September 13, 2006

Events will mark Constitution Day

by Pete Rosenbery

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Southern Illinois University Carbondale will host a variety of events next week to mark Constitution Day, which is observed on Monday, Sept. 18.

Delegates to the Philadelphia Convention completed and signed the Constitution on Sept. 17, 1787.

All events are free and open to the public.

A panel discussion on "The State of the Constitution Today," is from 2 to 4 p.m. on Monday in the University Museum Auditorium. Panelists are Michael C. Batinski, history department chair; Albert P. Melone, political science emeritus professor; Jeremy A. Baiman, a senior in political science and member of Students for Peace and Democracy; and Carbondale attorney Rich Whitney, the Green Party candidate for governor.

At 5 p.m. Monday in the School of Law's Hiram H. Lesar Law Building auditorium, former SIUC political science professor Stephen L. Wasby will discuss "Separation of Powers: Judicial, Institutional Independence."

Wasby is professor emeritus of political science at the University of Albany-SUNY. Wasby is also a visiting scholar at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth. His research interests focus on the federal courts and the role of interest groups in litigation.

Wasby is now involved in a project on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. He is the author of articles in social science journals and law reviews, in addition to several books, including "The Supreme Court in the Federal Judicial System and Race Relations Litigation in an Age of Complexity."

On Tuesday, Sept. 19, the political science department and College of Liberal Arts will host a lecture by Wasby on "The Greatest Unknown Courts: The U.S. Courts of Appeals." Wasby will speak at 4 p.m. in Faner Hall, room 3075.

On Friday, Sept. 22, the political science department and College of Liberal Arts will present two showings of a two-part video examining the basic tenets of the Constitution in Faner Hall, room 3075. Part I runs from 9 to 9:45 a.m., part II runs from 10 to 10:50 a.m. Part I of the video will run again from 11 to 11:45 a.m.; part II runs from noon to 12:50 p.m.

Also on Friday, Sept. 22, from 3 to 4 p.m., the political science department and the college will host a roundtable discussion on the Constitution, also in Faner Hall, room 3075. Participants include Robert L. Clinton, political science chair; John S. Jackson, visiting professor, Paul Simon Public Policy Institute; Scott A. Comparato, assistant professor, political science; and Laura Hatcher, assistant professor, political science.

All educational institutions funded with federal money must annually deliver programs on the U.S. Constitution in September.

Providing educational outreach is among the goals of Southern at 150: Building Excellence Through Commitment, the blueprint the University is following as it approaches its 150th anniversary in 2019.