Honoring and Celebrating the US Constitution

NEWBURGH – The ratification of the US Constitution took place on Monday, September 17, 1787. Subsequently, four years later on December 15, 1791, ten amendments were ratified and added to the Constitution as the Bill of Rights. This year, Monday, September 17, 2018 marks the 231st birthday, as such, of this very important document which is the supreme law of the United States.

The First Amendment to the US Constitution is broad in concept as it addresses the freedoms of religion, speech, press, to assemble, and to petition. Lynn Mills Eckert, Ph.D, will speak on freedom of speech in her lecture.

The First Amendment and the Balancing of Equality With Liberty. This program is the first in the annual mini-series Celebrating the United States Constitution.

Come to the OBTC Great Room 101 in Kaplan Hall on Tuesday, September 25, 2018 for this lecture with Q & A that starts at 6pm (please note the time) and is free and open to the public. Kaplan Hall is located on the campus of SUNY Orange at the corner of Grand and First Streets, Newburgh, NY. Free, secure parking is available in the parking garage via the 73 First Street entrance.

The lecture traces the ascendancy of content-neutrality and the emergence of viewpoint neutrality as the core of free speech doctrine. Content neutrality prohibits government from regulating speech not just on the basis of a category of speech, like racist speech, but also on the basis of regulating a specific viewpoint within that category, such as racist speech directed at African-Americans but not whites. During the presentation, Dr. Eckert will demonstrate through comparison, the discriminatory expression of Ku Klux Klan speech (a species of hate speech) with communist speech (purely dissident speech), rendering the content-neutrality principle to being non-neutral, and in so doing improperly balances liberty with equality.

Dr. Lynn Mills Eckert is an Associate Professor of Political Science at Marist College. She received a B.A. from Gettysburg College, an M.A. from Temple University, and a Ph.D from Syracuse University. Her special interests include Constitutional Law, American Politics, and Political Philosophy, with particular research interest in the First Amendment. She was honored at Marist College with Special Recognition Awards for Scholarship and Teaching in 2006 and 2007, respectively. Her writings have been published in the Journal of Law, Culture & the Humanities, the Southern California Review of Law and Social Justice, and the Georgetown Journal of Gender and the Law. In addition to teaching and research, she is directly involved in the workings of government as she is the Ulster Legislator for the District No. 5 – City of Kingston.

For more information, contact Cultural Affairs at cultural@sunyorange.edu or call (845) 341-4891/9386, or visit website www.sunyorange.edu/culturalaffairs.

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