September 13, 2011

Constitution Day events on tap at SIUC

by Pete Rosenbery

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Southern Illinois University Carbondale will hold several events over the next week to mark Constitution Day.

Constitution Day is Saturday, Sept. 17.  The day marks the 224th anniversary of delegates to the Philadelphia Convention completing and signing the U.S. Constitution on Sept. 17, 1787.  Because Constitution Day falls on a weekend, the observation is Friday, Sept. 16.

All events are free and open to the public.

All educational institutions that receive federal funding must annually deliver programs on the U.S. Constitution in September.

The SIU School of Law will host a streamed live discussion from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 15, in the Hiram H. Lesar Law Building auditorium.  The discussion will focus on flaws within the criminal justice system that result in wrongful convictions.

Event sponsors The Constitution Project, Georgetown University Law Center, and the Mid-Atlantic Innocence Project, will also recognize authors Jim and Nancy Petro and Brandon L. Garrett for their books that focus on wrongful convictions and how they occur.  The authors will each receive the “Constitutional Commentary Award.”  The event is at the Georgetown University Law Center in Washington, D.C.

The political science department in the College of Liberal Arts will show three DVDs on the Constitution on Friday.  The DVDs, “The Constitution,” parts 1 and 2, begin at 10 a.m. in the political science conference room, Faner Hall, room 3075.  The DVDs focus on the preamble and the different articles within the Constitution.

At 2 p.m. also in room 3075, the DVD, “Our Constitution: A Conversation,” will air.  Students from several Philadelphia high schools join associate Supreme Court Justice Steven G. Breyer and now-retired associate Justice Sandra Day O’Connor at the U.S. Supreme Court to discuss the Constitution.

At 3:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 21, “Pushing the Limits: Freedom and the First Amendment,” a celebration that features a demonstration debate by two members of the SIUC Debate Team, is set for the John C. Guyon Auditorium. in Morris Library.  Everyone who attends will receive a free pocket Constitution.  There will also be an exhibit featuring materials about freedom of the press and the U.S. Constitution.