Final two Amicus Curiae lectures to take place in April


The final two lectures in the 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 events will take place at 7 p.m. in Marshall University Foundation Hall, home of the Erickson Alumni Center..

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.

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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Photo: Cliff Sloan will speak on the Amicus Curiae lecture series April 8.