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UMD and Constitution Day


2005 Constitution Day Celebration at UMD


In December 2004, Senator Robert C. Byrd, a West Virginia Democrat and the United States Congress unofficial constitutional scholar, offered an amendment designed to increase understanding and appreciation for our United States Constitution. He believed that American primary, secondary, and post-secondary students lacked significant knowledge regarding the Constitution and was motivated to make a difference.

The amendment was passed by both the United States House of Representative and the United States Senate, and signed into law by President Bush on December 8, 2004 (public law 108-447). As a result, all educational institutions that receive federal funds are required to implement education programs related to the United States constitution on or about September 17th of each year. September 17th was the time frame selected as the date for celebration since this was the date in 1787 that the delegates to the Constitutional Convention met for the last time to sign the document.

UMD will present two panel presentations in honor of Constitution Day:

Community Watchdogs: How Journalists See the First Amendment will be presented on Wednesday, September 21, from noon -1:30 p.m. in the Fourth Floor Library Rotunda. Area journalists will sit on the panel and Professor Drew Digby of Journalism and History will serve as moderator.

The U.S. Constitution: Politics and the Rule of Law will be presented on Thursday, September 22, at 4:30 p.m. in Solon Campus Center 25. Panelist include Constitution Law professor Tom Powers, Federal Magistrate Judge Raymond Erickson, and attorney Susan Ginsburg. Dr. Linda Krug, Dean of the College of Liberal Arts will serve as moderator.

The University of Minnesota Law School has also organized a two-hour Constitution celebration on Friday, September 16, from 12:15-2:15 in Mondale Hall on the TC Campus. Entitled, In Order to Form a More Perfect Union: Constitution Day 2005, the presentation will feature members of the law School faculty on recent and forthcoming Supreme Court controversies and on the nomination of Judge John Roberts to serve as the next Chief Justice of the United States.

Those interested in this program will be able to view it via streaming video from the University of Minnesota Law School web site. In addition, the Law School has applied for 2.0 continuing legal education credits, including 1.0 "elimination of bias" credit. If approved, these credits will be available to live attendees as well as remote viewers.

Cheryl Reitan, Publications Director,
NEW RELEASES, UMD media contact, Susan Latto,, 218-726-8830



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