HUNTINGTON -– Dr. John Friedl, a professor at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, will be the third speaker in the Marshall University Amicus Curiae Lecture Series on Constitutional Democracy Thursday, Nov. 17.
Friedl, a professor of political science and a professor of accounting at UTC, teaches Constitutional Law, Civil Liberties, First Amendment, Mass Communication Law and Business Law. His lecture begins at 7 p.m. in the Memorial Student Center's Don Morris Room on the Huntington campus. It is free to the public.
The Amicus Curiae Lecture Series on Constitutional Democracy is presented by the Simon Perry Center for Constitutional Democracy and the College of Liberal Arts, with the financial support of the West Virginia Humanities Council.
Friedl said his talk is titled "Through the Looking Glass: The Constitution Means What Five Justices Choose It to Mean."
He explained the theme.
"The theme of the talk will be that in almost every case to come before the Supreme Court, we cannot truly know the intent of the Framers. Their genius was to leave the language of the Constitution open-ended enough to allow future generations to apply the Constitution's core values and principles to a society that the Framers could hardly imagine.
"Accusations of 'judicial activism' have nothing to do with failure to adhere to the original intent of the Framers, but rather with whether the one who levels the accusation is pleased with the decision. When five members of the Court choose a desired outcome, that result becomes law, regardless of whether those five justices are substituting their judgment for that of a legislative body elected by the people – it is neither red nor blue, liberal nor conservative. It is, simply stated, an inescapable fact of life that the Court is a political body."
Previous speakers in the series were Dr. Jean Edward Smith, former John Marshall Professor of Political Science at Marshall, and Dr. Johnathan O'Neil, associate professor of history at Georgia Southern University. The lecture series will continue in the spring semester of 2012 with three additional speakers.