate provision of state resources enabling patients to leave institutions and safely and productively live in the community; represented hearing disabled citizens in their efforts to ensure local hospitals provided sign language interpreters as required by the Americans With Disabilities Act; and represented individuals in complaints of malpractice against the D.C. Metropolitan Police. When his firm closed, Nick moved to the non-profit sector and accepted a position with CFI. Aside from internal legal work for CFI, Nick has filed amicus briefs in the Hobby Lobby Supreme Court case and the Seventh Circuit challenge to unfair tax breaks given to housing allowances paid to religious ministers.
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The venue is wheelchair accessible. People with disabilities who anticipate needing accommodations or who have questions about physical access may email sdavis [at] centerforinquiry [dot] net in advance of the event.