The Law, Rights, and Religion Project
Formerly The Public Rights/Private Conscience Project
The Law, Rights, and Religion Project, formerly the Public Rights/Private Conscience Project, is a law and policy think tank based at Columbia Law School that promotes social justice, freedom of religion, and religious plurality. We develop strategic thought leadership on the complex ways in which religious liberty rights interact with other fundamental rights.
Our mission is to ensure that laws and policies reflect the understanding that the right to free exercise of religion protects all religious beliefs and communities, including non-believers; requires respect for religious plurality and equality principles; and must be balanced against other liberty and equality rights where they are in conflict. Our work takes the form of legal research and scholarship, public policy interventions, advocacy support, and academic and media publications.
Policy Papers, Amicus Briefs, and Testimony
The Racial Justice Program
New Year, New Name: The Public Rights/Private Conscience Project is now the Law, Rights, and Religion Project
Announcement and Press Release regarding the Public Rights/Private Conscience Project's re-naming to the Law, Rights, and Religion Project at Columbia Law School, and the launch of the new site, https://lawrightsreligion.law.columbia.edu on January 24, 2019. Quotes from Faculty Director Professor Katherine Franke, and Law, Rights, and Religion Project Director Elizabeth Reiner Platt.
Professor Katherine Franke Comments on Federal Court Conviction of Four Migrants' Rights Activists for Leaving Water and Food in the Arizona Desert
Professor Katherine Franke of Columbia Law School issued a public statement in response to Magistrate Judge Bernardo Velasco's verdict in the case of No More Deaths/No Más Muertes activists, Natalie Renee Hoffman, Oona Meagan Holcomb, Madeleine Abbe Huse, and Zaachilda Isabel Orozco-McCormick (No. M 17-00339-N/A(BPV)).
Religion, Discrimination, and Government Funding: Enforcing Civil Rights Law After Masterpiece Cakeshop and Trinity Lutheran
A memorandum published by the Law, Rights, and Religion Project at Columbia Law School (formerly the Public Rights/Private Conscience Project) that clarifies the responsibility of state and local human rights agencies and commissions to robustly enforce civil rights laws—particularly in the context of government-funded social services—in the wake of the Supreme Court’s decisions in Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission and Trinity Lutheran Church of Columbia, Inc. v. Comer