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Constitution Week

Event details

Trax on the Trail presents Trailblazing Tunes and Didactic Ditties from U.S. Presidential Campaigns, 1840-1964.

5 p.m. in the Magnolia Ballroom

Coverdell Chair Constitution Day Lecture: "The Second Founding," with Dan T. Coenen, Professor and Harmon W. Caldwell Chair in Constitutional Law, University of Georgia. 

5:30 - 7 p.m. in the Magnolia Ballroom 

Supreme Court Panel 

Jehan El-Jourbagy, Assistant Professor of Business Law and Ethics

Matt Roessing, Lecturer, Terry College of Business, University of Georgia

Judge Alison Burleson, Ocmulgee Judicial Circuit 

Lori Ringhand, J. Alton Hosch Professor of Law, University of Georgia School of Law 

6 - 7:30 p.m., A&S Auditorium 

Times Talk: Constitutional Law in the Age of Trump 

Hank Edmondson, Carl Vinson Chair of Political Science and Public Administration 

12 - 1 p.m., Ina Dillard Russell Library 

The Right to Bear Arms and 3D Printed Guns 

Dana Gorzelany-Mostak, Assistant Professor of Music 

Jim Fleissner, Professor of Law, Mercer University 

Stephen Bradley, Ocmulgee Judicial Circuit District Attorney 

6 - 7:30 p.m., A&S Auditorium 

Haters Gonna Hate: Reflections on the First Amendment 

Jennifer Hammack, Associate Professor of Justice Studies

Gary Simson, Senior Vice Provost of Scholarship for Mercer University 

Cary S. Wiggins, Civil Rights Attorney 

Gerry Webber, Senior Staff Council, Southern Center for Human Rights 

Pate McMichael, Senior Lecturer, Mass Communication 

6 - 7:30 p.m., A&S Auditorium 

Speaker bios

Dan T. Coenen has served on the University of Georgia School of Law faculty since 1987. He teaches in the areas of contracts and constitutional law. In 2008, Coenen was named the holder of the Harmon W. Caldwell Chair in Constitutional Law, having previously held the title of J. Alton Hosch Professor of Law since 1997. He was also awarded the title of University Professor in 2005. The University Professorship, awarded to no more than one UGA faculty member per year, is reserved for professors who have served as "change agents" for UGA and have had a significant impact on the university in addition to fulfilling their normal academic responsibilities . Coenen's scholarship includes two books: The Story of The Federalist: How Hamilton and Madison Reconceived America (2007) and Constitutional Law: The Commerce Clause (2004). His many articles include: "The Originalist Case Against Congressional Supermajority Voting Rules" in the Northwestern University Law Review (2012); “Free Speech and Generally Applicable Laws: A New Doctrinal Synthesis” and "Where United Haulers Might Take Us: The State-Self-Promotion Exception to the Dormant Commerce Clause Rule" in the Iowa Law Review (2010, 2018).

Read more about Dan. 

lori ringhand

Lori A. Ringhand is the J. Alton Hosch Professor of Law at the University of Georgia School of Law.  Ringhand teaches Constitutional Law, Comparative Constitutional Law, and Election Law.  She received her JD degree from University of Wisconsin and a post-law degree from Oxford University.

In addition to election law related issues, Ringhand’s work focuses on the Supreme Court confirmation process and the voting patterns and practices of Supreme Court justices. She is the co-author of Supreme Court Confirmation Hearings and Constitutional Change, published by Cambridge University Press, as well as a constitutional law casebook published by Carolina Academic Press. Her scholarship has been published in both peer and student edited journals, and she is a frequent commentator in the national and international media. Her work has been discussed on the editorial pages of the New York Times, as well as on BBC and CNN.

Ringhand is a 2016-17 University of Georgia Women’s Leadership Fellow, the 2010 and 2014 recipient of the University of Georgia Law School’s Ellington Award for Excellence in Teaching, and the 2017 recipient of the John C. O’Bryne Memorial Award for Significant Contributions Furthering Student-Faculty Relations. She also has been awarded a 2018-19 Fulbright Visiting Professorship in Aberdeen, Scotland, where she will work on a comparative campaign finance project.

Matt Roessing is a Lecturer in Legal Studies at UGA’s Terry College of Business and runs his own law practice, with a focus on business law. In 2013, he started the first Supreme Court Review at Georgia College, now an annual tradition and a centerpiece of GC’s Constitution Week.

Before moving to Georgia, Matt practiced in the Washington, D.C. office of a multinational law firm. Matt has advised a wide range of clients, from individuals to Fortune 500 companies. He has represented clients before various state and federal courts, in investigations by U.S. regulatory agencies, and in international arbitration. He received his undergraduate degree from Williams College and his JD from Williams & Mary.

Matt is an active member of the Georgia Bar. He is admitted to practice in all Georgia state courts and the U.S. District Court for the Middle and Northern Districts of Georgia.

As one of five Superior Court Judges in the Ocmulgee Judicial Circuit, Judge Burleson presides over both criminal and civil cases across eight counties. Judge Burleson also presides over the North Ocmulgee Judicial Circuit Parental Accountability Court as well as the Substance Abuse Division of the Adult Treatment Court Collaborative (Drug Court).

Prior to her appointment to the bench by Governor Nathan Deal in January 2015, Judge Burleson served as an Assistant District Attorney in the Ocmulgee Judicial Circuit District Attorney’s Office, an Assistant District Attorney in the DeKalb County District Attorney’s Office, and the Chief Assistant Solicitor General in the DeKalb County Solicitor General’s Office. Judge Burleson also served as an Adjunct Professor of Law at Georgia State University College of Law and coached the College of Law’s mock trial competition team.

Judge Burleson received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Agnes Scott College and her Juris Doctorate from the Georgia State University College of Law.

Jim Fleissner’s teaching and scholarship are focused on criminal law and procedure, evidence, trial and appellate practice, and legal history. Upon graduating from law school in 1986, Fleissner was appointed as an Assistant United States Attorney in Chicago. As a federal prosecutor, he gained extensive experience investigating and prosecuting a variety of federal cases and held several supervisory positions, last serving as Chief of the forty-five lawyer General Crimes Section of the U.S. Attorney’s Office. Since joining the Mercer faculty in 1994, Jim Fleissner has complemented his academic activities with engagement in practice, including additional part-time service as a federal prosecutor as a Senior Associate Independent Counsel (1998-2000), Deputy Special Counsel (2004-2009), and full-time service during a leave of absence as Chief of Criminal Appeals for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Chicago (2003-2005).

Stephen Bradley spent 21 years as Chief Assistant District Attorney (DA) in the Ocmulgee Judicial District prior to his September appointment as District DA by Georgia Governor Nathan Deal.

Bradley’s appointment came as a result of former DA Fred Bright retiring in August 2015 following 34 storied years in that position. As officers of state government, a DA represents the state in all criminal cases within the judicial circuits. Georgia’s Ocmulgee Judicial Circuit includes Jasper, Baldwin, Greene, Hancock, Jones, Morgan, Putnam, and Wilkinson.

Read more about D.A. Bradley. 

Gerry Weber is principal in The Weber Law Offices and focuses on constitutional, civil rights, libel and media law and general litigation.

Gerry Weber served for seventeen years as Legal Director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Georgia. He also currently serves as a Senior Staff Counsel at the Southern Center for Human Rights, and is an Adjunct Professor at Emory University School of Law and Georgia State College of Law in constitutional litigation, media law and the first amendment. Gerry clerked for the Honorable Carolyn Dineen King, Chief Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.

He was named one of the “21 Young Lawyers Leading Us Into the 21st Century” by the American Bar Association and “Top 40 Achievers under 40" by Georgia Trend Magazine.

Gerry Weber has litigated against federal, state and local governments and agencies and some of the largest corporations in the United States. He has successfully struck down numerous laws ranging from state restrictions on the Internet to state laws barring fornication and sodomy. He also has chalked up one of the largest monetary awards in the history of the State of Georgia – a $440 million dollar judgment in an international human rights case against a Serbian government torturer.

Pate McMichael is a senior lecturer at Georgia College. He teaches courses on media law and journalism. His first book, Klandestine: How a Klan Lawyer and a Checkbook Journalist Helped James Earl Ray Cover Up His Crime, was published in April 2015. He was a 2009 finalist for the Livingston Awards for Young Journalists. He has a master’s from the Missouri School of Journalism and a history degree from The University of Georgia.

Cary Wiggins is an attorney based in Atlanta who specializes in civil-rights matters.

He graduated with a B.S. degree in Business Administration (Finance) from the University of Florida in 1993. In 1997, Cary earned his J.D. degree from the Mississippi College School of Law; Cary completed law school at Georgia State University in Atlanta.

Cary is a member and past-president of the First Amendment Lawyers Association, a not-for-profit association whose membership (of about 180 attorneys) includes some of the most prominent First Amendment attorneys in the United States. Many of the U.S. Supreme Court's decisions in the last 30 years involving censorship issues have been briefed and argued by a FALA member. Cary is also a contributing essayist to the Encyclopedia of the First Amendment. He has handled cases in numerous state and federal courts. Notable results include obtaining a ruling from the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals that Georgia’s obscenity statute was unconstitutional in violation of the First Amendment. More recently, Cary represented Gloria Allred in a successful federal lawsuit against Cobb County and others alleging a First Amendment violation, as Ms. Allred was denied entry into the Cobb Energy Centre to see the last live comedy performance of Bill Cosby. He was also part of the trial team that won a verdict against Valdosta State University’s past president for unlawfully expelling a student who was protesting the school’s environmental policies. That case settled after trial for just under $1 million.

Judge Burleson

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