Supreme Court Cases and Jewish Values

By :  The Jewish Theological Seminary Posted On Apr 10, 2018 | Segal Lecture in Law and Ethics | Social Justice

The Bernard G. Segal Memorial Lecture in Law and Ethics

Speaker: Seth P. Waxman, former Solicitor General of the United States and leading Supreme Court advocate

Three high-profile, momentous cases before the US Supreme Court:

  • Trump v. Hawaii: Should the administration’s so-called “travel ban” denying entry to nationals of eight designated countries stand?
  • Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission: Is the First Amendment violated by a state nondiscrimination law that requires a baker opposed to gay marriage to design a wedding cake for a gay couple?
  • McCoy v. Louisiana: May a criminal defense attorney admit a client’s guilt over the client’s objection if the attorney believes doing so would save the client’s life?

What are the constitutional and legal issues raised? And what Jewish values underlie the legal questions at play? 

About the Speaker

Solicitor General of the United States from 1997 to 2001, Seth P. Waxman is considered by many to be the premier Supreme Court advocate of his generation. Earlier this year, he delivered his 80th oral argument in the Supreme Court. A graduate summa cum laude of Harvard College and of the Yale Law School, he is a partner at Wilmer, Cutler, Pickering, Hale and Dorr and a member of the faculty at the Georgetown University Law Center. His clients range from financial institutions to consumer, industrial, and media companies; from death-row inmates to local, state, and national governments. Mr. Waxman devotes hundreds of hours each year to pro bono clients in cases involving religious liberty, discrimination, habeas corpus, individual rights, and criminal justice. He has long been involved in Jewish organizations.  

About the Segal Memorial Lecture

The annual Bernard G. Segal Memorial Lecture was established by JTS in honor of the late philanthropist and community leader. Mr. Segal was the first Jewish president of the American Bar Association and the first Jewish chancellor of the Philadelphia Bar Association.