Dr. Jay Sekulow Brings Washington Legal Theory, Politics to Gustavus Students

Posted on March 20th, 2016 by

Dr. Jay Sekulow meets with class on Tuesday, March 15.

Dr. Jay Sekulow meets with a Gustavus class on Tuesday, March 15.

Gustavus Adolphus College recently hosted Dr. Jay Sekulow, noted Supreme Court litigator and #1 New York Times-bestselling author, as the 2016 Lindau Resident in Conservative Thought.

Sekulow, who has argued 12 cases in front of the Supreme Court, is the chief counsel of the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ). A respected conservative thought leader and prominent commentator on public and foreign policy, he is known for his legal protection of religious liberty and constitutional freedoms.

During his two-and-a-half day visit to campus, Sekulow led discussions in six classes and met formally and informally with students and student organizations. He also held office hours to serve as a resource for student projects and assignments.

“Students were able to ask questions and to participate in discussions about important issues facing the U.S. and the world,” Gustavus political science professor and faculty host Kate Knutson said. “I was particularly excited about Dr. Sekulow’s visit because he and the ACLJ have played a major role in shaping both domestic and international policy over the past three decades on issues ranging from free speech to religious liberty abroad.”

The class sessions consisted of lively discussion on topics ranging from presidential elections, Supreme Court nominations, and religious freedom, to the rise of ISIS and Sekulow’s legal work and negotiations both behind the scenes and in the spotlight.

“The students were incredibly prepared for our conversations,” Sekulow said. “It was a wonderful experience.”

“The formal class sessions and more informal office hours allowed me to critically engage with Jay Sekulow in a way that allowed me to understand and critique both his opinions and my own,” senior political science honors major Nate Long said. “I count this year’s Lindau Residency as one of the truly valuable experiences during my time as a student.”

In the final class session of his visit, Sekulow met with a Constitutional Law class to discuss what it’s like to argue in front of the Supreme Court. The class listened to an audio clip of his arguments, pausing often as Sekulow gave his account of the proceedings.

“He is one of the most influential Supreme Court lawyers in the country and our students had the opportunity to hear him talk through the details of how he prepares to argue cases at the Supreme Court and what is going through his mind during the oral arguments as well as how he formulates his legal strategy,” Knutson said.

Karen (Lindau) Peikert and Dr. Sekulow.

Karen (Lindau) Peikert and Dr. Sekulow.

Knutson, Long, and Sekulow agree that the visit was a success and are happy with the productive conversations that took place.

“Hats off to Gustavus and to the Lindau family for adopting this in-residence program and encouraging open dialogue on a personal level,” Sekulow said.

Since its inception in 2009, the Lindau program has connected notable conservative thinkers including Sekulow, Dinesh D’Souza, and Dr. Charles Krauthammer with Gustavus students. The residency seeks to promote intellectual rigor and an appreciation of all viewpoints in order to cultivate a campus-wide respect for civil discourse. Visit the Lindau Residency in Conservative Thought website to learn more.


Media Contact: Director of Media Relations and Internal Communication JJ Akin


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