Franklin Countys First News

UMF examines Supreme Court cases for annual Constitution Day, Sept. 19

FARMINGTON - The U.S. Constitution—the oldest written national constitution in the world—will again be celebrated on the University of Maine at Farmington campus with its 12th Annual Constitution Day presentation on the U.S. Supreme Court.

This annual preview and review by James Melcher, UMF professor of political science, will be held at 11:45 a.m., Wednesday, Sept. 19, in Rm. C23, UMF Roberts Learning Center. It is free and open to the public.

This year’s presentation will present a docket of U.S. Supreme Court cases focusing on last term’s highlights and this term’s coming attractions.

"People sometimes think of Supreme Court cases as being about arcane principles or things they can't relate to very well,” said Melcher, “but many of the cases I'll be talking about from the recent term are things that many people see in daily life--bakeries, betting on sports, cellphones and ordering things online. In addition, the controversy around Brett Kavanaugh's nomination to the Supreme Court shows that there's a lot coming in the future that's of great interest to many people, too."

Docket of cases to be previewed from the upcoming term:
Gamble v. US: Double jeopardy
Madison v. Alabama: Death penalty
Timbs v. Indiana: 8th Amendment and "excessive fines"
Weyerhauser Company v. US Fish and Wildlife Service: Endangered Species Act
Apple Inc. v. Pepper: Apple's App Store and monopolies

Docket of cases to be reviewed from last term:

Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission (The "wedding cake case")
Carpenter v. US: Cellphones and the 4th Amendment
Murphy (Christie) v. NCAA et. al.: Sports gambling
Janus v. AFSCME: Public employee unions
South Dakota v. Wayfair: Sales taxes and online retailers

Previously known as Citizenship Day, Constitution Day was created by Congress in 2004. This federal holiday was revised to recognize not only those who have become U.S. citizens, but also the ratification of the U.S. Constitution on Sept. 17, 1787.

In addition to renaming the holiday “Constitution Day and Citizenship Day,” the act mandates that all publicly funded educational institutions provide educational programming on the history of the American Constitution on that day.

Opinions on last term’s cases can be found at

UMF’s Constitution Day event this year is sponsored by the UMF Provost’s Office, UMF Pre-Law Program and UMF Dept. of Political Science.

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