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On Demand

Religion Clauses, RFRA and RLUIPA

Total Credits: 1.25

Civil Rights |  Constitutional Law
Sheldon H. Nahmod
1 Hour 14 Minutes
Audio and Video
Original Program Date:
Apr 21, 2022
Product Type:
On Demand
Access for 365 day(s) after purchase.


This session will discuss:

• The Establishment Clause: prayer, religious displays, financial
support for education and the Court's renewed interest
• The Free Exercise Clause: the all-important Smith (peyote) decision, the not-so-hidden return to strict scrutiny and the Covid-19 cases
• Congressional responses to Smith: RLUIPA and RFRA
• RFRA struck down as applied to state and local governments: City of Boerne
• RFRA as applied to the federal government: the Hobby Lobby decision


Sheldon H. Nahmod's Profile

Sheldon H. Nahmod Related seminars and products

University Distinguished Professor of Law Emeritus (Program Chair)

Chicago-Kent College of Law

Sheldon H. Nahmod is a well-known expert on constitutional law, the First Amendment, civil rights and liberties and the law of Section 1983. He is the author of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties Litigation: The Law of Section 1983 (2022-23 edition; West/Westlaw); A Section 1983 Civil Rights Anthology (1993); a casebook, Constitutional Torts (5th edition 2020) (with Wells & Smith); and numerous law review articles. He has written many certiorari petitions and amicus briefs in the Supreme Court. He has also successfully argued civil rights cases in the Supreme Court and the First, Seventh, Eighth and Tenth Circuits. In addition, he has lectured on civil rights matters to federal judges and attorneys throughout the country, including organizing and speaking at Chicago-Kent's own annual Conference on Section 1983, now in its 39th year. Further, he lectures to lay groups on constitutional law and the First Amendment.

Nahmod graduated from the University of Chicago, Harvard Law School and the University of Chicago Divinity School (1996). He practiced with a corporate law firm in Chicago and was a legal services staff attorney before entering academia. He also was a teaching fellow at Harvard Law School, where he earned an LL.M. After joining Chicago-Kent, he served as associate dean for three years, and was named IIT University Distinguished Professor in 1992. Over the years he has won awards for his teaching, most recently the Brill Award from the Student Bar Association. He was named University Distinguished Professor Emeritus in 2018.

Nahmod has served as chair of the Sections on Civil Rights, Law and Education and Law and Religion of the Association of American Law Schools. He founded and for many years co-directed Chicago-Kent's Institute for Law and the Humanities. In 2001, he received the Jefferson Fordham Lifetime Achievement Award for his work in Section 1983 jurisprudence from the American Bar Association's Section on State and Local Government Law. In 2018, he received the Abner Mikva Award from the Chicago Chapter of the American Constitution Society for his contributions to civil rights and liberties.

Nahmod blogs on Section 1983, constitutional law, the First Amendment and other law-related topics at