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Stetson Law Review Symposium - Agenda

Law Review Symposium
Friday, April 20, 2018
8:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Gulfport, Florida

When a town council denies a housing permit for a group home for intellectually disabled persons, or a state law disallows sexual orientation as a ground for alleging illegal discrimination, how should a court analyze a claim that the government is engaging in unconstitutional discrimination? In recent years, courts have often struck down such laws on the ground that they are infected by unconstitutional “animus.” Even more recently, a number of lower courts have used the animus idea to strike down the President’s executive orders on immigration.

In Animus: A Short Introduction to Bias in the Law, Professor William D. Araiza provides an intuitive, accessible account of the Supreme Court’s emerging animus doctrine. The symposium at Stetson Law School examines Professor Araiza’s arguments, and, more generally, the concept of animus in constitutional law. A group of nationally-known scholars from fields as diverse as religion law and workplace law will consider how the animus idea can usefully shape constitutional law in future years.

Friday, April 20, 2018

8:30 a.m. Light Breakfast

9:00 – 9:15 a.m. Welcome

9:15 – 10:45 a.m. Panel 1: Animus and Its Discontents

Is animus a viable concept in constitutional law generally, and equal protection law in particular, or is it plagued by flaws that render it a constitutional dead-end?

10:45 – 11:00 a.m. Break for coffee

11:00 – 12:45 p.m. Panel 2: Animus and the Religion Clauses

What role can the concept of animus play in Establishment and Free Exercise Clause doctrine? Does the religion context change the nature of the animus inquiry?

12:45 – 1:15 p.m. Lunch

1:15 – 1:45 p.m. Lunch Keynote Professor William D. Araiza

2:00 – 3:45 p.m. Panel 3: Animus in Various Contexts

How does animus play out in various subject-area contexts? What commonalities and differences arise when animus is applied in different situations?

3:45 – 4:00 p.m. Concluding Thoughts