Marci A. Hamilton

Paul R. Verkuil Chair in Public Law

Education

B.A., 1979, Vanderbilt University

M.A., 1982, 1984, Pennsylvania State University

J.D., 1988, University of Pennsylvania

Areas of Expertise

Constitutional Law
First Amendment
Religion and the Law

Bio

MARCI A. HAMILTON is one of the United States’ leading church/state scholars and holds the Paul R. Verkuil Chair in Public Law at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, Yeshiva University. Her new blog with Professor Leslie Griffin on religious liberty, women’s rights, and children’s rights can be found at www.hamilton-griffin.com. She also hosts www.RFRAperils.com, which tracks free exercise statutes in all 50 states and the federal government. Professor Hamilton will publish God vs. the Gavel: The Perils of Extreme Religious Liberty (Cambridge) in Spring 2014. 

 

 

Professor Hamilton is also an author and lecturer on the protection of vulnerable children from institutions, and a national leader and advocate for legislative reform of statutes of limitation reform through her website, www.sol-reform.com.  She is the author of Justice Denied: What America Must Do to Protect Its Children (Cambridge), and is a bi-monthly columnist for www.justia.com/verdict.   

 

 

Professor Hamilton has been honored as one of Pennsylvania’s Women of the Year; received the National Crime Victim Bar Association’s Frank Carrington Champion of Civil Justice Award; the E. Nathaniel Gates Award for outstanding public advocacy and scholarship; and the Lifetime Achievement Award for Pro Bono Legal Service to veterans groups. She clerked for Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor.

 


Clerkships

• Hon. Sandra Day O'Connor, U.S. Supreme Court
• Hon. Edward R. Becker, U.S. Court of Appeals, Third Circuit

Honors and Awards

 • National Crime Victim Bar Association’s Frank Carrington Champion of Civil Justice Award, 2012
• Pennsylvania's Women of the Year, 2012 • Air Force Assn Lifetime Achievement Award
• Silver Medal, Foreword Magazine Political Science Book of the Year Award for God vs. the Gavel, 2005
• Nathaniel Gates Award, Cardozo School of Law

Notable Litigation

 • Currently challenging the constitutionality of RFRA’s successor, the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act in cases involving local governments and religious land use.
 • Lead counsel for the City of Boerne, Texas, in Boerne v. Flores, 521 U.S. 507 (1997), the seminal federalism and church/state case holding the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) unconstitutional.
 

Education

 • She received her J.D., magna cum laude, from the University of Pennsylvania Law School where she served as Editor-in-Chief of the University of Pennsylvania Law Review.  She also received her M.A. in Philosophy and M.A., high honors, in English (fiction writing) from Pennsylvania State University, and her B.A., summa cum laude, from Vanderbilt University.  She is a member of Phi Beta Kappa and Order of the Coif.

Publications

 The latest on child sex abuse SOLs from Prof. Marci Hamilton:

 

Statement of Marci A. Hamilton, Press Conference for Pennsylvania SOL Reform(January 23, 2013)

Boy Scouts of America Perversion Files Press Release (October 18, 2012)

SOL Update April 2012

Governor's Message and Signed SB2588 SDI HD3, now Hawaii Act 068 (April 24, 2012)

Analysis of Hawaii Act 068, Relating to Limitations of Actions (April 24, 2012)

What Is An SOL? (2010)

 


BOOKS

Justice Denied: What America Must Do to Protect Its Children

God vs. the Gavel: Religion and the Rule of Law

Fundamentalism, Politics and the Law (Marci A. Hamilton & Mark Rozell eds.)


BOOK CHAPTERS

Lynch v. Donnelly and Allegheny County v. ACLU: “Christ is Not a Turkey,” chapter in Law and Religion: Cases and Materials

The History of the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act, chapter in The RLUIPA Reader: Religious Land Uses, Zoning and the Courts

The Unintended Consequences RLUIPA Has Visited on Residential Neighborhood, chapter in The RLUIPA Reader: Religious Land Uses, Zoning and the

Courts
 
Click HERE for all book chapters.


OP-EDS

Legal Scholar: Ways to Curtail Sex Abuse

Is Penn State the Catholic Church?

The Law of the Land Trumps Your Faith: Town Clerks in New York Must Marry Gays or Quit

What Obama Should Have Said About Qur'an Burning

The Belgians Make Washington Look Bad

Learning From the Vatican's Problems: What the U.S. Must Do to Protect Children Now

The Sotomayor confirmation hearings Dust-Up, Day Two, Three


Abuse survivors: Markey bill our chance at justice


Click HERE for more op-eds.
 


ARTICLES AND ESSAYS

Employment Division v. Smith at the Supreme Court: The Justices, the Litigants, and the Doctrinal Discourse

The Endorsement Factor (2011)

The “Licentiousness” in Religious Organizations and Why it is Not Protected Under Religious Liberty Constitutional Provisions

The Rules Against Scandal and What They Mean for the First Amendment’s Religion Clauses

The Constitutional Limitations on Congress’s Power Over Local Land Use: Why the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act Is Unconstitutional


Click HERE for more articles and essays.


AMICUS BRIEFS

Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church v. EEOC, No. 10-553 (U.S., Aug. 9, 2011), Brief on Behalf of Amici Curiae

  • On behalf of: the National Center for Victims of Crime, Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests, Jewish Board of Advocates for Children, Inc., Child Protection Project, Survivors for Justice, the National Black Church Initiative, KidSafe Foundation, the Cardozo Advocates for Kids, the Foundation to Abolish Child Sex Abuse, and BishopAccountability.org.

Doe v. Boy Scouts of America, No. S058634 (Or. Oct. 12, 2010), Brief on Behalf of Amicus Curiae

  • On behalf of: National Center for Victims of Crime; Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests; Jewish Board of Advocates for Children, Inc.; Child Protection Project; Child Victims Voice; Crime Victims United; Oregon Abuse Advocates and Survivors in Service; Oregon Anti-Crime Alliance; and Oregon Trial Lawyers Association

Sheehan v. Oblates of St. Francis de Sales, No. 07C-11-234-CLS (Del. Aug. 9, 2010),Brief on Behalf of Amicus Curiae

  • On behalf of: Former Philadelphia District Attorney Lynne Abraham, the National Child Protection Training Center, The National Center for Victims of Crime, Child Protection Project, Jewish Board of Advocates for Children, Inc., Stop the Silence: Stop Child Sexual Abuse, Inc., BishopAccountability.org, Americans Against the Abuses of Polygamy, the Foundation to Abolish Child Sex Abuse, and the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests          

C.O. v. Benjamin Schragger and Alan & Ann Schragger, No. 2009-C-6008 (Pa. Ct. Com. Pleas Aug. 2, 2010), Brief on Behalf of Amicus Curiae

  • On behalf of: The National Center for Victims of Crime

Congregation Etz Chaim v. City of Los Angeles, No. CV 10-01587-CAS-E (C.D. Cal. May 2, 2011), Brief on Behalf of Amicus Curiae

  • On behalf of: League of Residential Neighborhood Advocates

Doe XIV v. Doe, No. 2009-CC-2796 (La. Feb. 19, 2010), Brief on Behalf of Amicus Curiae

  • On behalf of: Child Protection Project, Jewish Board of Advocates for Children, National Black Church Initiative, Children’s Healthcare Is a Legal Duty, Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP), Cardozo Advocates for Kids, Foundation to Abolish Child Sex Abuse, Americans Against Abuses of Polygamy, Child Victims Voice, and National Association to Prevent Sexual Abuse of Children (NAPSAC)

Prince of Peace v. Linklater, No. 66 (Md. Oct. 16, 2009), Brief on Behalf of Amicus Curiae

  • On behalf of: People for the American Way Foundation

Ramani v. Segelstein, No. 49341 (Nev. Oct. 12, 2009), Brief on Behalf of Amicus Curiae

  • On behalf of:The Jewish Board of Advocates for Children, Inc.; Survivors for Justice; The National Black Church Initiative; Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests; The National Association to Prevent Sexual Abuse of Children; Child Protection Project; The Foundation to Abolish Child Sex Abuse; The Cardozo Advocates for Kids; Sexual Violence Legal News; Children's Healthcare Is a Legal Duty; Americans Against Abuses of Polygamy; and Americans United for Separation of Church and State


TESTIMONY

Testimony Before the West Virginia House of Delegates on H.B. 2657, Establishing the West Virginia Religious Freedom and Restoration Act (February 23, 2012)

Testimony Before South Dakota House Judiciary Committee, on H.B. 1218, Rescinding the Statute of Limitations for Civil Actions Involving Child Sex Abuse (February 6, 2012)
 
Testimony Before Hawaii Senate Committee on Judiciary and Labor on S.B. 2588, Relative to the Statute of Limitations for Civil Actions Involving Child Sexual Abuse (February 3, 2012)

Testimony Before the New York City Council, Committee on Education, Relative to NYC Council Res. 1155-2011 (February 2, 2012)

Testimony Before Hawaii House of Rep. Committee on Human Services on H.B.1933 Relative to the Statute of Limitations for Civil Actions Involving Childhood Sexual Abuse (January 30, 2012, 8:30 a.m.)

Testimony Before the Pennsylvania Assembly Committee on Children and Youth Hearing Relative to Statute of Limitations Reform, December 5, 2011

Testimony before the New York Assembly Committee on Codes, Public Hearing Relative to the The Statute of Limitations Applicable to Sexual Abuse against Minors, April 29, 2011

Testimony Before the Hawaii House of Representatives Judiciary Committee on SB217.SD2. HD1, Relative to the Statute of Limitations for Civil Actions Involving Childhood Sexual Abuse (March 29, 2011,
3:30 p.m.)

Testimony Before the Hawaii House of Representatives Committee on Human Service on SB217.SD2, Relative to the Statute of Limitations for Civil Actions Involving Childhood Sexual Abuse (March 14, 2011, 9:00 a.m.)

Testimony Before the Guam Senate Committee on Economic Development, Health and Human Services, and Judiciary, Relative to Bill No. B034-31(COR): An Act to Amend Sec.11306 of Art. 3 (February 7, 2011)

Testimony Before the Connecticut State Joint Committee on Judiciary relative to Raised Bill No. HB-5473: An Act Concerning Actions to Recover Damages for the Sexual Abuse of a Minor (March 17, 2010)

Testimony Before the Arizona Senate Rules Committee, Relative to SB-1292: An Act Amending Child Sex Abuse Statutes of Limitations (March 14, 2010)

EXPERT REPORTS

In re: Reference Concerning the Constitutionality of Section 293 of the Criminal Code of Canada, R.S.C.1985, c. C-46, Vancouver Registry No. S097767 (Jul. 16, 2010, B.C.S.C.)
  (addressing constitutional issues relating to criminal prohibition on polygamy in context of  case before Supreme Court of British Columbia)

  • Affidavit #1 at the request of Stop Polygamy in Canada

Reply to Affidavits of Martha Ertman and Jonathan Turley, In re: Reference Concerning the Constitutionality of Section 293 of the Criminal Code of Canada, R.S.C.1985, c. C-46; In re: The Constitutional Question Act, R.S.B.C. 1996, C. 68; and In re: The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, Vancouver Registry No. S097767 (Nov. 2, 2010, B.C.S.C.)
 (addressing constitutional issues relating to criminal prohibition on polygamy in context of  case before Supreme Court of British Columbia)

  • Affidavit #2 at the Request of Stop Polygamy in Canada

CHILD SEX ABUSE LITIGATION

John Doe AP v. Roman Catholic Diocese of Saint Louis, Petition for Writ of Certiorari to the Unites States Supreme Court, Jan. 3, 2012

John Doe A v The Second Mile, Gerald Sandusky, the Pennslyvania State Univ., Court of Common Pleas, Philadelphia PA, November 30, 2011


COLUMNS -

Justia.com -  (http://verdict.justia.com/author/hamilton/)

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit Strikes Down Proposition 8: Three Key Elements of the Decision

New York City and State Consider Seeking to Reverse the Second Circuit's Decision in Bronx Household of Faith Case, Regarding Whether a Church Can Make a Public School Its House of Worship

In Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church and School v. EEOC, the Supreme Court Embraces a Narrow Ministerial Exception to Federal Anti-Discrimination Laws

2011's Lessons on How We Can Better Protect Children From Sexual Abuse

The Sandusky Case: Secrecy and Silence are a Child Predator's Best Friends, but Other Events the Same Day Show That Soon Our Justice System Will Reveal the Truth

Hawaii's Battle Over Its Statutes of Limitation for Child Sex Abuse: Why the Legislature was Right to Unanimously vote for Reform, and Why the Governor Should Not Fulfill His Veto Threat

Patheos.com  -  (http://www.patheos.com/About-Patheos/Marci-Hamilton.html)


Challenging the John Jay Report

Eliminate Statutes of Limitations in Childhood Sexual Abuse Cases: A Litmus Test for the Vatican

Isolationist Religious Communities and Liberty

Seeking Damages: "Sossamon v. Texas"

The Truth vs. Public Relations

FindLaw.com -  (http://writ.news.findlaw.com/hamilton/)

The Progress We've Made--and Haven't Yet Made--on Child-Sex-Abuse Statutes of Limitations: 2010, The Year in Review


Click HERE for more columns.

 


LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Time for the U.S. to Act Against Clerical Sex Abuse

Click HERE for more letters to the editor.


MEDIA APPEARANCES

CTV News
Report on Sandusky case blasts Penn State for child sex abuse cover up, July 14, 2012

Erin Burnett Out Front
   CNN, Nov. 30, 2011

Anderson Cooper , Nov. 14, 2011
   "What Laws Need to Change to  Protect Victims of Abuse?"

Legal Talk Network, Lawyer to Lawyer
    The Penn State Football Scandal

Bloomberg Law Podcast, November 15, 2011
     "Penn State's Duty to Report Abuse Not Crystal Clear"

New York Child Victims Act Press Conference, May 2011

American Constitution Society
   The Flaws of the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized      Persons Act (RLUIPA) , Oct. 2010

The Daily Show

The Today Show

BBC World News

CNN Headline News

Fox News

Click HERE for more media appearances.


QUOTES IN THE MEDIA

WHYY:  Newsworks Tonight
William Lynn Gets 3 to 6 Years in Philly Church Abuse Case
     by Elizabeth Fielder
"'I think this is a guide for the world,' says Marci Hamilton, the co-counsel in several civil cases brought by plaintiffs who allege abuse and cover-up by Philadelphia church officials. 'I do think that Seth Williams has set the standard so that prosecutors now know that they can get justice for victims of child sexual abuse,' Hamilton says. 'And prosecutors were afraid these kinds of prosecutions even 10 years ago.  They were elected officials and they were afraid of being targeted as being anti-Catholic.'"

The New York Daily News
Legal Experts Feel ex-FBI Director Did Not Delve Far Enough Into Jerry Sandusky's History of Abuse
    by Michael O'Keefe

"Law school professor Marci A. Hamilton gives former FBI director Louis Freeh’s report on Penn State’s sex-abuse scandal an 'incomplete,' and says it did not live up to its potential.  Hamilton, a professor at New York’s Cardozo School of Law and an advocate for sex-abuse victims, says the focus of Freeh’s investigation is far too narrow. 'It is an incomplete report,' Hamilton told the Daily News on Thursday."

The New York Times
Researchers See Decline In Child Sexual Abuse Rate
     by Erica Goode
"
'The effectiveness of those investments, said Marci A. Hamilton, a constitutional law professor and an advocate for children at Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, is evident, and can be seen in the trials in Pennsylvania. 'I think there’s more of a willingness of victims to come forward and more willingness of the support system of the victims to let them come forward,' she said. 'There was a time when if a victim came out, the universal response around them was, ‘You’ll get over it. Thank you for telling me but let’s move on,’' Ms. Hamilton said. 'The more public education you have about the consequences, the more willing spouses and parents are to say, first, I believe you; and, second, you need therapy because we all know that this has lifelong dangerous effects.'”

York Daily Record
    
ydr.com
Spanier could be charged in PSU Sex Abuse Scandal
"'I would assume he was already headed toward criminal charges,' attorney Marci Hamilton said. 'What it says to me is that Penn State is the same as any large institution, that the people at the top don't take seriously the safety of the children and keep thinking in the interests of the institution.'"
Philly.com
Limitations Must be Lifted for Victims' Sake
      by Ronnie Polaneczky, Philadelphia Daily News Columnist
"The answer, says attorney Marci Hamilton, is simple: Penn State University, as a taxpayer-funded institution, is accountable to the people of Pennsylvania. The Roman Catholic Church, as a monarchy, answers to no one, she says. Hamilton is author of the fabulous Justice Denied: What America Must Do to Protect Its Children. The book ought to be required reading for anyone who needs convincing that sexually abused kids deserve their day in court, no matter how old they are when they come to terms with what was done to them."

NPR (National Public Radio)
'Sister Wives' Family to Challenge Anti-Bigamy Law
       by Barbara Bradley Hagerty
Morning Edition, July 12, 2011

Philly.com
In Denver, Chaput Fought Bill on Abuse
      by Jeremy Roebuck, Philadelphia Inquirer Staff Writer
"Marci Hamilton, a Bucks county lawyer who has represented several victims of clergy abuse and whose 2008 book Justice Denied tracked statute-of-limitations fights across the country, described Chaput's outspokenness as just the first element in the Denver Archdiocese's multipronged opposition to the bill..."

Click HERE for more quotes in the media.

Contact Information

212.790.0215

 

Cardozo School of Law

55 Fifth Avenue, Room 404

New York, NY 10003

 

"Marci Hamilton is a nationally recognized religion/state scholar, and leading attorney in major clergy sex abuse cases"