Kevin J. "Seamus" Hasson

Founder

Kevin J.

Education

J.D., Notre Dame Law School, magna cum laude
M.A., Theology, Notre Dame
B.S., Theology and Economics, Notre Dame

Biography

The Becket Fund is the brainchild of its founder, Kevin J. “Seamus” Hasson, who served as its first President from 1993 until his retirement due to Parkinson's, in 2011. Right from the beginning, the Becket Fund successfully represented clients ranging, literally, “from Anglicans to Zoroastrians,” as Hasson likes to say. Along the way, the Becket Fund began to win kudos from a wide array of thinkers, including both Pope John Paul II and Nobel Laureate Elie Wiesel. Some of the notable cases Hasson argued personally include Fraternal Order of Police v. City of Newark (3d. Cir. 1999), Rigdon v. Perry (D.D.C. 1997), and Newdow v. Carey (9th Cir. 2010).

Hasson enjoys broad credibility in the national media and has been quoted in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, The Christian Science Monitor, USA Today, and US News and World Report, as well as in regional media from The L.A. Times to The Chicago Tribune to The Philadelphia Enquirer. He has appeared on broadcast news programs including The Today Show, Dateline NBC, Fox & Friends, NPR, CNN, and Al-Jazeera.

Hasson is the author of The Right to be Wrong: Ending the Culture War over Religion in America. Among his other publications, Hasson also authored “Religious Liberty and Human Dignity: A Tale of Two Declarations” for the Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy and “The Myth: Is There Religious Liberty in America?” in The Spectator.

Prior to his retirement Hasson lectured and debated widely, in venues ranging from Oxford to the Vatican, and from Harvard to Stanford. Hasson holds a law degree, magna cum laude, from Notre Dame Law School, as well as a Master’s in Theology and a Bachelor’s in Economics from the University of Notre Dame. He holds honorary doctorates from The Catholic University of America, Ave Maria University, and his alma mater, Notre Dame. He is also the recipient of numerous awards, including the J. Reuben Clark Law Society’s International Religious Liberty Award, the Heritage Foundation’s 2012 Salvatori Prize for American Citizenship, the National Honors award from the First Freedom Center, the Cardinal O’Boyle award from the Fellowship of Catholic Scholars, and the Becket Fund’s 2012 Canterbury Medal.

Before founding the Becket Fund in 1993, Hasson was an attorney at Williams & Connolly in Washington, D.C., where he focused on religious liberty litigation. Prior to that, in 1986 and 1987, he served in the Office of Legal Counsel at the U.S. Department of Justice, advising the White House and cabinet departments on church-state relations and other constitutional and legal issues.

Although retired, Hasson serves on the Becket Fund’s Board of Directors, and as President Emeritus. He also serves as a trustee of the University of Dallas.

In the News

Ave Maria University Commencement Speech, 2013  Seamus Hasson AMU Commencement Speech

Hasson accepts 2012 Canterbury MedalHasson CMD 2012 Speech

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