VIRGINIA BEACH, VA (March 18, 2022) – Today, the Robertson Center for Constitutional Law filed a friend-of-the-court brief in the U.S. Supreme Court asking the Court to hear Dr. A v. Hochul. That case challenges New York’s vaccine mandate for healthcare workers, which lacks an exemption for religious objectors. Sixteen healthcare workers have asked the Supreme Court to strike down that mandate. All but one of them have lost their jobs, lost their admitting privileges, or been coerced into vaccination.
The Robertson Center’s brief specifically asks the Court to revisit Employment Division v. Smith, a thirty-year-old case that fundamentally altered the understanding of the Free Exercise Clause. “Even as they respond to the COVID–19 pandemic, those who govern us must not ignore the good-faith objections of religious Americans,” said Brad Lingo, executive director of the Robertson Center for Constitutional Law. “This case illustrates how Smith continues to plague our Free Exercise law and provides another chance for the Court to remind Americans that the Free Exercise Clause means what it says.”
This is the sixth brief—and fourth U.S. Supreme Court brief—filed by the Robertson Center for Constitutional Law since the Center was established in the summer of 2020.
The Robertson Center for Constitutional Law is an academic center within the Regent University School of Law. The center pairs advocacy and scholarship to advance first principles in constitutional law, including originalism, separation of powers, and religious liberty. The Robertson Center has represented former members of Congress, Christian ministries, and others in briefs before the U.S. Supreme Court and circuit courts of appeals. Learn more about the work of the Robertson Center at https://constitutionallaw.regent.edu/our-work/.
About Regent University
Founded in 1978, Regent University is America’s premier Christian university with more than 11,000 students studying on its 70-acre campus in Virginia Beach, Virginia, and online around the world. The university offers associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees in more than 150 areas of study, including business, communication and the arts, counseling, cybersecurity, divinity, education, government, law, leadership, nursing, healthcare, and psychology. Regent University, ranked among top national universities (U.S. News & World Report, 2020), is one of only 23 universities nationally to receive an “A” rating for its comprehensive liberal arts core curriculum.
About Regent Law
Regent Law’s more than 3,300 graduates practice law in 49 states and over 20 countries and include 38 currently sitting judges. The School of Law is currently ranked 22nd in the nation for obtaining judicial clerkships and ranked 20th in the nation for Ultimate Bar Passage in 2019. The school offers the Juris Doctor (J.D.) in three-year and part-time formats, an online M.A. in Law, an online M.A. in Financial Planning & Law, an on-campus and online LL.M. in Human Rights, and an on-campus and online LL.M. in American Legal Studies.