January 17, 2023
The Ethics and Public Policy Center is pleased to announce that Eric Kniffin has joined the organization as a Fellow in its HHS Accountability Project and will work on a range of initiatives to protect and strengthen religious liberty.
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). 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.
Praise for Eric Kniffin
Eric Kniffin is among the leading attorneys in the country fighting to vindicate and protect the religious-freedom rights of faith-based institutions. He understands well that religious liberty is about more than private thoughts; it’s also about public work and witness. The landscape of a genuinely free society includes distinctive, mission-driven religious institutions, and—with Kniffin’s help and expertise—EPPC will continue to be at the forefront of efforts to defend them.Richard W. Garnett
Paul J. Schierl/Fort Howard Corporation Professor of Law
Director, Program on Church, State & Society
University of Notre Dame
Eric Kniffin has been a stalwart defender of religious liberty for nearly two decades. Everywhere he has been—at the Department of Justice, at Becket, and in private practice—he has dedicated himself to protecting the civil rights of others. He has a particularly keen understanding of how the administrative state threatens religious liberty, and he has demonstrated, over and over, that he knows how to fight and win against overbearing governments that would harm religious people and institutions. EPPC will be stronger, and our rights more secure, with Eric Kniffin working on the HHS Accountability Project.Mark Rienzi
President & CEO
The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty