Richard W. Garnett

Project Council
Professor of Law

Notre Dame Law School

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Richard W. Garnett received his B.A. in philosophy summa cum laude from Duke University in 1990, and his J.D. from Yale Law School in 1995. He served as senior editor of the Yale Law Journal and as editor of the Yale Journal of Law & the Humanities. After graduation, he clerked for Chief Judge Richard S. Arnold of the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit, and then for Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist. He practiced law for two years at the Washington, D.C., law firm of Miller, Cassidy, Larroca & Lewin, specializing in criminal-defense, religious-liberty, and education-reform matters. At Notre Dame, he teaches courses on criminal law, criminal procedure, First Amendment law, and the death penalty. His areas of research interest and expertise include:

- School choice
- Catholic Social Thought
- Church / State relations
- Religion in the public square
- Free speech and expressive association
- Free exercise of religion
- Federalism and criminal law
- Death Penalty

Recent Publications
Religion and Group Rights: Are Churches (Just) Like the Boy Scouts?
Garnett, Richard W. (2007). Religion and Group Rights: Are Churches (Just) Like the Boy Scouts? St. John's Journal of Legal Commentary, vol 22. Abstract: What role do religious communities, groups, and associations play – and, what role should they play – in our thinking and conversations about religious freedom and church-state relations? These and related questions – that is, questions about...
Church, State, and the Practice of Love
Garnett, Richard W. (2007). Church, State, and the Practice of Love. Villanova Law Review, 52: pg 281. Abstract: In his first encyclical letter, Deus caritas est, Pope Benedict XVI describes the Church as a community of love. In this letter, he explores the organized practice love by and through the Church, and the relationship between this practice ,...
Christian Witness, Moral Anthropology, and the Death Penalty
Garnett, Richard W. (2003). 17 Notre Dame J. Ethics, L. & Pub. Pol'y 541. Abstract: In this essay, I consider - in the context of our ongoing debates about capital punishment - the question, "what role ought religious beliefs play in a pluralistic democratic society that often presumes strict boundaries between matters...
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Notre Dame Law School

Current Position

Professor of Law

Highest Degree

J.D., Yale Law School, 1995

Research Interests

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