The Center for Constitutional Studies (CCS) at Utah Valley University will host its annual First Amendment conference Wednesday, March 20, beginning at 10 a.m. in Clarke Building (CB) 101C on UVU campus.

Students, scholars, and the public are invited to the event entitled Some Assembly Required: Freedom of Association & the Right to Assembly. This year’s conference will examine the importance of voluntary associations in a free society and the protections afforded them in the First Amendment, including the oft- neglected Assembly Clause.

Sessions will focus on Founding-era debates over the right to peaceable assembly and contemporary constitutional controversies over freedom of association in education, campaign finance, and charitable giving.

Featured presenters and panelists at the conference include the following:

  • Bradley Smith, Professor of Law, Capital University Law School, and former chair of the Federal Elections Commission
  • Carson Holloway, Professor of Political Science, University of Nebraska–Omaha
  • Brad Wilson, Executive Director, James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions, Princeton University.
  • Luke Sheahan, Assistant Professor of Political Science, Duquesne University
  • Bill Duncan, Constitutional Law & Religious Freedom Fellow, Sutherland Institute
  • Matthew Brogdon, Senior Director of the Center for Constitutional Studies and associate professor at Utah Valley University

“Freedom of association is foundational to our constitution,” said Brogdon. “We mistakenly think of First Amendment rights as individual rights. However, the freedoms to worship, to speak, to publish our views and to petition the government are rarely exercised alone. We do these things in community—in association with others— as members of churches, schools, publications, and networks of like-minded people.”

The event is free and open to the public. Find details at