The Catholic University of America

Catholic University Experts

Robert Destro

Robert A. Destro, J.D.

Professor of Law

Phone: 202-319-5202

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• International Human Rights
• Freedom of Religion
• Freedom of Speech
• Freedom of Association
• Bioethics
• Marriage Law
• Civil Rights

School: Columbus School of Law

Media Appearances

  • January 3, 2017

    National Catholic Register

    On "bathroom bills": “So the question becomes what exactly is the obligation of someone who doesn’t buy it?” said Destro, speaking of transgenderism. “Do people have to treat it as a norm and treat people according to their gender identity? Then you run into serious questions, like locker rooms and sports teams. The same thing has happened in the military with the whole idea of the government having to pay for [sex-change] surgery, and there is some debate whether or not that surgery is even ethical.”

  • December 20, 2016

    National Catholic Register

    Destro commented for a story on Ohio Gov. John Kasich signing one abortion bill while vetoing another.

  • September 12, 2016


    Speculating on the impact that a newly appointed Justice will have on Establishment Clause cases is risky business. Justices must take care to preserve their independence and avoid making statements that might lead to reasonable questions about their impartiality, so asking how the newly appointed 113th Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States would define the phrase “an establishment of religion” is likely to elicit a polite, but firm, statement declining to speculate about the outcome of any hypothetical case that might come before the Court. Nonetheless, it is a question worth asking...

  • May 21, 2016

    Our Sunday Visitor

    Robert A. Destro, professor of law and founding director of the Interdisciplinary Program in Law and Religion at The Catholic University of America’s Columbus School of Law, told OSV that the high court is telling the plaintiffs to “get creative.”

  • March 10, 2016

    Catholic News Agency

    Professor Robert Destro of the Catholic University of America’s Columbus School of Law excoriated lawyers at the State Department for the agency’s lack of action on the genocide issue, calling it “genocide denial.”

  • February 25, 2016


    Destro comments on the legal battle over privacy between Apple and the FBI.

  • February 22, 2016


    Destro commented on the death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.

  • January 22, 2016

    New York Times

    Soon after the episode in Paris, a law professor at Catholic University of America in Washington affiliated with the Fellowship, Robert A. Destro, sent a detailed report about it to the F.B.I. Four F.B.I. agents also interviewed an American living in Paris, one of the two men who met with the diplomat.

  • November 24, 2015

    National Catholic Register

    “If you focus on generalities and make this about access to abortion, then our side loses,” Destro said. “If you make it about reasonable health-care regulations in an industry fraught with fraud and malpractice lawsuits and things that are covered up, like Gosnell, then we stand a very good chance.”

  • October 4, 2015

    “It amazes me the degree that people project their views onto him,” said Robert Destro, a law professor at The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. He said the pope’s meeting with Davis, who spent five nights in jail for refusing to give out marriage licenses, “underscores that people who take unpopular positions are not to be abandoned.”

  • September 21, 2015

    The Diane Rehm Show

    Bob Destro, professor, law, was included in a panel on the Diane Rehm Show discussing Pope Francis's first visit to the U.S

  • July 23, 2015

    GVH Live

    Robert Destro was interviewed by GVH discussing how a congressional religious liberty bill impacts millennials

  • June 18, 2015

    Diane Rehm Show (radio)

    On Laudato Si: Well, you know, just from the short amount of time I've been able to look at it, it's going to be pretty hard for any of the bishops to avoid this discussion because he really does lay out -- you know, he doesn't really focus on the environment, as such, he focuses on human beings as a part of the environment. And there really is a - there really is, even for the most conservative side of the spectrum, there's a lot to sink your teeth into here, and I think that the longer people are silent actually the better it is because we really want people to engage the issues that he's suggesting that we engage.

  • May 18, 2015

    National Catholic Register

    "According to Robert Destro, a law professor and founding director of the Interdisciplinary Program in Law and Religion at CUA’s Columbus School of Law, the district is now locked in a collision course toward legal action that will be costly for all sides. “We’re not going to be able to live with it,” he said, adding that the legal course boils down to “only two options.” “You can either wait for them to sue you, or you can sue them." "

  • February 18, 2015

    National Catholic Register

    "Destro said the Feb. 9 decision does not necessarily mean the Supreme Court will rule same-sex 'marriage' to be the law of the land, as the high court did in its 1973 ruling in Roe v. Wade that legalized abortion. However, Destro noted that same-sex 'marriage' advocates are seeking to influence the high court’s thinking by changing the 'facts on the ground' in states where same-sex couples are already receiving marriage licenses."

  • December 11, 2014

    National Catholic Register

    Destro was interviewed about an amendment to the D.C. Human Rights Act and how it affects religious liberty.

  • September 10, 2014

    Catholic News Service

    Church leaders, politicians, laity meet in D.C. on behalf of Mideast Christians

  • September 9, 2014


    Catholic scholar: Obama can't ignore militants' Islamic appeal

  • September 4, 2014

    National Catholic Register

    Regulating Abortion Facilities

  • July 31, 2014

    Religion News Service

    Destro was quoted in a story on the challenge to the Hobby Lobby ruling by Satanists.

  • July 14, 2014

    National Catholic Reporter

    Destro was quoted in a story on the Hobby Lobby Supreme Court Case.

  • July 10, 2014

    National Catholic Register

    Destro was interviewed on the implications of the White House's promised EDNA executive order on Catholic organizations.

  • July 1, 2014


    Destro published an op-ed on the Hobby Lobby Supreme Court Case.

  • June 30, 2014

    Kresta in the Afternoon on Ave Maria Radio

    Destro was interviewed on regarding the Hobby Lobby decision announced by the Supreme Court on June 30.


  • 2002

    Religious Liberty in a Pluralistic Society

    Professor Destro writes about the history of law and religion in the United States and examines the statutes and case law governing religious liberty in a variety of settings, including education, the workplace, tax, the courtroom, property, and the corporate boardroom.

A leading authority on civil rights and discrimination
Robert A. Destro is Professor of Law and founding Director of the Interdisciplinary Program in Law & Religion at Catholic University’s Columbus School of Law. From 1983 to 1989 he served as a commissioner on the United States Commission on Civil Rights, and led the commission's discussions in the areas of discrimination on the basis of disability, national origin and religion.

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