For Immediate Release
Further Information: Contact Joseph Giomboni
Public Relations Office, (570) 208-5958

Sept. 7, 2016 - Atty. Robert Vischer, Dean and Mengler Chair in Law, University of St. Thomas in Minnesota, will explore the tension between individual autonomy and state power during the Constitution Day Lecture, at 7 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 19, in the Burke Auditorium at King’s College. 

In a free public lecture titled “Conscience and the Common Good,” Vischer will focus on recent constitutional debates about religious liberty. According to Vischer, the formation and expression of conscience occurs through relationships, and so people need to protect relationships like family, association, or church, in order to protect conscience. The Constitution provides tools through which the institutions that make up the space between person and state can be protected, but their ultimate flourishing requires a political culture that values their role in American society.

Vischer came to St. Thomas from St. John's University Law School, where he was an Assistant Professor of Law and Fellow of the Vincentian Center for Church and Society. Previously, Vischer practiced corporate litigation at Kirkland & Ellis in Chicago. He received his bachelor’s degree, summa cum laude, from the University of New Orleans, and his Juris Doctorate, cum laude, from Harvard Law School, where he was an editor of the “Harvard Law Review.”

Vischer’s scholarship explores the intersection of law, religion, and public policy, with a particular focus on the religious and moral dimensions of professional identity. His scholarship has appeared in several notable academic journals, including “Georgetown Journal of Legal Ethics,” “Notre Dame Law Review,” “Journal of Law & Religion,” “Journal of Catholic Social Thought,” and Journal of Catholic Legal Studies.” He has published the books “Martin Luther King Jr. and the Morality of Legal Practice: Lessons in Love and Justice,” and “Conscience and the Common Good: Reclaiming the Space Between Person and State.” 

The Burke Auditorium is located in the William G. McGowan School of Business on North River Street. Parking will be available in on-campus lots. The lecture is co-sponsored by the College’s McGowan Center for Ethics and Social Responsibility and History Department. For more information, contact Dr. Bernard Prusak, director of the McGowan Center for Ethics and Social Responsibility, at 208-5900, ext. 5689 or e-mail

Robert Vischer, Dean and Mengler Chair in Law, University of St. Thomas