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Minnesota State University, Mankato
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Sept. 17: Constitution Day

Debate, presentations highlight day’s activities. Period actors to pass out scrolls representing Preamble to the Constitution.

Minnesota State University, Mankato Media Relations Office News Release, 9-13-2013

Mankato, Minn. – Period actors will distribute constitutional scrolls, two students will hold a public debate and other speakers will discuss a variety of constitutional on Tuesday, Sept. 17 during Minnesota State Mankato’s annual Constitution Day observance.

At noon Tuesday, two actors from the Department of Theatre and Dance – Jordan Wolf and TS McCormick – will dress as Benjamin Franklin and John Adams and distribute scrolls representing the Preamble to the Constitution in Centennial Student Union.
The debate and all presentations will take place in Centennial Student Union’s Searing Room (201). All events are free and open to the public. The schedule is as follows:

• 10 a.m. - 10:50 a.m. Public Debate: Constitutionality of Voter ID Laws
Margaret Pence and Jessica Benham will hold a public debate on the constitutionality of voter identification laws. Pence and Benham are members of the Maverick Forensics speech and debate program.

• 11 a.m. - 11:50 a.m. A Story of Becoming a US Citizen
Harbi Hassan, Community Liaison Specialist with Mankato Community Education, will share his story of becoming a naturalized U.S. citizen.

• 12 p.m. - 12:50 p.m. The 1st Amendment: The Establishment and Free Exercise Clauses
Dr. Fred Slocum, professor in the Department of Government, will have a presentation and discussion on school prayer, Ten Commandments displays and other government actions recognizing or promoting religion.

• 1 p.m. - 1:50 p.m. Freedom of Speech and Dissent under the Constitution
Professor Jim Dimock, Department of Communication Studies, will discuss one of the most essential and controversial freedoms guaranteed under the Constitution, the right to speak out against the state—to criticize the government and other institutions.

• 2 p.m. - 2:50 p.m. International Trade Agreements and the Constitution
Josh Wise from the Minnesota Fair Trade Coalition, will address how international trade agreements such as the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and the Dominican Republic and Central American Free Trade Agreement (DR-CAFTA) have unique legal standing. Once ratified, they are incorporated into and supersede United States law. This discussion looks at the relationship between trade agreements, including a major trade agreement being written today, the Trans-Pacific Partnership, and the United States Constitution.

• 3 p.m. - 3:50 p.m. Affirmative Action: Fisher and Schuette
Susan Burum, professor in the Department of Government, will review the case of Fisher v. University of Texas (Austin) and provide a preview of Schuette v. Michigan. The Fisher case, decided by the Supreme Court in June, concerns whether race can be a factor in higher education admissions. The Schuette case, which the Court will review this fall, concerns whether states can forbid consideration of race in university admissions.
Constitution Day commemorates the formation and signing of the U.S. Constitution on Sept. 17, 1787. More information about the day is at

Minnesota State Mankato, a comprehensive university with 15,413 students, is part of the Minnesota State Colleges & Universities system, which comprises 31 state institutions.

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