Final two Amicus Curiae lectures to take place in April at Marshall

Updated 6 years ago Special to HNN Provided by Marshall University

Final two Amicus Curiae lectures to take place in April at Marshall
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - The final two lectures in Marshall University's 2012-2013 Amicus Curiae lecture series focusing on the U.S. Constitution and important matters in the nation's political process will take place Monday, April 8, and Thursday, April 18. Both lectures will begin at 7 p.m. in the Marshall University Foundation Hall, home of the Erickson Alumni Center, on the Huntington campus.

The Amicus Curiae Lecture Series on Constitutional Democracy is sponsored by Marshall's Simon Perry Center for Constitutional Democracy with financial support from the West Virginia Humanities Council.

On Monday, April 8, Cliff Sloan, who has served in all three branches of the federal government, will speak about Chief Justice John Marshall's most famous ruling, Marbury v. Madison, which established the U. S. Supreme Court as the final arbiter of whether a law is constitutional.

In his presentation, "Jefferson, Adams, Marshall, and the Battle for the Supreme Court," Sloan addresses the political drama that surrounded the decision, a drama that pitted President Thomas Jefferson against the Supreme Court, led by his cousin, Chief Justice John Marshall.

The Chief Justice's resolution of the political fight allowed Jefferson to win the battle while losing the war as Marshall's "Great Decision" established that the Supreme Court would be equal in power to the other two branches of government and would play a key role in shaping the destiny of the nation.

Sloan graduated magna cum laude from both Harvard College and Harvard Law School and was Supreme Court clerk for Justice John Paul Stevens.  He also served as Associate Counsel to the President and Assistant to the Solicitor General. He is now a partner in the law firm Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom in Washington, D.C., and litigates cases at all levels of the state and federal courts. Sloan is co-author, with David McKean, of The Great Decision, a book about the historic Marbury v. Madison ruling.

On Thursday, April 18, with the U.S. Supreme Court poised to decide the constitutionality of both California's ban on same-sex marriage and the Federal Defense of Marriage Act, Gregory Friel, an alumnus of Marshall and a prominent civil rights attorney in Washington, D.C., will review the long history of anti-gay discrimination in this country.

In his address, "From Death, Oppression, and Stigma to Marriage Equality," Friel will examine the emergence of the gay rights movement, its triumphs and setbacks in the courts and political arena, and the battles now raging over marriage equality for same-sex marriage.

After graduating magna cum laude from Harvard Law School, Friel clerked for a federal court of appeals judge, and then joined the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice where he worked for two decades as an appellate litigator. He now serves as Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the Civil Rights Division.

Both lectures are free and open to the public. Each Amicus Curiae lecture is approved for one hour of West Virginia MCLE general credit.

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