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King University News :: Legal Expert and Author of "The Political Morality of Liberal Democracy" to speak at King on Feb. 4

Michael Perry, educator, attorney, and author, will speak at both King University and the Bristol Public Library on Monday, Feb. 4, 2013 as part of the Buechner Institute Lecture Series. The series is co-sponsored by the Bristol Herald Courier.

Perry was born and raised in Louisville, Ky., and is a graduate of Georgetown, where he majored in Philosophy and Religion. He studied Law at Columbia University, where he received his Juris Doctor in 1973. He then served as law clerk to U.S. District Judge Jack B. Weinstein from 1973 through 1974. A year later, he served in the same capacity to U.S. Circuit Judge Shirley M. Hufstedler. In 1999, Perry was awarded a Doctor in Law (honoris causa) by St. John’s University in Collegeville, Minn.

Perry’s most recent book, “The Political Morality of Liberal Democracy,” has garnered national attention. Milner S. Ball, chair emeritus in Constitutional Law at the University of Georgia, said of Perry in an editorial review, “Michael Perry is clearly one of our best and most prolific legal scholars. The Political Morality of Liberal Democracy is one of his finest books. Not to the least strength of this volume is the way Perry artfully performs what he commends to us. The thoughtful, challenging arguments Perry offers teach us in the doing how Perry would have us conduct our political arguments with one another.”

Since 2003, Perry has served as a Robert W. Woodruff University chair at Emory University, in Atlanta, Ga., where he teaches law. Before coming to Emory, Perry was the inaugural occupant of the Howard J. Trienens chair at Northwestern University in Illinois.

“Michael Perry is a master teacher and a constitutional law scholar of the first rank, said Dr. Errol Rohr, emeritus professor of Philosophy and director of the Italy Studies program at King.  “I have known him since his early days at The Ohio State University Law School and regard him as one of the best thinkers I have ever known or read.  His capacity to analyze a complex issue and frame an argument is a wonderful educational journey in itself.  Michael and I have run marathons together, hiked back woods trails together, and celebrated the birth of children together.  All of which suggests that he is not only recognized world-wide as a superb scholar by the academy and judiciary, but is also an enjoyable and interesting person to be around.”

Perry is the author of over 60 articles and 11 books, including Love and Power: The Role of Religion and Morality in American Politics (1991), The Idea of Human Rights (1998), We the People: The Fourteenth Amendment and the Supreme Court (1999), Under God? Religious Faith and Liberal Democracy (2003), Toward a Theory of Human Rights: Religion, Law, Courts (2007); Constitutional Rights, Moral Controversy, and the Supreme Court (2009).

During the past three academic years, Perry has split his time between Emory University and the University of San Diego, where, as the University Distinguished Visiting Professor in Law and Peace Studies, he is teaching a course on the law and morality of international human rights both to law students and to graduate students at the Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies.

Michael Perry will speak at 9:15 a.m. in King’s Memorial Chapel, and again that same evening at 7 p.m. at the Bristol Public Library. Both events are open to the public and free to attend. For more information, contact Dale Brown at 423.652.4156 or visit


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