Around the Institute: What’s Happening at First Liberty

May 3, 2024
Around the Institute | First Liberty Insider

A weekly roundup of exciting things happening at First Liberty.

A Warm Welcome to Our Newest Attorney

Please join us in welcoming Erin Smith, who’s joining our legal team as Associate Counsel.

Erin earned her law degree from the Oklahoma City University School of Law. She previously worked for the Oklahoma Department of Education as well as the state’s Attorney General’s Office. Erin was a legal intern at First Liberty in 2020.

Erin, we’re tremendously excited about having you on our team and are praying for you as you enter into your new role.

Associate Counsel Erin Smith | First Liberty Insider

CRCD Co-Sponsors Event Alongside James Wilson Institute

First Liberty’s Center for Religion, Culture & Democracy recently co-sponsored a conference alongside the James Wilson Institute (JWI). The event was held to honor their new Co-Director, Prof. Gerry Bradley.

JWI is a highly respected Washington, D.C. think tank. Its mission is to restore to a new generation of lawyers, judges and citizens the understanding of the American Founders about the first principles of our law and the moral grounds of their own rights.

We also partner with JWI to co-sponsor the James Wilson Fellowship, a week-long program in Washington, D.C. that gives high-achieving students an opportunity to network, not only with other like-minded members, but with some of the brightest academic and legal minds in the country. Through the Fellowship, young leaders learn the real-life applications of vital founding principles on our body of law and how to use them in the defense of religious liberty.

Philadelphia Court Forced Jewish Doctor to Choose Between Faith and Justice

Attorney Kayla Toney recently published an op-ed for TownHall discussing a friend-of-the-court brief that First Liberty filed supporting a Jewish doctor. Toney writes:

“No American should be forced to choose between two precious constitutional rights: whether to violate his faith or to attend his own trial. Yet that is the unconstitutional choice that a Philadelphia court forced upon Dr. Peter Gross. Dr. Gross is an observant Jew whose faith is central to his life. After he was sued for medical malpractice, the Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas scheduled his jury trial on Yom Kippur—the holiest day of the Jewish calendar. The court refused to move the trial one day, and it removed a Jewish juror because she could not attend either. This was an egregious violation of the Doctor’s First Amendment rights.”

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