University of California, Irvine
School of Humanities
Date: 12/1/2009
Department: Jewish Studies
Title: Dean Erwin Chemerinsky of the UCI School of Law Speaks on "Judaism and the American Constitution"
On Tuesday, November 24, Dean Chemerinsky launched the Jewish Studies lecture series with his talk on "Judaism and the American Constitution". Dean Chemerinsky discussed parallels and connections between the tenets and structure of the constitution and Judaic law (Torah and Talmud), especially regarding its basic protections, followed by an account and analysis of the influence on constitutional law of the seven Jewish Supreme Court justices and other prominent Jewish scholars and lawyers. After highlighting the significance of the first amendment's "free exercise" and "establishment clauses" for the freedoms Jews have enjoyed in the United States, he ended with a warning that the current composition of the Supreme Court may threaten those freedoms, in particular through cases related to the establishment clause.

Watch the lecture in its entirety below.



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