The University of South Alabama will observe Constitution Day with a presentation and discussion on the U.S. Supreme Court’s upcoming term.
Dr. Ron Nelson, an associate professor and pre-law advisor in the USA Department of Political Science and Criminal Justice, and his students will offer a program entitled “Supreme Court 2010-2011 Term: Case Reviews.” The talk and discussion will be held from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 17 in Room 150 in the Humanities Building.
Constitution Day is an annual observance on campuses nationwide. The late Senator Robert C.Byrd, a West Virginia Democrat and the United States Congress unofficial constitutional scholar, believed that American primary, secondary, and post-secondary students lack significant knowledge regarding the United States Constitution. In December 2004, Senator Byrd offered an amendment passed by both the United States House of Representatives and the United States Senate in attempt to increase constitutional knowledge.
The legislation requires that all educational institutions that receive federal funds implement educational programs relating to the United States Constitution on September 17 of each year. September 17th was selected as the date for celebration due to the fact the on September 17, 1787 the delegates to the Constitutional Convention met for the last time to sign the United States Constitution and presented it to the American public.
The United States Department of Education, charged with implementation of this legislative requirement, intentionally left the implementation language vague. With no specific curriculum of interpretation of the United States Constitution provided by the U.S Department of Education or Senator Byrd, academic institutions are free to provide a wide array of programming for their students.