University of Wisconsin–Madison

Constitution Day Events

Constitution Day

President George W. Bush signed a bill on December 8, 2004, which designates every September 17 as Constitution Day. All institutions of higher education that receive federal funding are required to prepare a program to inform students about the U.S. Constitution.

To mark the day in 2014, a number of talks and presentations will take place on the UW campus. All events are free and open to the public.

Presentations by UW Faculty and Staff

  • "Has the U.S. Constitution Failed?" presented by Professor Howard Schweber
    Hosted by American Democracy Foundation
    Wisconsin Idea Room, School of Education, 10 a.m.
    The U.S. Constitution was intended to do several things: to establish a new national government that would have the capacity to carry out the will of the people; to strike an appropriate balance between central and local authorities; to define the limits of the powers of the national governments (and state governments after the XIVth Amendment was added) in order to safeguard essential liberties; and to create a framework for democratic politics that would channel and manage conflicts. It is arguably the case that in America today the Constitution that we have fails to deliver any of these essential goods. Is that the fault of our politicians, our media, our schools...or has the Constitution failed?

  • Hobby Lobby Discussion Panel
    Hosted by Law Students for Reproductive Justice
    UW Law School, Room 2211, 11:45 a.m.
    Law Students for Reproductive Justice are hosting a panel discussion on the recent Supreme Court Hobby Lobby decision. Panelists include Professor Alta Charo, Professor Lisa Alexander, Andrew Seidel from the Freedom from Religion Foundation, and Everett Mitchell, Director of Community Relations at UW-Madison.

  • “The Constitution and the University General Counsel” presented by Ray Taffora, Vice Chancellor for Legal Affairs
    Hosted by UW Law School
    UW Law School, Room 3250, 12 p.m.
    A public university must conduct its business within the restrictions imposed by the U.S. Constitution. Given the scope of University activity, there are many instances where the Constitution affects how the University pursues its mission. Vice Chancellor for Legal Affairs Raymond Taffora will discuss the interaction of University activity and the U.S. Constitution and share his insights on the role of the Office of Legal Affairs in such matters.

  • The Fourth Amendment and Developing Technology presented by Professor Cecelia Klingele
    Hosted by UW Law School
    UW Law School, Room 3260, 12 p.m.

  • Patents & U.S. Constitution presented by Professor Pilar Ossorio
    Hosted by UW Law School
    H.F. DeLuca Forum, Wisconsin Institute for Discovery, 2 p.m.
    Join us for a lively presentation from UW-Madison Professor of Law and Bioethics Pilar Ossorio on how the writers of the U.S. Constitution argued about whether the power to grant intellectual property (IP) should be included as one of Congress’s powers, why they decided that the U.S. should have IP, what the Constitution says about IP, and what types of rights patents, copyrights and trademarks (the major forms of IP) confer.

  • Screening of "Constitution USA with Peter Sagal: It’s a Free Country”
    Hosted by Wisconsin Union Directorate Film, UW Law School, and American Democracy Foundation
    Union South Marquee Theatre, 7 p.m.
    In this hour, Peter explores the history of the Bill of Rights, and why each was included. He’ll look at several important rights cases in American history, involving freedom of speech, freedom of religion, right to legal counsel, cases that have expanded or enforced basic liberties. He’ll also explore how technology, particularly the internet is challenging our right to privacy.

Constitutional Law Classes

Guests are invited to observe constitutional law classes at UW Law School on September 17.

  • Constitutional Law I - Professor Ann Althouse
    UW Law School, Room 3260
, 2:40 – 4 p.m.
    Covers the basic structure of government in the United States, with emphasis on the federal government. Includes the role of the federal courts and the doctrine of judicial review; the rise of federal power, as reflected particularly in shifting definitions of "interstate commerce," the doctrine of separation of powers, with emphasis on current issues of legislative and executive branch authority; and judicial and other limitations on the exercise of authority by the states.

  • Constitutional Law II – Professor  Heinz Klug
    UW Law School, Room 5229
, 1:10 – 2:30 p.m.

    This course is designed to enable students to understand the rights contained in the Bill of Rights by adopting a comparative approach to explore the jurisprudence of constitutional rights. The course uses four jurisdictions, the United States, Canada, Australia and South Africa to compare how these different constitutional systems protect and interpret the rights enshrined in their constitutions and law.


Submitted by Law School News on September 17, 2014

This article appears in the categories: Features

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