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FAU LifeLong Learning, Boca Raton
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Presenting programs for LLS
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Great Constitutional Stories:
The People, Politics and Events Behind Landmark Supreme Court Decisions
Burton Atkins

EVENT DESCRIPTION: Supreme Court landmark decisions are like tips of icebergs: what we see before us looms very large indeed yet much of what makes up the total case, the personal stories that drive the litigation in the first place, is usually hidden from public view. This one-time lecture will examine the human drama associated with Supreme Court decisions by discussing the people at the “storm centers” of several cases/controversies that have formed the basis of our constitutional and political system. Lecture attendees will discuss William Marbury’s quest for a position on the federal bench; Homer Plessy’s fateful decision to sit in the wrong carriage on a train in Louisiana; Linda Brown’s desire to attend an integrated public school and David Lucas’ dream of building a beach house in South Carolina. These and other “constitutional stories” will help transform the sometimes-sterile environment of constitutional law into fascinating stories about people who persisted in pursuing their dreams and working toward interests of important American values.

BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION: Dr. Burton Atkins is Professor Emeritus of Political Science at Florida State University (FSU). Currently he teaches political science at Florida Atlantic University (FAU) and  also serves on the faculties at Virginia Tech and Penn State Universities. In his 35-year career at FSU, Dr. Atkins taught a variety of courses on, and wrote extensively about,  constitutional law and U.S. politics; served as chair of the Political Science department; lived in London from 1992 to 1997 while serving as the Director of FSU’s London Study Center; and from 1997 until his retirement in 2006, served as Director of the FSU International Affairs Program. An avid supporter of international education, Dr. Atkins has organized and led study semesters abroad in London, Brussels, and Paris for FSU and FAU.

SPL3122
Time: 1:00 pm - 2:45 pm
Date: Wednesday, March 12, 2014
Location: Barry and Florence Friedberg Auditorium, Boca Raton Campus
Fees: Member advance registration - $20 per event
$50 for any combination of three events
$100 for any combination of seven events
Door price member/non-member - $25

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