American Constitution Society at UNC Named "Chapter of the Week"

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The UNC School of Law chapter of the American Constitution Society for Law and Policy (ACS) was named "Student Chapter of the Week" for the week of March 10, 2014. The ACS national organization selects chapters to be featured that it considers to have held exceptional programming, have aligned themselves with the priorities of the national office or have established themselves as a premier student group on campus. The UNC chapter is featured on the ACS website, in the ACS weekly bulletin and in the ACS Student Chapters weekly announcement.

Under the guidance of faculty advisors Prof. William Marshall (also an ACS Board Member), Prof. Gene Nichol and Prof. Michael Gerhardt, the UNC chapter of ACS continues to be a major force for dialogue and engagement on legal and public policy issues important to UNC students.

During the fall semester, the chapter hosted a discussion on the judicial vacancy crisis with Prof. Michael Gerhardt, who has advised both the executive and legislative branches in previous judicial nominations, including the confirmation hearings for Justices Breyer, Sotomayor and Kagan. The chapter also hosted Representative Rick Glazier from the North Carolina General Assembly, who provided a defense of public education in North Carolina.

In October, the chapter partnered with UNC School of Law’s First Amendment Law Review to sponsor the journal’s annual symposium, a reflection on the 50th anniversary of the landmark decision in New York Times v. Sullivan. The chapter also partnered with the UNC Chapter of the ACLU and the UNC Poverty Center to host a discussion on McCutcheon v. FEC, the campaign finance case pending before the Supreme Court. The chapter also welcomed Prof. Rob Smith, founder of the Carolina Criminal Justice Reform Project, for a discussion on the state of indigent defense 50 years after Gideon.

The UNC chapter also has a busy spring semester planned. Last week, the chapter hosted Prof. Joe Kennedy and Daryl Atkinson, staff attorney at the Southern Coalition for Social Justice, for a discussion on race and mass incarceration. This month, the chapter will host Judge Sam Ervin from the North Carolina Court of Appeals, and target of the second largest judicial campaign expenditure in the entire 2012 election cycle, for a discussion on money in judicial elections. Finally, in April, the chapter will partner with the Carolina Health Law Organization to host Prof. David Podoff, former Chief Economist for the United States Senate Committee on Finance, to discuss implementation of the Affordable Care Act.

-March 17, 2014

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