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Law and Religion Student Symposium
By CSLR | Emory Law | Apr 19, 2024 12:04:00 AM

On April 19, 2024, the Center for the Study of Law and Religion held its first Law and Religion Student Symposium. This event was an opportunity for current students to present their work in the field of law and religion, receive feedback from faculty members, and respond to questions from the Emory Law community.

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Panel one featured Constance Schneider Couch (3L): “How Far Should Religious Exemptions to Title IX Reach? Preventing Schools from Using Their religious Exemptions to Retaliate Against Victims of Sexual Abuse,” Jill Gargano (2L): “Disposition, Divinity, Dispute: The Case for Affording Special respect Status to Frozen Embryos,” Michael Reed-Price (3L): “The Rise and Fall of Hybrid Rights under the Free Exercise Clause,” and Ashley Strain (3L): “Sincerity: The Unsung Hero of Religious Claims.” The first panel concluded with a response from Prof. John Witte, Jr.

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Panel two featured Mary Kate Davidson (2L): “Surface and Substance: The Significance of Art in Deciphering Legal Matters of Religious Symbolism,” Andrew Hull (2L): “No Gods, No Lawyers: The Legal and Political Context of Athens’ Prohibition of Impiety,” Andy Sykes (3L): “One Nation Under God, Indivisible, with Liberty and Dignity for All: Justice Anthony Kennedy’s Use of Catholic Social Teaching in His Gay Rights Jurisprudence,” and Maximilian Zekowski (2L): “Aleatoric Materialism – A Bifurcated Model Analysis of the Legal and Social Histories of Monogamy, Polygamy, Polyandry, and Polyamory.” The second panel’s respondent was Prof. John Acevedo.

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Panel three featured Ahmed Hasan (2L): “‘Like Istanbul on a Sunday’: Regulating Difference in New York City’s Halal Cart Scene,” Aubrie Kent (3L): “Laicite or Laicita: The Regulation of Religious Symbols in French and Italian Public Schools,” and Aileen Nicolas (MDiv): “The Border in Catholic Religious education: to exclude, neglect, or engage?” The final panel’s respondent was Prof. Whittney Barth.

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After the final presentations, Silas Allard and Whittney Barth concluded the event with a recognition of our graduating law and religion students. 

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Michael Reed-Price, Constance Schneider Couch, MacKinnon Westraad, and Andy Sykes (L to R) were a few of the graduating students recognized for their outstanding contribution to the Journal of Law and Religion (graduating JLR students not pictured: Gretchen Boyles, Jessica Bunnell, Jonathan Craig-Mendes, Xela Gray, Mahiva Patel, and Yuwei Zhang). Ashley Strain (R) and Jonathan Craig-Mendes (not pictured) graduated with a JD concentration in law and religion.

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Constance Schneider Couch (L) was awarded the 2024 Eliza Ellison Prize for Leadership in Law and Religion, and Major Coleman (R) was awarded the 2024 Gertie and John Witte Prize for Outstanding Work in Law and Christianity.