In what was a first-time affair for the university, Chabad of Brooklyn Law School, led by Rabbi Eliyahu and Shaindy Raskin, hosted sixty students and faculty for an afternoon lunch with the esteemed Nathan Lewin, Esquire.
Mr. Lewin currently teaches Supreme Court litigation at Columbia Law School and has taught at Georgetown, Harvard, University of Chicago, and George Washington Law Schools. He has presented 28 oral arguments in the Supreme Court of the United States, including the three most important cases involving Jewish religious rights argued in the past 30 years.
Mr. Lewin was The Rebbe’s legal counsel at the famous Hey Teves “Chabad Library Case”.
He also represented Rabbi Sholom Rubashkin after the latter was sentenced to 27 years in jail.
Mr. Lewin has been a champion in advocating for First Amendment rights and civil liberties. He has successfully argued many cases involving the right to display the Chanukah menorah in a public forum, including two such cases before en banc courts of the Sixth and Eleventh Circuits. Among these cases was County of Allegheny v. ACLU in which the Supreme Court held that Lubavitch had the right to maintain a menorah on public property in Pittsburgh.
He represented an Air Force psychologist in the Supreme Court case testing his constitutional right to wear a yarmulke while on duty. Lewin also represented the Williamsburg Chasidic community in the Supreme Court in its constitutional challenge in 1976 to a racially conscious legislative reapportionment, urging a rule of constitutional law that the Supreme Court accepted 20 years later. He has dedicated much of his time and energy to advocacy on behalf of the Jewish community.
Sixty students, Law School faculty, and local lawyers came to have a kosher lunch and to hear Mr. Lewin speak. Memorable as always, his lecture explored years of battling to impress upon the United States Judicial system and the American people the basic constitutional right to practice religion and its precepts.
The allotted time had passed but no one budged, instead posing question after question in an attempt to learn as much as possible from the Professor.