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April 13, 2010

Federalist Society hosts debate on the separation of church and state, April 14, 2010

Who: Tara Ross, co-author of Under God, and James C. Harrington, civil rights attorney and  adjunct professor at the University of Texas School of Law

What: “Washington v. Jefferson: A Debate on the Separation of Church and State”

When: Wednesday, April 14, 2010, 11:30 a.m. to 12:20 p.m.

Where:  Jeffers Courtroom, the University of Texas School of Law

The University of Texas School of Law Federalist Society will host a debate on the separation of church and state on Wednesday, April, 14, 2010, between author and lawyer Tara Ross and civil rights attorney James C. Harrington.

The event, free and open to the public, will be held in the Law School’s Jeffers Courtroom from 11:30 a.m. to 12:20 p.m. Lunch will be catered by Pappasitos. Bottom of Form

Ross is the author of Enlightened Democracy: The Case for the Electoral College (2004) and a co-author (with Joseph C. Smith Jr.) of Under God: George Washington and the Question of Church and State (2008). As a lawyer and writer, Ross focuses on the intersection of law, public policy, and constitutional history. She is a 2001 graduate of the University of Texas School of Law, where she served as editor in chief of the Texas Review of Law and Politics.

Harrington is the founder and director of the Texas Civil Rights Project and an adjunct professor at UT Law School. Harrington has handled numerous landmark cases involving grand jury discrimination, police misconduct, voting rights, free speech and assembly, and the rights of persons with disabilities.

Ross and Harrington will debate the proper interpretation of the Religion Clauses of the First Amendment.  Ross will present Washington’s often overlooked views on public religion.  Harrington will respond by defending Jefferson’s analogy of a wall between church and state.

The Federalist Society is a national nonprofit organization of conservative and libertarian lawyers dedicated to creating an open forum for the civil exchange of ideas on controversial legal issues.  

For more information on the event please e-mail

Detailed maps and information about parking can be found on the Maps and Directions pages on the Law School’s website.


Nick Rotsko, president, UT Law Federalist Society,

Kirston Fortune, Assistant Dean for Communications, (512) 471.7330 or