Eric Treene served for 19 years in four administrations in the U.S. Department of Justice as Special Counsel for Religious Discrimination. He provided leadership for the Department on a wide range of religious liberty issues, including developing and overseeing the Department’s enforcement program for the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA); overseeing religion-related litigation for the Department’s Civil Rights Division under various other statutes including the Fair Housing Act and Title VII; testifying before the U.S. Senate on religious hate crimes and developing training programs for local law enforcement and religious community leaders on protecting places of worship; and leading the Department’s efforts on protecting religious liberty rights during the COVID-19 epidemic. Mr. Treene also represented the United States in a range of Free Exercise and RLUIPA cases in U.S. District Courts, various U.S. Courts of Appeals, and the United States Supreme Court.
Prior to serving at the Department of Justice, Mr. Treene was Litigation Director at the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty in Washington, D.C., and is a former law clerk to the Hon. John M. Walker, Jr. on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. He is a graduate of Amherst College and Harvard Law School.
He is a member of the bars of New York and Washington, D.C., and is a member of the bars of various federal District and Appeals courts, and the United States Supreme Court. He is the author of a number of articles and book chapters on religious liberty issues. He has lectured widely in law schools and universities in the U.S. as well as Spain and Malaysia on religious liberty.