American Constitution Society News

ACS Announces Constitutional Video Contest

The American Constitution Society is inviting members, supporters and others interested in the Constitution to enter the first ACS short video contest. The competition encourages submissions of original short films highlighting the importance of the federal judiciary, the need for independent judges, and the necessity of ensuring a fair and efficient judicial nomination process.

First prize is $1,500 and free registration to the 2010 ACS National Convention in Washington, D.C. on June 17 - 19. The second-place entrant will receive a $250 prize and free Convention registration.

The contest is intended to promote creative thinking about the importance of judges and the role courts play in shaping the laws that shape American lives. Entries should be consistent with the ACS Mission Statement and the themes of Keeping Faith with the Constitution, the book published last year by ACS, and available for free download, as well as other criteria.

"With this video contest, ACS is encouraging people to think creatively about the judiciary's critical role, and the importance of nominating and confirming jurists who embrace the fundamental values that our Constitution expresses: individual rights and liberties, genuine equality, access to justice, democracy and the rule of law," said Caroline Fredrickson, executive director of ACS.

2010 ACS National Student Writing Competition

The American Constitution Society for Law and Policy and the University of Pennsylvania Law School's American Constitution Society student chapter is accepting student works for the fifth annual National Student Writing Competition for law students nationwide. The student authors of the top three papers will receive special recognition at the ACS National Convention in the summer of 2010 and a cash prize for their work. The winner will awarded $3,000. Each of the two runners-up will receive $1,000.

The American Constitution Society welcomes all papers furthering and promoting a progressive vision of the Constitution, law, and public policy. Entrants are encouraged to view this topic broadly, and we welcome submissions on a variety of substantive areas. Examples of possible topics include:

  • access to the courts
  • civil liberties
  • consumer rights
  • criminal justice
  • disability rights
  • freedom of speech
  • GLBT rights
  • human rights
  • immigration
  • labor law
  • voting and the political process
  • privacy
  • protection of health, safety, and the environment
  • racial equality
  • religion
  • separation of powers and federalism
  • women's reproductive rights and reproductive freedom
Papers will be judged on the quality of their analysis and writing. The judging committee will include federal judges and leading academics. The top paper will also receive an offer of publication in the University of Pennsylvania Journal of Constitutional Law.

The deadline for submissions is Friday, February 19, 2010.

Photo Gallery: The Right to Counsel in Death Penalty Cases

American Constitution Society Event: The Right to Counsel in Death Penalty Cases - October 8, 2009

Photo Credit: Michael Ben-Avraham

 

ACS Members
Stephen Bright and members of the American Constitution Society
Aaron Dyke and Stephen Bright” vspace= Stephen Bright
Aaron Dyke and Stephen Bright
Kathy Urbach audience audience

Diversity Forum to Address ENDA

Keys to the Door: ENDA, Transgender Identity, and Community
September 29, 2009, 12:00 PM - 1:30 PM, Room 275


Sponsored by the Diversity Committee and the Lambda Law Caucus, with the following co-sponsors: ACLU of KY, ACS, BLSA, Fairness Campaign, Kentucky Commission on Human Rights, SBA, UofL LGBT Services Office.

A  three-person panel will discuss ENDA generally, the case for inclusion of transgender people in ENDA, and the politics of ENDA.  

This event is part of the UofL Pride Week celebration and will include a light lunch from Expressions of You (available at 11:30 AM).

Inaugural ACS Event

Sean Donaldson, Gregory Belzley, James Fisher

On April 8, attorney Gregory Belzley presented "Civil Rights of the Incarcerated." This first event of the University's recently formed, American Constitution Society chapter, was well attended.  

Pictured at left:  Sean Donaldson, ACS Program Director, Gregory Belzley, and James Ficher, ACS President

*Click on each of the photos for a larger image.

Introduction Discussion Founding Members
Sean Donaldson introduces Mr. Belzley. Mr. Belzley takes questions from the audience. Mr. Belzley meets with the founding members of the law school's ACS chapter.

Introducing the American Constitution Society

The American Constitution Society, a new organization at the Law School, is hosting its first Speaking Event on April 8 at noon, in room 175.  Attorney Gregory Belzley is a Pro Bono Attorney with Dinsmore & Shohl LLP.  He will be speaking on "Civil Rights of the Incarcerated."

We will also be holding executive board elections on April 14th for the fall term.  To stand for elections for the ACS executive board, you must join the national chapter. Membership can be obtained at www.acslaw.org/join.  Elections will be held in room 80 from 5-6 PM. 

ACS is a progressive-minded national legal organization.  As a charter member of the national organization, the American Constitution Society at Brandeis School of Law seeks to promote the mission of the American Constitution Society:

The American Constitution Society for Law and Policy (ACS) promotes the vitality of the U.S. Constitution and the fundamental values it expresses: individual rights and liberties, genuine equality, access to justice, democracy and the rule of law.  These abiding principles are reflected in the vision of the Constitution’s framers and the wisdom of forward-looking leaders who have shaped our law throughout American history.  As a result of their efforts, the Constitution has retained its authority and relevance for each new generation.

The American Constitution Society embraces the progress our nation has made toward full embodiment of the Constitution’s core values. ACS believes that law can and should be a force for improving the lives of all people. We are revitalizing and transforming legal and policy debates in classrooms, courtrooms, legislatures and the media, and we are building a diverse and dynamic network of progressives committed to justice. Through these efforts, ACS will ensure that the institutions of American law reflect the highest values of our nation and serve the needs of its people.

James S. Fisher
University of Louisville, Brandeis School of Law