President George W. Bush signed a bill on December 8, 2004 (public law 108-447) which designates every September 17 as Constitution Day. All institutions of higher education that receive federal funding are required to prepare a program to inform students about the US Constitution.

Attend our Constitution Day Event

To mark the day in 2014, a number of talks and presentations will take place on the UW campus. All events are free and open to the public.

“Has the US Constitution Failed?”

Presented by Professor Howard Schweber; hosted by American Democracy Foundation
Wisconsin Idea Room, Education Building, 10 a.m.

The US Constitution was intended to do several things: to establish a new national government that would have the capacity to carry out the will of the people; to strike an appropriate balance between central and local authorities; to define the limits of the powers of the national governments (and state governments after the Fourteenth Amendment was added) in order to safeguard essential liberties; and to create a framework for democratic politics that would channel and manage conflicts. It is arguably the case that in America today the Constitution that we have fails to deliver any of these essential goods. Is that the fault of our politicians, our media, our schools… or has the Constitution failed?

“The Constitution and the University General Counsel”

Presented by Ray Taffora, Vice Chancellor for Legal Affairs; hosted by UW Law School
Law Building Room 3250, 12 noon

A public university must conduct its business within the restrictions imposed by the US Constitution. Given the scope of University activity, there are many instances where the Constitution affects how the University pursues its mission. Vice Chancellor for Legal Affairs Raymond Taffora will discuss the interaction of University activity and the US Constitution and share his insights on the role of the Office of Legal Affairs in such matters.