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Sources: Al Cochran, 785-532-4372,;
and Heather Reed, 785-532-6432,

Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2009


MANHATTAN -- Kansas State University will mark Constitution Day with activities Sept. 16 and 17, including the hearing of cases by the Kansas Court of Appeals and a workshop by the K-State Mock Trial Team.

An educational program about the Constitution is an annual event at K-State and is required under federal law for educational institutions that receive federal funds from the U.S. Department of Education.

K-State will kick off Constitution Day-related activities with a discussion on the Second Amendment. Two legal experts will discuss the right to carry guns on places like college campuses as part of K-State's Dorothy L. Thompson Civil Rights Lecture Series. "Guns on Campus? A New Understanding of the Right to Bear Arms" will be at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 16, in the K-State Student Union's Forum Hall. The lecture is free and the public is welcome. Bill Merkel, professor of law at Topeka's Washburn University, and Ray Diamond, law professor at Louisiana State University, will discuss the 2008 landmark Supreme Court case, District of Columbia v. Heller, and their interpretations of its impact on the right to bear arms. Michael Kaye, a professor of law at Washburn, will moderate the debate.

On Constitution Day, which is Thursday, Sept. 17, the Kansas Court of Appeals will hear two cases from 10-11 a.m. and two more cases from 1-2 p.m. in Forum Hall. Everyone is welcome and encouraged to attend. The morning hearings include appeals on a case involving negligent supervision of a minor and a DUI conviction case from Douglas County. The afternoon hearings include appeals on a conviction for criminal possession of a firearm in Johnson County, and on a claim for violation of duty of care to prevent foreseeable harm to a child.

Following the court cases, the K-State Mock Trial Team will take part in a special workshop, which is free and open to the public, from 2:30-3:30 p.m., also in Forum Hall.

K-State also will have a Constitution Day booth available from noon to 1 p.m. Sept. 16 and 17 by the Union's food court. Information and activities on the Constitution will be available.

More information on K-State's Constitution Day activities is available by contacting Al Cochran at 785-532-4372 or; or Heather Reed at 785-532-6432 or