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Michael  Moreland, JD, PhD - Villanova University. Villanova, PA, US

Michael Moreland, JD, PhD Michael  Moreland, JD, PhD

University Professor of Law and Religion; Director, Eleanor H. McCullen Center for Law, Religion and Public Policy | Charles Widger School of Law | Villanova University


Michael Moreland, JD, PhD, is an expert in the areas of law and religion, free speech, constitutional law and bioethics.






Addressing Justice Kennedy's Retirement (June 2018) Possible SCOTUS nominees (July 2018)



Areas of Expertise (11)

Brett Kavanaugh

Anthony Kennedy


First Amendment


Constitutional Law

Separation of Powers

Supreme Court

Law and Religion

Free Speech

Travel Ban


Professor Moreland is an expert on topics related to law and religion, free speech, constitutional law, tort law, and bioethics. Moreland previously served as Associate Director for Domestic Policy at the White House under President George W. Bush, where he worked on a range of legal policy issues, including criminal justice, immigration, civil rights and liability reform.

Education (4)

University of Michigan Law School: JD

Boston College: PhD

Boston College: MA

University of Notre Dame: BA

Affiliations (5)

  • AALS Law and Religion Section
  • Witherspoon Institute (Princeton, NJ) Task Force on Conscience Protection
  • Saint Thomas More Society of Philadelphia, Board of Governors
  • Federalist Society, Religious Liberties Practice Group Executive Committee
  • Peer Reviewer: Cambridge University Press, Harvard University Press, Journal of Law and Religion, Journal of Catholic Social Thought, Journal of the American Academy of Religion, Theological Studies

Select Media Appearances (6)

Abortion ban aims for high court, but won’t get there soon

The Associated Press  


“You do see consistently in the chief justice’s career a willingness to go incrementally and only decide what the court needs to resolve in the case before it,” said Michael Moreland, a Villanova University law professor. Roberts also is aware of the questions the court would face if a conservative majority of justices, all appointed by Republican presidents, were to reverse the abortion decisions, Moreland said.

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Families can sue gun maker for Sandy Hook school massacre: court



Michael Moreland, a professor at Villanova Law School in Pennsylvania, said he expected gun victims to face a difficult legal battle given the broad federal protection for gun manufacturers. The U.S. Supreme Court has trended toward rejecting state law claims that are barred by federal law, he said.

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The Kavanaugh/Ford Hearings

WHYY Radio Times  


The back-to-back testimony of Christine Blasey Ford and Brett Kavanaugh about an alleged sexual assault before the Senate Judiciary committee yesterday has put Judge Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court nomination in jeopardy. This hour, we’ll discuss what we learned from hearings, how its playing out across the country, and the political implications. We’ll be joined by Laura Little, professor of law at Temple University School of Law, and Michael Moreland, professor of law and religion at Villanova University.

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What’s next after Catholic Church sexual abuse report? Advocates want stricter laws.

The Washington Post  


But legal experts say the grand jury report will lend new momentum to statute-reform efforts that have been percolating in Pennsylvania and beyond for years. “This will reignite these battles at the state level,” said Michael Moreland, a law professor at Villanova University, a Catholic school outside Philadelphia.

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Supreme Court Upholds Trump Travel Ban, Strikes Down California Law Regulating Pregnancy Clinics

NPR's On Point  online


The Supreme Court announced decisions in two major cases today, and each could have significant implications down the road. In Trump v. Hawaii, more commonly known as the Trump travel ban case, the court ruled 5-4 to uphold the travel ban. In a second 5-4 decision, the court found that California could not compel pregnancy centers to provide information about abortion. We talk with legal experts about how the court reached each decision, and what the future ramifications of those decisions might be. Guests include Michael Moreland, professor of law and religion at Villanova University.

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Supreme Court Inaction Could Open New Front in Gerrymandering War



State courts could be a new battleground for groups challenging voter maps after the U.S. Supreme Court opted against intervening in a partisan gerrymandering fight in Pennsylvania … Decisions from state Supreme Courts based on state constitutions are typically insulated from U.S. Supreme Court review, Michael Moreland, a constitutional scholar at Villanova University’s Charles Widger School of Law in Villanova, Pa., told Bloomberg Law.

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Select Academic Articles (5)

A History of the U.S. Supreme Court’s Abortion Jurisprudence (Book Chapter) Perspectives on Abortion

Alireza Bagheri


Justice, Love, and Duties of Care in Tort Law (Book Chapter) Agape and Law

Robert Cochran, Zachary Calo


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Institutional Conscience: From Free Exercise to Freedom of Association and Church Autonomy The Conscience of the Institution

Michael Moreland


Ethical and Legal Issues in Assisted Ventilation Assisted Ventilation of the Neonate

Michael Moreland, John Paris, SJ, and Michael Schreiber


A Legal Revolution? The Bush Administration’s Effect on the Judiciary and Civil Justice Reform Judging Bush

Michael Moreland, Robert Maranto, Tom Lansford, Jeremy Johnson