Many thanks to Justices Karen Carroll and William Cohen, Judges Cortland Corsones and Elizabeth Mann and Vermont Law School Professor Peter Teachout for the excellent “Constitution Day 2021” program moderated by VBA Board President Elizabeth Kruska at Vermont Law School on September 14. The VBA provided over 100 complimentary Pocket Constitutions to an overflow crowd, who enjoyed the panelists’ presentations about this year’s Constitution Day theme: “Advancing the Rule of Law.” The event was also livestreamed; a link to the recording will be posted when available. Photos of the event are below.
Professor Teachout introduced the topic with an engaging explanation of the historical origins of rule of law concepts and how essential the concepts are to a just, fair and reasonable society; Justice Cohen followed with an enlightening overview of the early Vermont experience with the Council of Censors and its legislative treatment of litigants before the Council’s elimination; Judge Corsones presented an in-depth case study of United States v. Nixon and the limits of executive privilege clarified in that case; Justice Carroll prepared an enlightening overview of discrimination on the basis of race with a focus on jury selection (that Justice Cohen presented for Justice Carroll when she was unable to attend in person); and Judge Mann concluded with a thought-provoking review of free speech protections and the importance of protecting free speech rights, especially of those with unpopular views. Audience members expressed their appreciation for the quality of the program by posing a number of insightful questions during the Q & A session that followed. Many thanks also to Vermont Law School for hosting the event.