2014 Constitution Day Celebration

Join SHSU’s American Democracy Project, History and Political science departments, and the College of Humanities and Social Sciences as they celebrate Constitution Day with the following events.

Keynote Address, 4:00-6:00 p.m., Wed., Sept. 17 Olson Auditorium, ABA
“Should We Fear the Supreme Court? Hobby Lobby and Citizens United”
John Tyler, Professor of Government, Houston Baptist University

Our keynote address examines recent Supreme Court cases, Hobby Lobby (2014) and Citizens United (2010) which generated significant controversy by ruling that corporations have First Amendment rights. As Former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi., discussion Hobby Lobby, says “We should be afraid for this court, that five guys are determining which contraceptives are legal or not.” President Obama, in the wake of Citizens United, says “

the Supreme Court reversed a century of law to open the floodgates for special interests—including foreign corporations—to spend without limits in our elections.” Obama now demands a constitutional amendment to reverse Citizens United by limiting the First Amendment. This presentations examines the implications of these decisions for the future of American jurisprudence.

Faculty Presentation, 9:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m., Thurs. Sept 18, Lowman Student Center Room 320
9:30-10:50, Thomas H. Cox, History, “From the Founders to the Tea Party: Changing Views of the U.S. Constitution”
This presentation examines the ways that different generations of Americans have interpreted the U.S. Constitution.

11:00-12:20, Jeffrey Littlejohn, History, “Civil Rights Landmarks: Commemorating the 60th Anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education and the 50th Anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964” This presentation will explore the significant constitutional changes brought about by the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 1960s with a particular focus on Brown v. Board of Education and the Civil Rights Acts of 1964.

12:30-1:50, Kenneth McIntyre, Political Science, “The Constitution Doesn’t Interpret Itself: Written Constitutions and Proceduralism”
The paper examines contrasts between written and unwritten constitutions and between proceduralism and a as pirationalism. These contrasts will bring out several different dimensions of disagreements which Americans have had and continue to have about the character of politics and about the nature of the American political community.

2:00-3:20, Frank Fair, Philosophy, “Roe v. Wade—A conservative Decision?”
Surprising as it may seem, there are two reasons why the decision in Roe v. Wade can be viewed as a conservative decision. This presentation will highlight those reasons.

SPECIAL NOTE FOR FACULTY MEMBERS: Each attendee will receive a Hip Pocket Guide to the United States Constitution. Sign-up sheets will be provided if professor wish to give students extra credit for attending. Call Tom Cox at 936-294-4804, thc001@shsu.edu for more information.

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