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Carson-Newman to celebrate Constitution Day

(Sept. 10, 2014) – Carson-Newman University will recognize the 227th anniversary of the U.S. Constitution on Wednesday, Sept. 17, with former Tennessee Supreme Court Justice and University of Tennessee College of Law Professor, Penny White.

The celebration will be held at 6:30 p.m., in Thomas Recital Hall, located in Carson-Newman’s Tarr Music Center.

Hosted by the University’s History, Political Science, and Sociology Department, the event features a talk by White regarding judicial independence and judicial elections.

“Professor White is an expert on this topic of judicial independence,” said Dr. Kara Stooksbury, associate professor of political science. “Attendees will learn a great deal about the significance of an independent judiciary and be made aware of the many pitfalls of judicial elections. Constitution Day gives us an opportunity to learn more about this system of government that our framers set up and the opportunity to see how it has changed over time.”

White has an extensive background in law, practicing in state and federal courts and even successfully arguing a case in the United States Supreme Court as a solo practitioner.

She is only the second woman to serve on the Tennessee Supreme Court, and she serves as Director of the Center for Advocacy and Dispute Resolution, where she designs and implements a curricular concentration for students interested in pursuing careers in advocacy and dispute resolution. She is currently the only Tennessee Supreme Court Justice to lose a retention election.

Constitution Day has been observed at colleges and universities since 2004, when the late-Senator Robert Byrd (D-WV) proposed it as an amendment to the Omnibus Spending Bill. The event celebrates the document that was signed in Philadelphia on September 17, 1787, by 39 delegates to the Constitutional Convention.

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