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Constitution Day: website today, lecture in October


By Dateline staff

Image: "We the People" script, in Constitution

Today (Sept. 17) is Constitution Day, and UC President Mark G. Yudof, a constitutional scholar, is encouraging UC students to broaden their “knowledge of and appreciation for this historic and important document.”

“As students of the University of California, you are privileged to have ready access to a range of historical, political, sociological and legal perspectives on the study of the U.S. Constitution,” Yudof wrote in welcome message on UC’s Constitution Day website.

The site substitutes for an educational program, as required by federal law of all schools that receive federal funds, which such programs to be held on Constitution Day. That’s not practical in the UC system, because most campuses — including Davis — do not begin their fall terms until late September.

In October, when everyone is back, the School of Law will present the fourth annual Central Valley Foundation-James B. McClatchy Lecture on the First Amendment.

The organizers said Yale’s Akhil Amar will address “The Firstness of the First Amendment,” on how and why this amendment “is indeed constitutionally first — textually, historically, structurally, doctrinally and culturally.”

Amar is the Sterling Professor of Law and Political Science, teaching constitutional law at Yale College and Yale Law School — and brother of UC Davis law professor Vik Amar, who, like his brother, is a constitutional scholar. Both earned their Juris Doctor degrees at Yale.

The lecture is scheduled for 4 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 16, in the Kalmanovitz Appellate Courtroom, 1001 King Hall. A reception will follow. Admission is free and open to the public; RSVPs are requested and can be arranged online. Registered participants are eligible for Minimum Continuing Legal Education credit (free).

About the series

The Central Valley Foundation-funded series began in 2010 and runs for five years. It is named after the foundation’s late founder, a former publisher of The Sacramento Bee and chairman of the The Bee's parent company, McClatchy Newspapers.

As part of its mission, the Central Valley Foundation supports organizations and education programs dedicated to the protection and promotion of First Amendment rights. The foundation also strives to enhance and preserve the valley’s quality of life, in part by supporting programs for children who are not fluent in English and who are learning the language in English-only instructional programs in public elementary schools.

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