Legal Spirits

Legal Spirits


Latest Episodes

Legal Spirits Episode 025: Supreme Court Law and Religion Roundup
July 15, 2020

In this podcast, we discuss the end of the Supreme Court’s term, which included a number of important cases related to law and religion–Bostock, Espinoza, Our Lady of Guadalupe, and Little Sisters of the Poor. We take a big picture,

Legal Spirits Episode 024: Church Closings in the Time of Coronavirus–Part II
June 28, 2020

In this followup to Episode 22, we discuss new developments in litigation over government orders to close churches during the COVID-19 epidemic, including a decision by the U.S. Supreme Court. We ask whether local authorities continue to merit judicial...

Legal Spirits Episode 023: Journalist Kelsey Dallas on Religion in America Today
May 19, 2020

Kelsey Dallas, the national religion reporter for the Deseret News, is one of the best religion journalists writing today: thorough, fair, and insightful. In this episode, she joins us to explains why, after getting a graduate degree in religion from Y...

Legal Spirits Episode 022: Church Closings in the Time of Coronavirus
April 26, 2020

In response to the COVID-19 epidemic, many state and local governments have banned “non-essential” gatherings of more than 10 people, including religious services. In this episode of Legal Spirits, Center Co-Directors Marc DeGirolami and Mark Movsesian...

Legal Spirits Episode 021: The New Little Sisters of the Poor Case (featuring Prof. Kevin Walsh)
April 02, 2020

The Little Sisters of the Poor are litigants before the Supreme Court once more, this time as intervening defendants in an action by Pennsylvania and New Jersey against the federal government. The factual issue is a set of regulations adopted by the fe...

Legal Spirits Episode 020: A New Case That May Alter Free Exercise Doctrine
March 09, 2020

The Supreme Court has granted cert. on a potentially major case for the scope of the Free Exercise Clause and the relationship between rights of religious liberty and rights of LGBT persons. The case is Fulton v. City of Philadelphia,

Legal Spirits Episode 019: Oral Argument in the Blaine Amendments Case
February 05, 2020

Late last month, the Supreme Court heard oral argument in Espinoza v. Montana Dep’t of Revenue, a case on the constitutionality of a Montana school-choice program that allows parents to direct state-funded scholarships to religiously affiliated schools...

Legal Spirits Episode 018: SCOTUS Takes a Pair of Cases on the Ministerial Exception
January 23, 2020

In this episode, we discuss the Court’s cert grant in two consolidated cases on the ministerial exception: St. James Church v. Biel and Our Lady of Guadalupe School v. Morrissey-Berru. The cases will require the Court to clarify the definition of “mini...

Legal Spirits Episode 017: Tanzin v. Tanvir and Individual Liability Under RFRA
December 17, 2019

In this podcast, we discuss the Second Circuit opinion in Tanzin v. Tanvir, the Supreme Court’s second law-and-religion case this term, about whether the Religious Freedom Restoration Act contemplates liability for individual federal officers.

Legal Spirits Episode 016: The New Wedding Vendor Cases
November 19, 2019

In this episode, we discuss recent court rulings in favor of wedding vendors who decline, from religious conviction, to provide services for same-sex weddings. After years of losing such cases, vendors like Joanna Duka and Breanna Koski of Phoenix’s Br...