Barry McNamara  |   Published April 15, 2021

First Amendment Focus of Law Day

Law Day talk on April 21 will focus on “What Is the Free Exercise of Religion? Religious Liberty and the American Constitution.”

MONMOUTH, Ill. – A legal and religious scholar will be featured as Monmouth College marks its annual observance of Law Day.

VINCENT MUNOZ: Law Day speaker is the Tocqueville Associate Professor of Religion & Public Li... VINCENT MUNOZ: Law Day speaker is the Tocqueville Associate Professor of Religion & Public Life and Concurrent Associate Professor of Law at the University of Notre Dame.A national day meant to reflect on the rule of law and the importance of law in society, Law Day was established in 1958. The annual date is May 1, but the Monmouth College event will be held via Zoom at 7 p.m. April 21.

The guest speaker is Vincent Phillip Muñoz, the Tocqueville Associate Professor of Religion & Public Life and Concurrent Associate Professor of Law at the University of Notre Dame. Titled “What Is the Free Exercise of Religion? Religious Liberty and the American Constitution,” his talk is free and open to the public.

The Zoom link to his talk can be found here. The passcode is LawDay2021.

Monmouth political science professor Andre Audette, who helped organize the event, said the Constitution, established in 1789, was far ahead of its time.

“The American Constitution was very unique when it was first written and is indeed actually pretty unique today in many respects. It devised a lot of new systems with separation of powers, the checks and balances.” Andre Audette


“The American Constitution was very unique when it was first written and is indeed actually pretty unique today in many respects,” he said. “It devised a lot of new systems with separation of powers, the checks and balances. It set up a very unique system of government and was one of the very early movements toward democracy around the world.”

That said, Audette noted the First Amendment, which prevents the government from making laws which regulate an establishment of religion, or that would prohibit the free exercise of religion, is “tricky.”

“We have to think about what actually is a religion, how do we define that and then how do we put that into practice regarding laws in the country,” he said. “We can usually count on just about every year there’s going to be a religion case before the Supreme Court.”

Muñoz is the founding director of Notre Dame’s undergraduate minor in constitutional studies and also directs the university’s Tocqueville Program for Inquiry into Religion and Public Life.

He writes and teaches across the fields of constitutional law, American politics and political philosophy, with a focus on religious liberty and the American founding. His first book, God and the Founders: Madison, Washington and Jefferson, won the Hubert Morken Award from the American Political Science Association for the best publication on religion and politics in 2009 and 2010.

Muñoz has been awarded a National Endowment for the Humanities fellowship to support his current project, a scholarly monograph on the natural right of religious liberty and the original meaning of the First Amendment’s religion clauses.

Back to News & Events

Did you know?

  • <aside class="factoid-item"><div class="factoid-item-text"><p><strong>Monmouth College is the birthplace of the women’s fraternity movement. Pi Beta Phi, the first such collegiate women’s organization, was founded at Monmouth in 1867. It was followed three years later by Kappa Kappa Gamma. The two pioneering organizations today boast a total of 275 active chapters nationwide.</strong></p></div><div class="factoid-item-links"><ul><li class="lw_related_page"><a href="/student-life/sororities-fraternities/" target="_blank">Sororities & Fraternities</a></li></ul></div></aside>
  • <aside class="factoid-item"><div class="factoid-item-text"><p> Monmouth College covers the cost for all current students to get a U.S. passport. Unlock access to over 198 different countries! We’ll even help with the paperwork :)</p></div><div class="factoid-item-links"><ul><li class="lw_related_page"><a href="/academics/study-abroad/" target="_blank">Study Abroad</a></li></ul></div></aside>
  • <aside class="factoid-item"><div class="factoid-item-text"><p> We’re no stranger to winning. Last year the Fighting Scots won Midwest Conference championships in Football, Women’s Soccer, Women’s Basketball and Men’s Track and Field. </p></div><div class="factoid-item-links"><ul><li class="lw_related_urls"><a href="https://monmouthscots.com/" target="_blank">Fighting Scots</a></li></ul></div></aside>
  • <aside class="factoid-item"><div class="factoid-item-text"><p> Monmouth College offers several international trips each year during 2-week Scots Terms in January and May. Recently students have traveled to Botswana, Greece, Scotland, Japan, and more. </p></div><div class="factoid-item-links"><ul><li class="lw_related_urls"><a href="https://monmouthcollege.edu/offices/global-engagement/" target="_blank">Scots Term</a></li></ul></div></aside>
  • <aside class="factoid-item"><div class="factoid-item-text"><p> We offer a certified Peace Corps Preparation program that gives Peace Corps bound graduates a leg up in the application process.</p></div><div class="factoid-item-links"><ul><li class="lw_related_page"><a href="/academics/peace-corps-prep/" target="_blank">Peace Corps Prep</a></li></ul></div></aside>
  • <aside class="factoid-item"><div class="factoid-item-text"><p> 99% of Monmouth students received some type of scholarship or financial assistance.</p></div><div class="factoid-item-links"><ul><li class="lw_related_page"><a href="/offices/student-financial-planning/types-of-aid/scholarships/" target="_blank">Scholarships</a></li></ul></div></aside>
  • <aside class="factoid-item"><div class="factoid-item-text"><p> Monmouth College offers unique academic minors in Global Public Health and Global Food Security for students who want to use their education to address global challenges. </p></div><div class="factoid-item-links"><ul><li class="lw_related_page"><a href="/academics/global-public-health/" target="_blank">Global Public Health</a></li><li class="lw_related_page"><a href="/academics/global-food-security/" target="_blank">Global Food Security</a></li></ul></div></aside>
  • <aside class="factoid-item"><div class="factoid-item-text"><p> 98% of Monmouth graduates were employed or enrolled in graduate school within six months of graduation.</p></div><div class="factoid-item-links"><ul><li class="lw_related_page"><a href="/wackerle-center/career-services/" target="_blank">Career Preparation</a></li></ul></div></aside>
  • <aside class="factoid-item"><div class="factoid-item-text"><p> Monmouth College has an educational garden and 6.7 acre farm. Students grow and harvest fruits and vegetables to sell at the local farmer’s market. </p></div><div class="factoid-item-links"><ul><li class="lw_related_urls"><a href="https://monmouthcollege.edu/academics/only-at-monmouth/educational-garden-farm/" target="_blank">Garden & Farm</a></li></ul></div></aside>
  • <aside class="factoid-item"><div class="factoid-item-text"><p> Monmouth College is proudly test optional. Applicants may choose whether or to submit SAT or ACT scores for admission and scholarship consideration. </p></div><div class="factoid-item-links"><ul><li class="lw_related_page"><a href="/admission/apply/test-optional/" target="_blank">Test Optional</a></li></ul></div></aside>
  • <aside class="factoid-item"><div class="factoid-item-text"><p> Monmouth College has an active Pipe & Drum Band. Each year on Scholar’s Day in April the bagpipers wake students up at 6:00 a.m. by playing in the residence halls!</p></div><div class="factoid-item-links"><ul><li class="lw_related_page"><a href="/academics/music/pipe-band/" target="_blank">Pipe Band</a></li></ul></div></aside>