Constitutional law/first amendment

“Laws are made for the government of actions, and while they cannot interfere with mere religious belief and opinions, they may with practices. . . . Can a man excuse his practices to the contrary because of his religious belief? To permit this would be to make the professed doctrines of religious belief superior to the law of the land, and in effect to permit every citizen to become a law unto himself.” Reynolds v. United States, 98 U.S. 145, 166-67 (1879).

The Constitution and the First Amendment do not shield religious institutions from liability for wrongdoing. I am uniquely qualified to handle the variety of constitutional challenges that religious institutions often raise in their defense of sexual abuse lawsuits.


Stephen C. Rubino
Stephen Rubino has argued and won First Amendment and other constitutional challenges in courts throughout the United States. Notably, Steve argued and won the case of McKelvey v. Pierce before the New Jersey Supreme Court, as well as the remanded case in F.G. vs. MacDonell.
I have partnered with noted constitutional scholar and First Amendment expert, Professor Marci A. Hamilton, Visiting Professor and Martin and Kathleen Crane Fellow at Princeton University’s Program for Law and Public Affairs and the Paul R. Verkuil Chair in Public Law, Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law. Before teaching, Professor Hamilton clerked for Justice Sandra Day O’Connor at the United States Supreme Court.

Marci A. Hamilton
In addition to consulting with my office, Professor Hamilton has consulted in clergy abuse cases across the country, notably in the San Diego Diocese, Portland Archdiocese and Spokane Diocese Bankruptcy Cases. She was the constitutional law litigator in the landmark decision in federal court, Melanie H. -- which upheld California’s “window” legislation against constitutional attack – and other California courts addressing the window. Professor Hamilton has advocated for victims of clergy sexual abuse at the United States Supreme Court and many state supreme courts. Professor Hamilton is the author of God vs. the Gavel: Religion and the Rule of Law (Cambridge 2005, paperback 2007) and the forthcoming book, How To Deliver Us From Evil: What America Must Do to Protect Its Children (Cambridge 2008). She frequently testifies before Congress and state legislatures on the constitutionality of pending legislation, including window legislation that permits childhood sexual abuse victims to have their day in court.