Silliman '68 Discusses The War Powers Act and Use of Force in Syria on Constitution Day, September 17

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Scott Silliman

Celebrate the Constitution of the United States on Tuesday, Sept. 17, by attending a timely discussion about the presidential and congressional authority to authorize military actions short of war, with a focus on Syria. Scott L. Silliman '68, adjunct professor of law at UNC and expert in national security and military law, will present “The Constitution, the War Powers Resolution and the Use of Force in Syria” at noon in the rotunda of UNC School of Law's Van Hecke-Wettach Hall.

"We are honored to dedicate a day to the contemplation and discussion of constitutional issues, particularly as they are relevant to the looming question of the potential use of force in Syria," says John Charles "Jack" Boger '74, dean and Wade Edwards Distinguished Professor of Law.

Silliman is a professor of the practice of law at Duke Law School and served as executive director of the Duke Center on Law, Ethics and National Security from its inception in 1993 until July 2011. President Obama nominated Silliman to be a federal appellate judge on the United States Court of Military Commission Review, and he was sworn in on Sept. 12, 2012.

During his career as a military attorney, Silliman held a variety of leadership positions, including staff judge advocate (the senior attorney) at two large installations and three major Air Force commands. In his last assignment, as the senior attorney for Tactical Air Command and later Air Combat Command, he was general counsel to the commander of the largest principal organization within the Air Force and managed a command law firm of 715 active duty and reserve lawyers, paralegals and civilian support staff. During the Persian Gulf War, he supervised the deployment of all Air Force attorneys and paralegals incident to Operations Desert Shield/Desert Storm. Silliman is widely sought throughout the country as a guest lecturer on national security and the Law of War, and is a frequent commentator on CNN, National Public Radio, and other national radio and television news programs on issues involving military law and national security.

Each year on September 17, pursuant to a 2004 federal statute, U.S. schools and colleges take time to celebrate and commemorate the day on which the Constitution of the United States was signed. Constitution Day presents an opportunity to reflect upon the deeper meanings of the Constitution and the hopes it embodies for the future of the country and the world.

For the past several years, UNC School of Law has served as host of the campus-wide UNC-Chapel Hill Constitution Day celebration.

Light refreshments will be served.

Review the Constitution and Amendments at

-September 6, 2013

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