IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law to celebrate Constitution Day October 10

Support Provided by Jack Miller Center for Teaching America's Founding Principles and History

Monday, September 9, 2013

IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law will celebrate Constitution Day with a panel discussion that will focus on issues related to same-sex marriages. The panel discussion "When Did It Become Unconstitutional for States to Ban Same Sex Marriage?: Constitutional Interpretation in the 21st Century" will be held October 10 from 3:30 to 5 p.m. in the law school's Governor Richard B. Ogilvie Auditorium, 565 West Adams Street (between Clinton and Jefferson streets) in Chicago.

Professor Ilya Somin
Professor Ilya Somin

IIT Chicago-Kent Professor Steven J. Heyman will moderate a discussion of Hollingsworth v. Perry, a challenge to California's Proposition 8, and United States v. Windsor, a challenge to the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). Panelists will discuss the decisions and what they signify about recent trends in judicial interpretation of the Constitution. George Mason University School of Law Professor Ilya Somin will join IIT Chicago-Kent Professors Katharine Baker and Carolyn Shapiro on the panel.

In 2004, Congress passed legislation requiring that every institution of higher education receiving federal funds hold an educational program on the Constitution on September 17, the day delegates to the Constitutional Convention met in Philadelphia in 1787 to sign the completed Constitution. While campus administrators are generally aware of the federal mandate to hold Constitution Day programs, they often lack the resources to mount successful events.

The program, which is free and open to the public, is co-sponsored by the Jack Miller Center (JMC) and IIT Chicago-Kent's Institute on the Supreme Court of the United States (ISCOTUS). For more information or to R.S.V.P., please contact Professor Christopher Schmidt at cschmidt@kentlaw.iit.edu or (312) 906-5389.

With a lead gift from the Andrea Waitt Carlton Family Foundation (Nashville, TN), the Jack Miller Center launched its Constitution Day Initiative (CDI) in 2011 to increase awareness of the Constitution Day mandate and assist campuses in developing substantive educational programs. With a nationwide network of more than 600 professors, many of whom specialize in the study and teaching of the American constitutional tradition, the Jack Miller Center is ideally suited to play an important role in building awareness of Constitution Day.

During the course of the past three years, the CDI has supported more than 100 programs throughout the country, providing thousands of students with new opportunities to explore the centrality of constitutionalism to a better understanding of the American experience, past and present.

"What is so exciting and valuable about the JMC Constitution Day Initiative is that it helps support programs of real substance for the campus community," said Dr. Michael Andrews, executive officer and vice president for academic programs at the Jack Miller Center. "The program offers students a unique opportunity to engage in a civil discussion of the fundamental questions animating a free society with some of our nation's leading scholars, jurists and officials. We are very pleased to support the Constitution Day program at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law."

Founded in 1888, IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law is celebrating "125 years of distinctive legal education." IIT Chicago-Kent is the law school of Illinois Institute of Technology, a private, Ph.D.-granting institution with programs in engineering, psychology, architecture, business, design and law. Established in 2011, the Institute on the Supreme Court of the United States combines the law school's core strengths: cutting-edge legal scholarship and technological innovation. Its Oyez Project leverages information technology to make materials related to the U.S. Supreme Court instantly accessible around the world.

Jack Miller Center logoThe Jack Miller Center (JMC) is a nonpartisan 501 (C) (3) public foundation dedicated to reinvigorating education in America's Founding Principles and history. The foundation works with college faculty, administrators, and donors to improve this essential education for students. The JMC's community of professors currently totals more than 600 on more than 190 campuses across the United States and includes many of our nation's leading scholars in American history and political theory. In addition, since its founding, JMC has invested in partner programs on 52 campuses, including Ivy League institutions, flagship state universities and leading liberal arts colleges. JMC is led by its founder and chairman, Jack Miller, a prominent Chicago philanthropist, and its president, Mike Ratliff (Rear Admiral, USN ret.), the former chief of Naval Intelligence. Mr. Miller and Admiral Ratliff began their efforts in higher education in 2004 and incorporated the JMC as an independent foundation in 2007 with headquarters in Philadelphia.