Regent University School of Law (LAW) holds fast to its traditions and values stemming from the biblical mandate in Isaiah 1:17: seeking justice and encouraging the oppressed.
This October, however, LAW paid tribute to another tradition: the Regent University Law Review. In partnership with the Regent Law Federalist Society, on October 1 LAW hosted the 2016 Regent University Law Review Symposium, titled “First Amendment post-Obergefell: the Clash of Enumerated & Unenumerated Rights.”
The symposium’s first panel was on education and the effect of the Supreme Court’s Obergefell v. Hodges opinion on religious universities and law schools.
Participation in the panel included LAW dean, Michael Hernandez; Canadian Counsel of Christian Charities’ Barry Bussey; professor at Duquesne Law, Bruce Ledewitz; and professor at St. Mary’s Law, Bill Piatt.
A second panel focused on Obergefell’s effect on the First Amendment rights of religious objectors in for-profit companies, non-profit entities and churches. Speakers on this topic included Family Research Council’s Travis Weber; First Liberty Institute’s Chelsey Youman; and Alliance Defending Freedom’s Caleb Dalton.
This year marks the Law Review’s celebration of its 25th anniversary. Its first issue was published in 1991, and since then, the Law Review has completed 28 volumes encompassing 390 articles.
Attending the celebration was Regent LAW alumnus, Daniel Kelly ’91, who was appointed justice for the Supreme Court Justice for the State of Wisconsin in summer 2016. Kelly was the Regent University Law Review’s first-ever editor-in-chief.
“When I first accepted this invitation, I thought, ‘25 years is quite a long time for the Law Review to have been in existence,” said Kelly. “This thought was immediately interrupted with a second, which was the fact that as much as this birth coincided with my graduation from my beloved alma mater, 25 years isn’t really long at all.”
Whether he perceives the passing of those 25 years since he was last on campus as long or short, Kelly was quick to admit that he hardly recognized the school once he returned. “I have the fondest memories of this place and my time here,” said Kelly. “And I don’t mean to sound like a stereotypical uncle upon seeing his nieces and nephews after an extended period of absence, but my, how you’ve grown!”
And though the buildings have changed, and the student body is at its largest-ever, Kelly explained that the important things, such as the purpose, spirit and fellowship that made Regent unique was still apparent to this day.
He thanked those in the Regent Law Review’s past – including associate vice president for Academic Affairs, Doug Cook – who championed the importance of the Law Review in its early days. Kelly also charged the current and future leaders of the Law Review to continue the “noble cause” with excellence.
“May the Regent University Law Review always be blessed with editors who care about it as much as the ones it has today,” said Kelly. “May its contribution and the influence it’s had over the last 25 years grow as quickly and surely as it has grown it its first. And now, may God bless you, this university and the work of your hands.”
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