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Human Rights

The right to moral equality and moral freedom

Michael J. Perry
Professor Perry has written prolifically on the intersection of religion, morals, politics, and the law. Since 1982, he’s written 13 books on these topics. They are: The Constitution, the Courts, and Human Rights (Yale, 1982); Morality, Politics, and Law (Oxford, 1988); Love and Power: The Role of Religion and Morality in American Politics (Oxford, 1991); The Constitution in the Courts: Law or Politics? (Oxford, 1994); Religion in Politics: Constitutional and Moral Perspectives (Oxford, 1997); The Idea of Human Rights: Four Inquiries (Oxford, 1998); We the People: The Fourteenth Amendment and the Supreme Court (Oxford, 1999); Under God? Religious Faith and Liberal Democracy (Cambridge, 2003); Toward a Theory of Human Rights: Religion, Law, Courts (Cambridge, 2007); Constitutional Rights, Moral Controversy, and the Supreme Court (Cambridge, 2009); The Political Morality of Liberal Democracy (Cambridge, 2010); Human Rights in the Constitutional Law of the United States (Cambridge, 2013); and A Global Political Morality: Human Rights, Democracy, and Constitutionalism (Cambridge, 2017). He has also published more than 85 articles and essays.

Perry is a Robert W. Woodruff Professor, the highest faculty honor the University bestows. He is also a senior fellow at Emory University’s Center for the Study of Law and Religion and co-editor of the Journal of Law and Religion.

Perry served as law clerk both to US District Judge Jack B. Weinstein and US Circuit Judge Shirley M. Hufstedler. His teaching career began at the Ohio State University Moritz College of Law. Before joining Emory in 2003, Perry held the University Distinguished Chair in Law at Wake Forest University. He was also the inaugural Howard J. Trienens Chair in Law at Northwestern University where he taught for fifteen years. Perry has been a visiting professor at Yale University, Tulane University, New York Law School, the University of Tokyo, the University of Alabama, the University of Western Ontario, and the University of Dayton. Additionally, he was the University Distinguished Visiting Professor in Law and Peace Studies at the University of San Diego for three consecutive fall terms, where he taught international human rights.

Select Publications

A Global Political Morality: Human Rights, Democracy, and Constitutionalism (Cambridge University Press 2017)

Human Rights in the Constitutional Law of the United States (Cambridge University Press 2013)

The Political Morality of Liberal Democracy (Cambridge University Press 2010)

Religious Freedom as Moral Freedom, in a forthcoming book on freedom of religion (Jasper Doomen & Mirjam van Schaik eds., 2021)

Two Constitutional Rights, Two Constitutional Controversies, 52 Connecticut Law Review (forthcoming, 2021)

The Morality of Human Rights. 42 Human Rights Quarterly 434 (2020)

Conscience v. Access and the Morality of Human Rights, With Particular Reference to Same-Sex Marriage, in Religious Freedom, LGBT Rights, and the Prospects for Common Ground (William N. Eskridge, Jr. & Robin Fretwell Wilson eds., 2019).

On the Constitutionality and Political Morality of Granting Conscience-Protecting Exemptions Only to Religious Believers, in Religious Exemptions (Kevin Vallier & Michael Weber eds., 2018)

Why Excluding Same-Sex Couples from Civil Marriage Violates the Constitutional Law of the United States. 2014 Illinois Law Review 1887 (2014)

Freedom of Conscience as Religious and Moral Freedom. 29 Journal of Law and Religion 124 (2014)