UH Law School sponsors events for Constitution Day

Panels, citizenship assistance workshop scheduled

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Carol Mon Lee, (808) 956-8636
Associate Dean
Levi Hoʻokano, (808) 956-5557
Law School Public Relations
Posted: Sep 9, 2006

The University of Hawaiʻi at Manoa‘s William S. Richardson School of Law is sponsoring two events to recognize and celebrate Constitution Day. The law school is one of more than a hundred other schools across the country promoting awareness of the U.S. Constitution, and reminding citizens, especially students, of the importance of judicial independence and a government of checks and balances.

The first UH event will be a panel discussion about the legality and civil liberties implications of recent National Security Agency wiretapping. It will feature Jon Van Dyke, constitutional law professor at UH, Sylvia Law, visiting professor this year from New York University, and Gerald Kato, chair of the UH Manoa School of Communications. Law school dean Avi Soifer will moderate the discussion. The panel is scheduled for Thursday, September 14, beginning at 12:40 p.m. in Classroom 2 at the Law School. It is free and open to the public.

Asked about the constitutional implications of wiretapping, Professor Van Dyke said, "The American Constitution Society and the Matsunaga Peace Institute have coordinated this panel on the surveillance undertaken by the National Security Agency (NSA) to discuss the constitutionality of this activity, which is now being challenged in the courts." Van Dyke hopes that these kinds of panel discussions will provide education about the values that underlie the U.S. Constitution.

The second event is a citizenship workshop scheduled for Sunday, September 17. Attorney John Egan and students in the UH Law School Immigration Law Clinic will provide free assistance to immigrants who wish to apply for U.S. citizenship. Assistance will include naturalization pre-application screening, help with understanding requirements and supplying necessary documentation to become a U.S. citizen. The workshop will be held at the Atherton YMCA on University Avenue from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. It will be open to "lawful permanent residents" (green card holders) who have pre-registered. The workshop and services are provided free of charge.

Egan explained that Constitution Day also has been celebrated as National Citizenship Day since 1952. The Sunday workshop will demonstrate the importance of citizenship, assist legal immigrants with family reunification, and provide law students with hands-on experience with immigration law practice.

Pre-registration for services at this workshop is required. Contact John Egan at (808) 956-9974 for more information.

In an additional activity, Dean Soifer and UH law students enrolled in the Law School‘s LLM program for foreign-trained lawyers will also participate on a panel sponsored by Hawaiʻi Pacific University. The panel is titled "First Amendment: A Global Perspective" and will feature legal specialists from Cambodia, Pakistan, China, Sudan, and Ukraine. Moderating will be Cynthia Quinn, Esq., Assistant Professor of Law at HPU. This panel is scheduled for Monday, September 18, 2006 from 11:30p.m. -1:30p.m. at the Judiciary History Center, 417 South King Street.