Amicus Curiae lectures resume at Marshall

By The West Virginia Record | Feb 9, 2012

HUNTINGTON -– A lecture series on the Constitution of the United States of America titled Amicus Curiae, or Friend of the Court, continues this spring at Marshall University with three events featuring three visiting professors.

The series, which debuted last fall with three lectures, is sponsored by Marshall's Simon Perry Center for Constitutional Democracy and the College of Liberal Arts, with financial support from the West Virginia Humanities Council.

The lectures, which will take place in the MU Foundation Hall, Home of the Erickson Alumni Center on Marshall's Huntington campus, are scheduled Friday, Feb. 10, Thursday, Feb. 23, and Tuesday, March 6.

"The Amicus Curiae Lecture Series, through the support of the Simon Perry Center for Constitutional Democracy and the West Virginia Humanities Council, has allowed the College of Liberal Arts to bring notable scholars to the community to talk about the Constitution," said Dr. David J. Pittenger, dean of the College of Liberal Arts. "These presentations allow us to learn more about this important document that defines this great nation. I believe that John Marshall would be extremely proud that the students and citizens of the greater Huntington area are participating in these timely presentations."

Frederick Schauer, the David and Mary Harrison Distinguished Professor of Law at the University of Virginia School of Law, will speak at 7 p.m. Feb. 10. His lecture is titled, "Does the Constitution Matter?"

Schauer teaches Constitutional Law, Evidence and Jurisprudence. A Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and former holder of a Guggenheim Fellowship, Schauer has written extensively on freedom of speech and the press, constitutional law and theory, evidence, legal reasoning and the philosophy of law.

Dr. Stephen Middleton, a professor of history and director of African American Studies at Mississippi State University, will deliver the second lecture at 7 p.m. Feb. 23. He will speak on "Four Elements of Progressive Constitutional Change, the Expansion of Civil Rights and the Popular and Legal Assault on Reform, 1865-1883."

Middleton is the author of The Black Laws: Race and the Legal Process in Early Ohio. He has written extensively on race and the law. His current research projects include the legal construction of whiteness in antebellum America.

The third lecture, called "Remember the Ladies: The History of Women and the Constitution," will take place at 7:30 p.m. March 6 and be delivered by Dean Joyce E. McConnell from the West Virginia University College of Law.

McConnell's speech traces the 236-year journey of women and the Constitution starting with Abigail Adams -- wife of then-Massachusetts representative to the Continental Congress John Adams – and ending with current perspectives of individual Justices of the United States Supreme Court. McConnell is the William J. Maier Jr. Dean of the West Virginia University College of Law, and has served as the chair of the Section on Women in Legal Education for the Association of American Law Schools.

Admission to the Amicus Curiae lecture series is free to the public.

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