Park University to Host Constitution Day Lecture Addressing Supreme Court Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Monday, August 31, 2015

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Dr. Mark GraberPark University’s annual Constitution Day lecture will feature a discussion surrounding the recent Supreme Court of the United States ruling on same-sex marriage on Monday, Sept. 14, starting at 1:30 p.m. in Graham Tyler Memorial Chapel on the University’s Parkville Campus. Admission to the event is free and open to the public.

Mark Graber, Ph.D., J.D., Jacob A. France Professor of Constitutionalism at the University of Maryland’s Francis King Carey School of Law and a nationally renowned scholar on constitutional law and politics, will deliver a presentation titled “One-and-a-Half Cheers for Obergefell v. Hodges.”

According to Graber, Americans who are committed to marriage equality have obvious reasons to be pleased with the Supreme Court's decision in Obergefell v. Hodges. “Nevertheless, various reasons exist for progressives to temper their enthusiasm,” said Graber. “The first is the consistent unwillingness of any of the more liberal justices to write an opinion in a major case, thus ensuring progressive decisions will have fairly conservative doctrinal foundations. The second is the general problem that progressive legal decisions, even when enforced, may weaken the coalitions necessary for a vibrant progressive constitutional politics. The third is the increased tendency of the Supreme Court over the past 40 years to protect vigorously the dignitary interests of the upper-middle class with being largely indifferent to the material deprivations of less fortunate Americans.”

Constitution Day, or Citizenship Day as it is also called, is federally mandated for all institutions of higher education that receive federal funding. The legislation was enacted in 2004 and implemented by the U.S. Department of Education in 2005. It celebrates the adoption of the U.S. Constitution and those who have become U.S. citizens.

“Constitution Day is an opportunity for Americans to reflect upon the nature of good governance, the care which has been taken to ensure such governance in the Constitution, and what it means to live as responsible human beings and citizens,” said Benjamin Newton, Ph.D., assistant professor of political science at Park University.

Park’s Constitution Day event is hosted by the University’s Department of History, Political Science and Legal Studies. For more information, contact James Pasley, Ph.D., associate dean of the Hauptmann School for Public Affairs and professor of political science at