Legal Scholar Frederick Lane to Discuss Election

Stephen Yagielowicz
LOS ANGELES — Constitutional scholar, attorney, and historical political analyst, Frederick Lane, will hold a lecture next month on the 2008 election, the Supreme Court, and church-state issues, in an upcoming appearance in New York.

Lane, an XBIZ contributor, is the author of "The Court and the Cross: The Religious Right's Crusade to Reshape the Supreme Court" — and according to the scholar, this is the election that the Religious Right has been working towards for the past thirty years.

"It is possible, if not likely, that two and or even three members of the Court's liberal wing could retire during the next administration," Lane said. "Senator McCain and his vice-presidential pick, Gov. Sarah Palin, have stated repeatedly that they would nominate justices in the mold of John Roberts, Samuel Alito, and William Rehnquist."

"If they are in a position to carry out that promise," Lane added, "their appointments will tilt the Court even more sharply to the right for at least a generation."

In The Court and the Cross, Lane discusses how such a shift would have a profound effect on a wide range of key social issues, including medical privacy and abortion, the teaching of evolution and prayer in public schools, government-sponsored display of the Ten Commandments (already on the Court's docket this year), employment discrimination by religious organizations, and the public funding of religious education and even religion itself.

"How the Court evolves depends as much on the 2008 Senate races as the presidential election," Lane said. "If the make-up of the Senate changes as much as the polls suggest, it will be that much less likely that hard-line conservative nominees will be confirmed even if Senator McCain wins and sends their names to the Hill."

Lane is also author of "The Decency Wars: The Campaign to Cleanse American Culture," "The Naked Employee: How Technology Is Compromising Workplace Privacy," and "Obscene Profits: The Entrepreneurs of Privacy in the Cyber Age."

He will appear at the All Souls Unitarian Church, on 80th and Lexington Ave., in New York, on November 13, from 6:30-8 p.m. The event is co-sponsored by the Center for Inquiry "Voices of Reason" lecture series and the All Souls Unitarian Church. A $10 admission fee will be charged, with a book-signing to follow the lecture.