Celebrate the Constitution!

September 17th is Constitution Day! On September 17, 1787, the 55 delegates to the Constitutional Convention held their final meeting. Only one item of business occupied the agenda that day: to sign the Constitution of the United States of America.

Six years ago, Congress established September 17th as a federal holiday to recognize the ratification of the United States Constitution in 1787.

The ACLU of San Diego & Imperial Counties celebrates the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights every day, but is especially pleased to place focus on these essential foundational documents of our democracy on Constitution Day.

For Teachers and Educators
The ACLU, in conjunction with attorneys from public and private sectors, invites educators to participate in our “Celebrate the Constitution” program on Friday, September 17th.

Scores of San Diego and Imperial attorneys will be volunteering on that day to engage students in a rich, interactive, multimedia dialogue on constitutional principles and interpretation, and on American law, from both historical and contemporary perspectives.

The session can run in any block of time to meet your students’ needs -anywhere from 20 minutes to a full class period. The volunteer attorneys can make several presentations at your school on that day or speak to assemblies if that better meets your scheduling needs. Also, attorneys can present to classes on other days in the vicinity of Sept. 17, to accommodate block schedules or competing needs.

The attorneys bring nonpartisan brochures on the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and on contemporary court interpretations of our rights and laws, with special emphasis on cases that engage and appeal to middle and high school students. A PowerPoint presentation and a student-created DVD are also available. Teachers are provided with a detailed document addressing the history and social science content standards that are met with this presentation.

Demand increases every year! This will be our fourth year coordinating speakers. Last year, attorneys from the offices of the U.S. Attorney, Public Defender, District Attorney,and private law firms, including Cooley Godward, Coughlin Stoia, DLA Piper, Fish & Richardson, Luce Forward, Morrison & Foerster, Procopio Cory, Sheppard Mullin and Solomon Ward presented in about 300 classrooms to more than 8,000 students!

Schedule a speaker for your classroom or school while they are still available!
Send us an email with your contact info
!
We offer this program to help you provide mandatory instruction on the Constitution on September 17th. Congress mandated that all publicly-funded educational institutions must provide educational programming on the history of the American Constitution on that day. The United States Department of Education declared that any school that receives federal funding of any kind must conduct lessons on the Constitution on that day.

To guarantee that we will be able to match an attorney to your school’s schedule, please request a speaker by Friday, July 23rd. We typically, however, have been able to accommodate requests submitted before the last Friday in August.

To learn more or to schedule a speaker for your classroom or school while they are still available,send us an email with your contact info!

For Attorneys
If you are an attorney and would like to volunteer your services, please contact us today!

For Parents
If you are a parent and would like to know more about the program or would like us to contact a school or teacher, please email us or call 619.232.2121, ext. 260.

Constitution Day Council
A distinguished panel comprising judges, law firm partners and community leaders advises and supports the ACLU’s Constitution Day activities.

Constitution Day Council:
The Honorable H. Lee Sarokin, Retired, U.S. Court of Appeals, 3rd District, Constitution Day Council Chair
The Honorable James Stiven, Retired, U.S. District Court, Southern District of California, Program Chair

Founding Members
Mark Danis, Morrison & Foerster LLP
Eric Isaacson, Coughlin Stoia Geller Rudman & Robbins LLP
Anthony Stiegler, Cooley Godward Kronish LLP
and
Past Presidents of the San Diego County Bar Association:
– Candace Carroll, Sullivan Hill Lewin Rez & Engel
– Todd Stevens, Keeney, Waite & Stevens

Members
Robert Brownlie, DLA Piper LLP
Robert Gerber, Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton LLP
Nancy Stagg, Fish & Richardson PC
Community Partner
Sycuan Band of the Kumeyaay Nation [Website]

List of Participating Legal Organizations [2009]
American Bar Association Immigration Justice Project
Appellate Defenders, Inc.
Office of the Attorney General – California
California Innocence Project
California Western School of Law
Consumer Law Group
Cooley Godward Kronish
Cross Border Law Group
Coughlin Stoia Geller Rudman & Robbins
Office of the San Diego District Attorney
DLA Piper
Federal Defenders of San Diego, Inc.
Fisher & Phillips
Kohn Law Office
Latham & Watkins
Law Office of Adam Van Susteren
Law Office of Alex Landon
Law Offices of Eric Morton
Law Office of Isaac Blumberg
Law Office of Ken I. Karan
Law Office of Lilia S. Velasquez
Law Office of Rebecca P. Jones
Law Office of Stephen D. Lemish
Law Office of Steven Schorr
Law Office of Suzie Mindlin
Luce Forward
MacLeod & Catalano
Majors & Fox
McDougal Love Eckis Boehmer Foley & Lough
Morrison & Foerster
Procopio, Cory, Hargreaves & Savitch
San Diego Public Defender
Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton
Solomon Ward Seidenwurm & Smith
State Bar of California
Sullivan Hill Lewin Rez & Engel
Thomas Jefferson School of Law
Turner Law Group
Office of the United States Attorney, Southern District of California
University of San Diego School of Law
and
Caltrans
Qualcomm