menu

Patheos Featured Writers

Marci Hamilton
Columnist

MARCI A. HAMILTON is one of the United States' leading scholars and public intellectuals on religion and the law.  She holds the Paul R. Verkuil Chair in Public Law at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, Yeshiva University.  She is the author of Justice Denied: What America Must Do to Protect Its Children (Cambridge University Press 2008) and God vs. the Gavel: Religion and the Rule of Law (Cambridge University Press 2005, 2007).  She is also a columnist on constitutional issues forwww.findlaw.com, where her column appears every other Thursday.  She has been a visiting professor at Princeton University, New York University School of Law, Emory University School of Law, and the Princeton Theological Seminary.

Professor Hamilton is frequently asked to advise Congress and state legislatures on the constitutionality of pending legislation and to consult in cases involving important constitutional issues.  She was lead counsel for the City of Boerne, Texas, in Boerne v. Flores, 521 U.S. 507 (1997), before the Supreme Court in its seminal federalism and church/state case holding the Religious Freedom Restoration Act unconstitutional.  She has served as constitutional law counsel in many important clergy sex abuse and religious land use cases, and has testified before numerous state legislatures regarding elimination of the statutes of limitations for childhood sex abuse.

Professor Hamilton clerked for Associate Justice Sandra Day O'Connor of the United States Supreme Court and Judge Edward R. Becker of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. She received her J.D., magna cum laude, from the University of Pennsylvania Law School where she served as Editor-in-Chief of the University of Pennsylvania Law Review. She also received her M.A. in Philosophy and M.A., high honors, in English from Pennsylvania State University, and her B.A., summa cum laude, from Vanderbilt University.  She is a member of Phi Beta Kappa and Order of the Coif.

Professor Hamilton has published many op-eds in leading publications and has appeared frequently in the media, including The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, Good Morning America, the Today Show, ABC News, CBS News, NBC News, the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Huffington Post, Lou Dobbs Show, O'Reilly Factor, Hannity &  Colmes; CNN Headline News; Fox News; The Anderson Cooper Show; NPR; C-Span2 BookTV, washingtonpost.com, among many others.

Works by Marci Hamilton
Adding Insult
Marci Hamilton | December 01, 2010
The tone-deaf Catholic hierarchy inflicts fresh insults on its clergy abuse victims....
Congress and the state legislatures owe it to potential employees of religious......
Isolationist Religious Communities and Liberty
Marci Hamilton | May 09, 2011
When authorities cannot envision their obligations under the law as distinct from their......
Muslims vs. Christians vs. Women
Marci Hamilton | January 05, 2011
We must loudly denounce al-Qaeda's use of violence to secure even basic human rights,......
Time to End Government Handouts Based on Religion
Marci Hamilton | November 16, 2010
President Obama needs to make vital changes to end discrimination by social service......
The Court, the Preacher, and the Military
Marci Hamilton | March 04, 2011
The cure for the ugly talk coming from the Westboro Baptist Church is more speech, not......
A Suicide at Princeton Is a Warning Bell for All of...
Marci Hamilton | January 12, 2011
We must find the means to offer hope to victims; we need to shift the balance from a......
The Tangled Web Tightens for the Vatican
Marci Hamilton | January 19, 2011
This letter is the latest proof that the leadership of the Catholic Church is......
United States bishops and their lobbyists spend tremendous resources fighting......
Seeking Damages: "Sossamon v. Texas"
Marci Hamilton | April 27, 2011
The Supreme Court narrows the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act....
Egypt Explained
Marci Hamilton | February 02, 2011
Where will Egypt find the stability needed in order to plant some seeds of an open and......
Philadelphia: Ground Zero for Catholic Bishops
Marci Hamilton | February 25, 2011
Survivors can now see that the tide is turning and many rank and file Catholics now......
Challenging the John Jay Report
Marci Hamilton | May 26, 2011
A law professor and victim advocate on blaming the Sixties for child sex abuse....
Pakistani Blasphemy Laws: Learning from Roger Williams
Marci Hamilton | December 29, 2010
The story of a Pakistani Christian reminds us of our own battles over religious freedom....
Philadelphia Is the Ireland of America
Marci Hamilton | March 19, 2011
Waves of betrayal rock the Church in Philadelphia; one Catholic family after another has......
The Criminal Legacy of American Catholic Bishops
Marci Hamilton | April 06, 2011
The basic problem here is that the Philadelphia Archdiocese cannot work itself out of......
The Bad Guys and the Good Guys
Marci Hamilton | February 17, 2011
What we have here is an old-boys network, with all of its sins and shortcomings. Instead......
The New Jihadists, the TSA, and Holiday Travelers
Marci Hamilton | November 24, 2010
Americans are living in a dream world if they think these stepped-up procedures are......
If the Pope believes in truth and protection for the vulnerable, his letter to the......
The War on Diversity
Marci Hamilton | December 08, 2010
The "war on Christmas" rhetoric is in reality a barely cloaked war on diversity....
The Catholic League, the Smithsonian, and Wikileaks
Marci Hamilton | December 22, 2010
Image cannot be all that religious groups care about, but these three events remind us......
The conservative pantheon believes their audience does not want to hear negative news......
Philadelphia Dysfunction and Guam Success
Marci Hamilton | March 09, 2011
The Archdiocese's apparent release of all the files pertinent to the Grand Jury Report......
The Truth vs. Public Relations
Marci Hamilton | April 14, 2011
Children will be protected when Americans insist on the truth, even when it is difficult......
Egypt Can Learn from Survivors
Marci Hamilton | February 09, 2011
The clergy sex abuse movement can teach the Egyptian movement for democracy something......
Religion Neutrality: The Path of Peace
Marci Hamilton | December 07, 2010
Should religious displays be permitted on public property? Only if diverse!...