University of Pittsburgh
September 12, 2006

The University of Pittsburgh to Host Constitution Day Video Presentation and Panel Discussion Sept. 18

A Conversation on the Constitution: Judicial Independence featuring Supreme Court Justices Stephen Breyer, Anthony Kennedy, and Sandra Day O'Connor will be shown followed by a panel discussion
Contact:  412-624-4147

PITTSBURGH-A Conversation on the Constitution: Judicial Independence, a DVD featuring Supreme Court Justices Stephen Breyer, Anthony Kennedy, and Sandra Day O'Connor, will be shown at 3 p.m. Sept. 18 in the School of Law Courtroom, Barco Law Building, 3900 Forbes Ave., Oakland. The screening will be followed by a panel discussion. The event is free and open to the public.

Panelists are Timothy K. Lewis, former federal appeals judge who is with Schnader, Harrison, Segal, and Lewis in Washington, D.C. and is cochair of Schnader's Appellate Practice Group; Robert J. Cindrich, former judge in the U.S. District Court, Western District of Pennsylvania, who is chief legal officer and general counsel for UPMC; and Jules Lobel, Pitt professor of law whose areas of specialization are international, constitutional, civil rights, and comparative law. John Burkoff, Pitt professor of law, will moderate.

In the 32-minute video, taped in May 2006, Pennsylvania and California high school students question the justices on the Constitution. The justices discuss the ways that the Constitution safeguards the role of judges so that they, in turn, can safeguard the rights of minorities and those with unpopular views.

Constitution Day is a federally designated day established to commemorate the Sept. 17, 1787, signing of the U.S. Constitution. All public educational institutions receiving federal funding are required to sponsor events that further our understanding of the Constitution. This effort, implemented by the U.S. Department of Education, is the result of a bill proposed by West Virginia Senator Robert C. Byrd.