The constitutional issues behind last year's debt ceiling showdown, as well as the phenomenon of Congress attaching conditions to federal grants, will be discussed in a Nov. 8 symposium hosted by Constitutionally Speaking in collaboration with UNH Law's Warren B. Rudman Center for Justice, Leadership & Public Policy.
"The Debt Ceiling and the Separation of Powers" and "Taxing, Spending, and Judicial Review" will be the subjects of the event, sponsored by the Peter G. Peterson Foundation. The day will consist of two panels, each consisting of three 20-minute TEDx-style talks followed by moderated Q & A. More information and a complete list of speakers is available here.
Brown bag lunches will be provided for registrants. Lunch will follow the second panel, over which attendees will engage in facilitated discussions of the morning's talks. This event is free but requires registration with Idell Champagne at Idell.Champagne@law.unh.edu.
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. "The good news," he continued, "is that there are a lot of terrific civics teachers in New Hampshire who are trying to turn that around. One of their problems is that they don't necessarily have the material support to do it very well. And the demands on teaching make it very difficult to find time for more civics."
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 the website's new Video Gallery page.
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.
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.