Rights and Wrongs: A Constitution and Citizenship Day Conference at SF State

Monday, September 18, 2017 (All day) to Tuesday, September 19, 2017 (All day)
Image of law scales with clenched fist and silhouette of President Trump
As part of a nationwide celebration commemorating the 230th anniversary of the U.S. Constitution, SF State presents a two-day conference providing opportunities to reflect critically on the past, present and future of constitutional rights, freedoms, citizenship, democracy, equality and justice. 9:30am - 5:30pm. Free.
J. Paul Leonard Library and Cesar Chavez Student Center
College of Liberal & Creative Arts
Marc Stein
Event extras: 

Constitutional law has emerged as a critical nexus for discussion and debate about U.S. society, politics and culture. Court rulings about abortion, affirmative action, campaign finance, disability rights, immigration restriction, military detention, racialized policing, religious freedom, same-sex marriage, trans rights and voting rights have won praise and criticism.

What does the U.S. Constitution say and do? Does it produce and preserve social hierarchies or does it support the radical expansion of citizenship, democracy, and inclusion? Is the United States experiencing a constitutional crisis? Have the country’s recent political troubles exposed longstanding problems with the U.S. constitutional “order”? Can the history of the U.S. Constitution serve as a resource for those who are troubled by today’s uses and abuses of U.S. power and politics? For those who seek positive social change, is the Constitution an opportunity or an obstacle? Can and should it be amended? Who makes meaning out of the U.S. Constitution and what meanings are made of it? What are the domestic and global implications of our interpretations and transformations of the U.S. Constitution?

Keynote speakers

  • Robin D.G. Kelley, Gary B. Nash Professor of American History at University of California, Los Angeles: “Crimes of Liberty: The Origins of the Constitution and the Unfinished Business of Abolition.” September 18, 4 – 5:30 p.m., Jack Adams Hall, Cesar Chavez Student Center.
  • Shirin Sinnar, associate professor of law and John A. Wilson Distinguished Faculty Scholar at Stanford University Law School: “What Good Are Courts? Travel Bans, National Security and the Mixed Promise of the Law.” September 19, 4 – 5:30 p.m., Jack Adams Hall, Cesar Chavez Student Center.