Seeking to engage NH citizens in civil yet spirited dialogue about important constitutional issues of our time

Justice O'Connor Speaks on Democracy to Capacity Crowd in Concord

Retired Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor spoke to a capacity crowd at the Capitol Center for the Arts in Concord on Sept. 17. Accompanied by retired former colleague Justice David H Souter, she presented Constitutionally Speaking's William W. Treat Lecture on the topic of "The State of Democracy in America."

Read an article on the event in the Concord Monitor.

Watch more video of the event

Video Series and Study Guide Aim to Bolster Civics Education in New Hampshire Schools

Speaking at Constitutionally Speaking's inaugural event, retired U.S. Supreme Court Justice David H. Souter cited "the pervasive ignorance of the Constitution of the United States and the structure of government" as the most significant problem in American politics today.

As part of its continuing effort to help fill the gap, Constitutionally Speaking has created "How Does the Constitution Keep Up with the Times?" Twelve Lessons on the Nation's Founding Document and Its Application in 21st Century America. This collection of short videos addressing contemporary constitutional topics—along with an online study guide that provides detailed lessons plans and suggested readings for New Hampshire classrooms—are accessible on our Video Gallery page.

Nina Totenberg Talks About Upcoming Supreme Court Term, Politics, at CS event

National Public Radio’s award-winning legal affairs correspondent Nina Totenberg regaled a capacity crowd at the Capitol Center for the Arts on October 2, with observations about the Supreme Court, politics, and a story about the return of her father's valuable violin.

Totenberg was interviewed by WBUR's Robin Young, host of Here & Now. The event was sponsored by the New Hampshire Supreme Court Society as its annual King Lecture.

Totenberg said in response to a question from Young that June 2014 was a rare time in her career monitoring the Court. "There are few times when there is that kind of thunderous opinion as same-sex marriage, much less Obamacare 2 and some other important decisions.You could probably count on two hands the number of opinions since 1965 that are of that importance, and that everybody understands from the very beginning are of that importance."

She shared some personal anecdotes of her encounters with Justices outside of the courtroom, including David Souter, who attended the event.

nina totenberg, david souter, robin young
(l-r) Nina Totenberg, Justice David Souter, Robin Young.
Photo by Allegra Boverman/NHPR

The last portion of her talk focused on the return of her father's violin. Roman Totenberg was a noted violinist who had used a rare Stradivarius violin for decades. One night, after a concert in Cambridge, MA, the instrument was stolen.

For 35 years, there was no word of the violin. Then Nina Totenberg got a call from the FBI in June of this year, saying that they had recovered the instrument. You can hear her tell the story in the video above, and on the NPR website.

Constitutionally Speaking
11 South Main Street, Suite 500
Concord, NH 03301

The aim of Constitutionally Speaking is two-fold: to engage NH citizens of all ages in civil yet spirited dialogue about important constitutional issues of our time; and to galvanize support for the reintroduction of meaningful civics education in our schools.

It is made possible in part by generous support from the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation, the Hoffman Family Foundation, the Badger Fund of the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation, the William W. Treat Foundation, Paul and Sandra Montrone, and the New Hampshire Bar Foundation’s Advancement of Justice Fund, Arthur & Esther Nighswander Justice Fund and The McLane Fund.