Today@Sam Article

Constitution Day To Provide Discussion And Observation

Sept. 10, 2018
SHSU Media Contact: Tyler Pointer

rbg500 copyIn celebration of Constitution Day, several departments across the Sam Houston State University campus have teamed up to provide students, faculty and staff a day of events on Wednesday, Sept.12 to address and discuss topics regarding the history of the United States Constitution.

Sponsored by the College of Humanities and Social Sciences Dean’s Office, the departments of history, political science and mass communication, the SHSU Leap Center, and the American Democracy Project, the goal of Constitution Day is to provide knowledge and discussion on both older issues with the constitution and laws, as well as new issues and happenings that arise daily, according to Associate Professor of History Thomas Cox.

A series of presentations will occur throughout the day in Lowman Student Center Room 315 as follows:


  • 9:30 a.m. “Competency to Execute: How the Supreme Court Interprets the Eight Amendment’s Prohibition against Capital Punishment for the Severely Mentally Ill” presented by Mike Vaughn, co-director for the Institute of Legal Studies, professor of criminal justice.
  • 11 a.m. “The Supreme Court and the Right to Privacy: Grappling with Privacy in the Age of GPS Tracking and the Smart Phone” presented by John Domino, professor of political science.
  • 12:30 p.m. “Is Economic Inequality a Constitutional Problem?” presented by Zachary Montz, lecturer – pool faculty of history.
  • 2 p.m. “The Courts’ History of Redefining ‘Sex’ and ‘Sexual Discrimination’: The 14th Amendment and the Civil Rights Act” presented by Glenn Sanford, associate dean and professor of philosophy. 

The day will conclude with a final keynote entitled “Creating ‘RBG’: Documenting Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s Role on the U.S. Supreme Court’ from Professor of Journalism at Columbia University Julie Cohen, who is the co-director and co-producer of the documentary. The keynote will take place at 4 p.m. in Academic Building IV’s Olson Auditorium (ABIV 220). 

Cox believes that students can gain real insight by attending the day’s events.

“We are currently living at a pivotal moment in constitutional history,” Cox said. “With President Trump's appointment of Neil Gorsuch and nomination of Brett Kavanaugh, who is currently going through the congressional confirmation process, we are looking at a major reorientation of the U.S. Supreme Court which could last for the next four or five decades. A new conservative majority on the U.S. Supreme Court will have a tremendous influence on cases involving abortion, healthcare, workers’ rights, even student loans and for-profit colleges.” 

For more information, contact Cox at

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