Law professor's speech to mark historic day

Exactly 221 years to the day of the signing of the Constitution, the University is celebrating the nation’s founding with a speech on the Supreme Court justice confirmation process.

Festivities will kick off at noon in the Van Hecke-Wettach Hall at the UNC School of Law.

Michael Gerhardt, professor of constitutional law, will be giving a speech entitled “Constitutional Civility: What We Have Learned about the Confirmation Process from Marshall to Kagan.”

“It is important that we take advantage of the opportunity to honor our Constitution and appreciate what makes it special,” he said in an e-mail.

He also said he would discuss whether confirmation hearings have become more contentious in recent years.

Gerhardt has concrete experience in the field. He served as special counsel to U.S. Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt, in preparation for the Supreme Court nomination hearings of Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan.

Every U.S. university that receives federal funding is required by law to celebrate this day in history.

The whole campus community is invited to attend and refreshments will be served after the speech.

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