Eric Kniffin

Fellow

Eric Kniffin is a fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, where he works on a range of initiatives to protect and strengthen religious liberty as part of EPPC’s HHS Accountability Project.

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Eric Kniffin is a fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, where he works on a range of initiatives to protect and strengthen religious liberty as part of EPPC’s HHS Accountability Project.

Kniffin has been an attorney focusing on religious liberty for almost 20 years. As an attorney in Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice during the George W. Bush Administration, he helped enforce the Fair Housing Act, the Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons (CRIPA), and the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA). As legal counsel at the Becket Fund, he contributed to landmark religious liberty decisions including Hosanna-Tabor v. EEOC and Burwell v. Hobby Lobby.

In private practice, Kniffin has protected hundreds of religious employers from the HHS contraception and abortifacient mandate and the HHS gender transition mandate. He has represented the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, the Knights of Columbus, and the Assemblies of God, among others, in amicus briefs before the Supreme Court. His work helping religious organizations understand, maximize, and defend their religious liberties has made him a nationally recognized expert in the field.

Kniffin is a sought-after commentator on religious liberty issues and has appeared in the Wall Street Journal, National Review, Huffington Post, National Catholic Register, Inside Higher Ed, and Washington Times, and has spoken regularly for The Federalist Society and The Heritage Foundation.

Kniffin holds a B.A. in philosophy from Wheaton College and received a M.A. in theology from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary before earning his J.D. at Notre Dame Law School. He lives in Colorado Springs with his wife, Bonnie, and their seven children.

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EPPC Scholars Submit Comments Opposing ED’s Proposed Gender Identity Mandate in Athletics

EPPC

On May 15, 2023, EPPC scholars Rachel N. Morrison, Mary Rice Hasson, and Eric Kniffin submitted a public comment opposing…

PDF / May 15, 2023

EPPC Scholars Submit Comment Opposing Contraceptive Mandate Proposed Rule

Rachel N. Morrison

The Departments fail to establish a need for the Proposed Rule.

PDF / April 4, 2023

Attacks on the Seal of the Confessional

Eric Kniffin

In the Catholic faith, the seal of the confessional—the promise that a priest will never repeat what he hears in confession—is rooted in God’s promises.

Articles

First Things / March 30, 2023

Federal Departments Propose New Regulations for Contraceptive Services Mandate

Eric Kniffin

Kniffin writes for the Federalist Society on the contraception issue under the Affordable Care Act

Articles

The Federalist Society / March 29, 2023

EPPC Scholar Urges Washington State Not to Pressure Clergy to Violate Seal of the Confessional

Eric Kniffin

On March 21, Fellow Eric N. Kniffin of the HHS Accountability Project offered public testimony before the Washington State House Human Services, Youth &…

PDF / March 21, 2023

EPPC Scholar Urges Delaware Not to Pressure Clergy to Violate Seal of the Confessional

Eric Kniffin

On March 15, Fellow Eric N. Kniffin of the HHS Accountability Project submitted a memo to the Delaware General Assembly House Judiciary Committee offering…

PDF / March 15, 2023

EPPC Scholars Submit Comment Opposing Proposed Rule for Faith-Based Organizations Partnering with Nine Agencies

Rachel N. Morrison

On March 14, 2023, EPPC scholars Rachel N. Morrison and Eric Kniffin submitted a public comment opposing a proposed rule…

PDF / March 15, 2023

EPPC Scholars Submit Comment Opposing HHS’s Proposed Rule on Conscience Rights in Health Care

EPPC

On March 6, 2023, EPPC scholars Rachel N. Morrison, Eric Kniffin, Mary Rice Hasson, and Natalie Dodson submitted a public…

PDF / March 7, 2023

EPPC Scholar Urges Vermont Not to Pressure Clergy to Violate Seal of the Confessional

Eric Kniffin

Though I focus on the Catholic Church here, the general rationale and particularly the legal arguments set out in the memorandum’s final section would apply to other religious traditions as well.

PDF / March 2, 2023

EPPC Scholar Urges Washington State Not to Pressure Clergy to Violate Seal of the Confessional

Eric Kniffin

Washington State would go where no state has gone before, setting the State up for a civil rights lawsuit I am confident it would lose.

PDF / February 24, 2023