The 2012 Religious Liberty Honor was presented to Professor Douglas Laycock at the third International Religious Freedom Awards Dinner, held 11 October 2012 at the Mayflower Renaissance Hotel in Washington DC. The award is given annually by the J. Reuben Clark Law Society and the International Center for Law and Religion Studies at Brigham Young University.
Also announced at the Awards Dinner were the winners of the Third Annual Religious Freedom Student Writing Competition.
Those in attendance at the dinner were welcomed by Michael Merrell, Chair of the International Religious Liberty Award Committee. The invocation was offered by Father Charles Cortinovis, Parochial Vicar, Mother Seton Parrish, Germantown, Maryland.
Eric Baxter, Chair of the DC Mid-Atlantic Chapter of the J. Reuben Clark Law Society presented the Writing Awards, and Dr. Kay Atkinson King, Former Director of the Office of Interparliamentary Affairs for the U.S. House of Representatives, introduced the Keynote Speaker, Dr. Katrina Lantos Swett, Chair of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom and President, Lantos Foundation.
After the Keynote Address, James R. Rasband, Dean of the J. Reuben Clark Law School, introduced the International Religious Liberty Award, and Professor W. Cole Durham, Director of the International Center for Law and Religion Studies, presented the award to Professor Laycock.
The benediction was offered by Elder Ralph W. Hardy, former Area Seventy of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Douglas Laycock, a “towering figure in the law of religious liberty,” is Robert E. Scott Distinguished Professor of Law, Horace W. Goldsmith Research Professor of Law, and Professor of Religious Studies at the University of Virginia. One of the nation’s leading authorities on both religious liberty law and the law of remedies, Professor Laycock has testified frequently before Congress and has argued many cases in the courts, including the U.S. Supreme Court. He is the author of the leading casebook Modern American Remedies; the award-winning monograph The Death of the Irreparable Injury Rule; and many articles in the leading law reviews. He has co-edited a collection of essays, Same-Sex Marriage and Religious Liberty, and he recently published Religious Liberty, Volume I: Overviews and History, and Volume II: The Free Exercise Clause. These two volumes are the first half of a four-volume collection of his many writings on religious liberty.
Before joining the law faculty of the University of Virginia in 2010, Professor Laycock served as the Yale Kamisar Collegiate Professor of Law at the University of Michigan Law School. Prior to that he taught for twenty-five years at the University of Texas and for five years at the University of Chicago. He is vice president of the American Law Institute, a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the 2009 winner of the National First Freedom Award from the Council on America’s First Freedom. He earned his B.A. from Michigan State University and his J.D. from the University of Chicago Law School.