Conference To Address How the Law Treats Hate

Professors Deborah Hellman, Micah Schwartzman Among Speakers at Karsh Center Event
Man holding "Stop Anti-Semitism Now" sign at protest

Photo by Jeenah Moon/Getty Images

September 3, 2020

With anti-Semitism surging globally, scholars are convening to discuss the role of law in combating religious and racial hatred, at a conference Sept. 10 co-hosted by the Karsh Center for Law and Democracy at the University of Virginia School of Law.

“How the Law Treats Hate: Antisemitism and Anti-Discrimination Reconsidered,” also sponsored by UVA’s Jewish Studies Program and Religion, Race & Democracy Lab, will begin online at 12:15 p.m.

The event, which is open to the public, brings together leading scholars of law, history and Jewish studies to rethink pressing contemporary questions about antisemitism’s relationship to other forms of discrimination, the proper boundaries between hate speech and free speech, and the Jewish relationship to American civil rights and international law.

“This is a critical moment to consider these issues,” said Professor Micah Schwartzman ’05, director of the Karsh Center and a speaker at the event. “There are pressing questions about the relationship between anti-Semitism, hate speech and religious freedom — and how all of these issues are related to anti-discrimination law.”

The Karsh Center is a nonpartisan legal institute that promotes civil discourse, civic engagement, ethics and integrity in public office, and respect for the rule of law.


Thursday, Sept. 10

12:15 p.m.

Panel 1 | How Do We Define Anti-Jewish Discrimination? The Puzzle of Antisemitism

  • Deborah Hellman, David Lurton Massee, Jr., Professor of Law, University of Virginia School of Law
  • James Loeffler, Jay Berkowitz Professor of Jewish History, University of Virginia
  • David N. Myers, Professor & Sady and Ludwig Kahn Chair in Jewish History, University of California, Los Angeles
  • Chair: Orit Rozin, Associate Professor of History, Tel Aviv University


2 p.m.

Panel 2 | How Can Law Protect Groups? American and International Perspectives

  • David J. Luban, University Professor and Professor of Law and Philosophy, Georgetown University Law Center; Visiting Professor, University of Virginia School of Law
  • Nomi Stolzenberg, Nathan and Lilly Shapell Chair in Law, University of Southern California Gould School of Law
  • Chair: William Forbath, Lloyd M. Bentsen Chair in Law and Associate Dean for Research, University of Texas School of Law


3:30 p.m.

Panel 3 | Can We Move Beyond Race and Religion? Jewish Identity & American Civil Rights Law

  • Elizabeth Katz J.D.-M.A. ’09, Associate Professor of Law, Washington University in St. Louis School of Law
  • James Loeffler, Jay Berkowitz Professor of Jewish History, University of Virginia
  • Chair: Laura Weinrib, Professor of Law, Harvard Law School; Suzanne Young Murray Professor, Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study


4:45 p.m.

Panel 4 | Closing Conversation

  • Dahlia Lithwick, Senior Writer,; Host, “Amicus”
  • Micah Schwartzman ’05, Director, Karsh Center for Law and Democracy; Hardy Cross Dillard Professor of Law; Martha Lubin Karsh and Bruce A. Karsh Bicentennial Professor of Law; University of Virginia School of Law


Founded in 1819, the University of Virginia School of Law is the second-oldest continuously operating law school in the nation. Consistently ranked among the top law schools, Virginia is a world-renowned training ground for distinguished lawyers and public servants, instilling in them a commitment to leadership, integrity and community service.

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