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U.S. Constitution to be topic of discussion, Sept. 19

August 29, 2005

International, national, and local perspectives on the United States Constitution and democracy will be the focus of a day-long event on Sept. 19 at the Storrs campus.

Constitution Day, which will be celebrated by many organizations and individuals nationwide on Sept. 16 and 19 this year, was established in 2004 to mark the anniversary of the signing of the Constitution on Sept. 17, 1787.

“The University is pleased to participate in this initial celebration of Constitution Day,” says Veronica Makowsky, vice provost for undergraduate education, who is organizing the celebration in conjunction with the Honors Program, the law school, and the political science department. “Our program exemplifies the best in undergraduate education, uniting theory with application and engagement. From these distinguished and committed experts, students and faculty will not only learn more about the Constitution, but see its implications as a living document that affects events internationally, nationally, and locally.”

Three events are planned:

  • a talk at 10 a.m. on the role of constitutions in new democratic systems worldwide, by Oksan Bayulgen, an assistant professor of political science who has conducted field work in Azerbaijan, Russia, and Norway for her research on globalization and democratization;
  • a discussion at 1 p.m. on “The Supreme Court and the Constitution: What would John Roberts do?” by David Yalof, an associate professor of political science and co-author of The First Amendment and the Media in the Court of Public Opinion;
  • a panel discussion at 4 p.m., including Daniel Krisch, one of the attorneys who won a Supreme Court decision on eminent domain – the “New London Takings Case” – and Jeremy Paul, the Thomas F. Gallivan Jr. Professor of Real Property Law and associate dean for research at the law school.

All three sessions are free and open to the public and will take place in the Konover Auditorium at the Thomas J. Dodd Research Center. Informal follow-up discussions will be held after the first two sessions at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.

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