Happy Constitution Day!

San Diego – September 16, Constitution Day 2011 will be celebrated in more than 430 classes throughout San Diego County with presentations by volunteer attorneys coordinated by the San Diego ACLU.

In its fifth year, the ACLU’s Constitutional Civics Program will reach more than 13,000 students in 54 schools in thirteen school districts. Scores of volunteer attorneys and business leaders will present the fundamentals of the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights in a coordinated program to highlight the brilliance, complexity and wisdom of our foundational documents.

On Constitution Day, September 16, lawyers from the offices of the U.S. Attorney, the District and City Attorneys, the Attorney General, the Public Defender, the Federal Defender and a number of prestigious law firms, private practices and law schools volunteer their time to give multi-media, interactive, nonpartisan presentations to middle and high schools. Special guest speakers this year include U.S. Representative Bob Filner and former California state senator and renowned peace and justice activist Tom Hayden. Hayden currently writes for The Nation and is founder and director of the Peace and Justice Resource Center in Culver City, CA. Hayden will be delivering a free public lecture at Thomas Jefferson School of Law. [Contact the ACLU to see if there are still seats available.]

The San Diego ACLU developed its program in response to a 2004 congressional mandate that all schools receiving federal funds provide educational programming on the Constitution on September 17, the date the document was signed in 1787.

The ACLU hopes the program will staunch the trend revealed by numerous surveys that young people have a dismally low level of knowledge about the U.S. government and our fundamental rights and freedoms. Studies also show, however, that, when teachers and parents emphasize the importance of civic participation and discuss current events, twice as many students profess interest in politics.

A distinguished panel of judges, law firm partners and community leaders advises and supports the ACLU’s Constitution Day activities. The Honorable H. Lee Sarokin (Ret.), U.S. Court of Appeals, 3rd District, chairs the Constitution Day Council, and the Honorable James Stiven (Ret.), U.S. District Court, Southern District of California serves as program chair. Law firm sponsors for Constitution Day 2011 are Cooley LLP, DLA Piper, Foley & Lardner LLP, and Sheppard Mullin.

Attend Tom Hayden’s Constitution Day Lecture!
Free, with RSVP
Today! Friday, Sept. 16, 11:30 a.m.
Thomas Jefferson School of Law
RSVP to get the details!

The presentations feature specially designed study guides on the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and major court cases upholding constitutional principles and civil liberties. Attorneys make use of a student-friendly PowerPoint presentation that helps make complicated concepts visual and thus more understandable.

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





List of Participating Legal Organizations
California Innocence Project
California Western School of Law
Cooley LLP
Office of the San Diego District Attorney
DLA Piper
Federal Defenders of San Diego, Inc.
Foley & Lardner
Jones Day
Latham & Watkins
Law Office of Alex Landon
Law Offices of Eric Morton
Law Office of Isaac Blumberg
Law Office of Rebecca P. Jones
Law Office of Stephen D. Lemish
Law Office of Steven Schorr
Luce Forward
Morrison & Foerster
Procopio, Cory, Hargreaves & Savitch
Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd
San Diego Public Defender
Seltzer Caplan
Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton
Solomon Ward Seidenwurm & Smith
Sullivan Hill Lewin Rez & Engel
Thomas Jefferson School of Law
Office of the United States Attorney, Southern District of California