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Feature

A fascimile of the U.S. Constitution

The University celebrates Constitution Day

University of Minnesota to observe Constitution Day with Law School presentation

Published on September 14, 2005

Should John Roberts be confirmed as the next chief justice of the U.S. Supreme Court? Do police have the right to search a married couple's home when the wife grants permission but the husband doesn't? And what rights do prisoners have in exercising their "nonmainstream" religious beliefs?

Those are among the thorny legal questions that will be explored by leading University of Minnesota Law School scholars at a two-hour program to commemorate the U.S. Constitution on Friday, Sept. 16, from 12:25-2:15 p.m., in Room 25 in Mondale Hall (Law School).

"The University of Minnesota's Constitution Day program assembles one of America's finest teams of talent on constitutional law," says Jim Chen, associate dean for faculty at the law school. "The members of our community, across the University's campuses in the Twin Cities, Crookston, Duluth, Morris, and Rochester, can find no better source of wisdom on current constitutional issues than the team that will be gathered here Friday."

Via a special Law School Web site, streaming video will connect all campuses with this event and allow those who wish to view the presentation on their own computers and submit questions.

Other topics on Constitution Day will include:

For a complete agenda, see In Order to Form a More Perfect Union.

The program, and others like it being held around the country, was mandated by Congress when it passed a measure in 2004 that requires all educational institutions that receive federal funding to provide educational programs about the Constitution "on or about Sept. 17" of each year. That was the date in 1787 that delegates to the Constitutional Convention met for the last time to sign the historic document.

The idea, promoted by Sen. Robert Byrd, a West Virginia Democrat and Congress's unofficial constitutional scholar, was to improve understanding of the Constitution among K-12 and college students.

The Law School has applied for 2.0 continuing legal education credits, including 1.0 "elimination of bias" credit. If approved, those credits will be available to attendees as well as remote viewers.

For materials and interactive lessons that focus on the Constitution and constitutional law and information on the streaming video, go to the Constitution Day Web site.

The Duluth and Crookston campuses will also hold Constitution Day programs.

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