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Bill of Rights timely topic for PSU's Constitution Day

Union Leader Correspondent

September 18. 2013 9:44PM

PLYMOUTH — Two high-profile legal minds will lead a discussion on the Bill of Rights as Plymouth State University celebrates Constitution Day tonight.

The guests at this year’s event are retired New Hampshire Supreme Court Justice William Batchelder and law professor Nadine Strossen, a former president of the American Civil Liberties Union.

The discussion will focus on the Bill of Rights and recent Supreme Court decisions that relate to them, said PSU criminal justice professor Mark Fischler.

“There are so many issues out there right now with regard to the law, like (Edward) Snowden, NSA spying, Internet issues. There’s a lot to talk about,” Fischler said.

The event is free and open to the public. It takes place at 7 tonight at Heritage Commons.

Batchelder served for decades as a lawyer, prosecutor, a state superior court judge and New Hampshire Supreme Court justice. He received the New Hampshire Bar Association’s Professionalism Award and President’s Award for Service to the Profession.

He also was awarded the Silver Shingle Award from Boston University Law School. While on the superior court, he was chairman of the Sentence Review Division. He has been a member of the New Hampshire Judicial Council since 1987. In addition, he was a member of the board of directors of the American Judicature Society for four years. He is a fellow of the American Bar Foundation.

Strossen was president of the ACLU from February 1991 to October 2008. She was the first woman and the youngest person to ever lead the ACLU. A professor at New York Law School, she has been hailed as an influential business leader and lawyer in such publications as the National Law Journal, Working Woman Magazine, Vanity Fair and many others.

“Justice Batchelder and Nadine Strossen are two of the most selfless and wise people I know,” Fischler said. “They both have demonstrated courage in confronting difficult constitutional questions throughout their illustrious legal careers.”

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