Villanova Law Students Visit Supreme Court

This spring, Villanova Law students visited the Supreme Court of the United States on a trip for the Law and Religion course taught by Michael Moreland, university professor of law and religion and director of the Eleanor H. McCullen Center for Law, Religion and Public Policy.

Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. met with the 16 students and provided an overview of the Court’s current term, discussed recent First Amendment law and religion cases decided by the Court and took questions from the students. Afterward, the students visited the courtroom for a lecture by a member of the curator’s office.

“To hear Justice Alito speak about the current Court term and to engage with him personally on his writings was not just a law school highlight, but a life highlight,” said Ian Bussard ’24.

Another student, Nicole Cocco ’24, said the visit was “the pinnacle” of her law school experience. “It was a rare and incredible moment to hear one of our country’s most important figures speak, teach and interact with us.”

Lauren Di Lella ’24 agrees with her classmates. “We had the incredible opportunity to speak with Justice Alito about some of the issues the Court is hearing this term and ask him questions about some of his most well-known opinions in the law and religion area. What a privilege to travel to Washington, DC and meet a sitting Supreme Court Justice.”

The students also had lunch at the Jones Day law firm and met with Noel Francisco, partner-in-charge of Jones Day’s Washington office and former solicitor general of the United States.

“I am pleased to have had the opportunity to spend time in our nation’s capital with my students,” said Professor Moreland. “Many of the major cases about the First Amendment’s religion clauses we studied in our seminar were written by Justice Alito, so I was delighted that my students had the chance to meet with him at the Supreme Court. I am most grateful to Justice Alito for so generously taking time out of a busy day for us.”