Jesuit Colleges and Universities Commemorate Constitution Day 2016

WASHINGTON, DC – This month, Jesuit colleges and universities across the United States are hosting a variety of events to commemorate Constitution Day. The U.S. Congress approved the declaration of Constitution Day in 2005 in response to legislative efforts by the late Senator Robert C. Byrd (D-WV) to formally recognize the signing of the U.S. Constitution on September 17, 1787 (constitutionday.com).

Highlights of this year’s commemorative activities on Jesuit campuses include the following:

On Tuesday, September 13th, the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law hosted a panel discussion on the topic, “After November: Perspectives on the Future of the Supreme Court and the Constitution,” featuring several constitutional law experts: Associate Dean and Associate Professor of Law J. Richard Broughton; Associate Professor of Law Khaled Beydoun; Associate Professor of Law Karen McDonald Henning; Associate Professor of Law Kyle Langvardt; and Associate Professor of Law Pamela Wilkins. 

On Wednesday, September 14th, the College of the Holy Cross hosted a lecture by Kenneth Kersch, professor of political science at Boston College, entitled “I Alone Can Fix It; Donald Trump and the Constitutional Derangement of the Contemporary Republican Party.” That same day, John Carroll University hosted MTV's Nick Brown on campus to meet with student leaders and host a campus-wide voter registration rally to encourage students to vote in the 2016 election.

Marquette University Law School hosted a lecture on September 14th on “The Constitutional Legacy of Barack Obama” featuring professors Risa Brooks and Paul Nolette from the Department of Political Science; Ed Fallone from the Law School; and Darren Wheelock from the Department of Social and Cultural Sciences. On September 15th, Santa Clara University Law School hosted a discussion with Brad Joondeph, Inez Mabie Distinguished Professor of Law, on recent issues faced by the Supreme Court.

On Friday, September 16th, Fairfield University will air screenings of videos about the United States Constitution and Bill of Rights on campus. Throughout the day, Saint Louis University will distribute free pocket Constitutions at a voter registration drive on campus, and the University of Scranton will disseminate information on Constitution Day to students via e-mail. Regis University will host a Constitution Day celebration featuring Deputy Secretary of State Suzanne Staiert, who will speak about the changes in the Colorado election system and this year's election, and Rockhurst University will host Judge Stephen Bough of the U.S. District Court for Western Missouri who will speak on the Miranda warning and the 4th Amendment.

On the 16th, the University of San Francisco is hosting a Constitution Day film screening of three videos, as well as a voter registration drive. Saint Peter's University's Department of Political Science and Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences will hold a Constitution Day celebration centered on the theme, “ON THE WALL,” which will feature a panel discussion on the feasibility of building a wall to prevent immigrants from entering the United States. Seattle University Law School will host a panel on the topic, "The Constitution as a Living Document in a Living World: What Do Police Brutality, Immigration, Affirmative Action, and Free Speech Have in Common?"

On Monday, September 19th, Le Moyne College will host a free round-table discussion open to the public on the Constitution, the Electoral College, and the 2016 election with panelists Doug Egerton, Ph.D. and Leigh Fought, Ph.D., both from Le Moyne's history department, and Jonathan Parent, Ph.D. of the Department of Political Science. That same day, Georgetown University students will read the Constitution out loud on the campus' Red Square.

On Tuesday, September 20th, Boston College's Clough Center will host a talk entitled "The Fourteenth Amendment as an Act of War: Celebrating the 150th Anniversary of the Civil Rights Act and the Fourteenth Amendment" by Michael Vorenberg, Associate Professor of History at Brown University.

That same day, Canisius College will present a free panel discussion open to the public on “Dual Constitutionalism in America,” featuring three panelists: Hon. Eugene F. Pigott Jr., NYS Court of Appeals; Christopher Bopst ’95, chief legal and financial officer for Sam-Son Logistics; and Peter J. Galie, former director of the Raichle Pre-Law Center and professor emeritus of political science at Canisius.

Loyola University Maryland is hosting two lectures this month: on Friday, September 16th, the office of undergraduate studies will distribute pocket Constitutions and the Ignatian Examen for Civic Life on campus, and on Wednesday, September 21st, Princeton historian, Julian Zelizer, will deliver a Constitution Day lecture on the topic, "Does the Political Establishment Matter Anymore?". This lecture is free and open to the public, and supported by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.