Constitution Day program explored recent Supreme Court cases

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Maryland Carey Law continued the tradition of commemorating the signing of the Constitution with a Constitution Day celebration on Sept. 19. The event, held in the law school’s Ceremonial Courtroom, featured a panel of legal experts discussing recent Supreme Court cases and their implications. 

Each year, the Supreme Court makes many decisions most people don’t even notice, the program’s moderator Professor Leigh Goodmark, observed in her introduction. This year, she said, several decisions, “shook the nation.” 

Panel members presented on three of these blockbuster cases during the program.  

Associate Professor Chaz Arnett discussed New York State Rifle & Pistol Association Inc. v. Bruen, in which the court ruled that New York's law requiring a license to carry concealed weapons in public places is unconstitutional.

Associate Dean and Professor Peter Danchin analyzed Kennedy v. Bremerton School District, in which the court upheld a public-school football coach's right to pray after games at the 50-yard-line with his players.

Professor Leslie Meltzer Henry explained Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, the landmark decision in which the court overturned the constitutional right to abortion.  

Finally, Associate Professor and Burke Chair of American Cultural and Intellectual History at the University of Maryland, College Park Holly Brewer gave these decisions context, exploring the historical significance of the current moment in the Supreme Court’s constitutional jurisprudence. 

Discussion following the presentations delved into the role originalism played in these decisions. Participants also explored the heavily conservative makeup of the court. 

Following the conversation, the law school community was treated to cake adorned with the Preamble. 

The event was co-sponsored by the League of Women Voters of Maryland and the MLAW Program at the University of Maryland, College Park.