Happy Constitution Day!

Constitution Day, September 17, 2022


#Constitution Day is observed each year on September 17 to commemorate the signing of the Constitution on September 17, 1787. Public Law 108-447 requires that every educational institution which received Federal funds hold a program on the Constitution for students on September 17. This year, the College of Law is celebrating Constitution Day on Friday, September 16, 2022. Constitution Day is an opportunity for all of us to reflect on the foundations of our legal system and the rule of law.

UC Law Constitution Day Speaker

Victoria Nourse, Ralph V. Whitworth Professor in Law at Georgetown Law, will discuss the Supreme Court and how its “disruptive effects” reach beyond the cases read about in newspapers, during her lecture “Democracy’s Constitution.” Professor Nourse will share her recent research (124 cases and 300 opinions) showing the Supreme Court’s “disruptive” effects reach beyond the cases read about in the newspapers. She also will sketch a blueprint of “Democracy’s Constitution” which envisions the constitution very differently than is typical for constitutional lawyers. This event will be held at 12:15 p.m., Friday, Sept. 16, 2022, in Room 160 at the College of Law.

Articles by Professor Nourse available on HeinOnline. Selected books by Professor Nourse available at the Law Library include In Reckless Hands : Skinner v. Oklahoma and the Near Triumph of American Eugenics.

Robert S. Marx Law Library Constitution Day Display

2022 Constitution Day Display

The Robert S. Marx Law Library is home to one of the largest collections of rare and special law books in Northwest. The collection consists of approximately 10,000 volumes of historical legal books and pamphlets printed during the mid-1500s through mid-1900s. Most of the items in the Collection consists of scholarly, out of print books on English and American law and legal history. These include numerous classics in the field. The books have been individually selected and function together as a comprehensive research tool providing services to scholars and legal communities locally, nationally, and internationally on various aspects of the law and legal history, thus contributing to the further advancement of legal education and scholarship. The Collection is strongest in the areas of constitutional history and early English law.

To celebrate Constitution Day, the Robert S. Marx Law Library is pleased to present a display of a few noteworthy items within the collection, including:

  • One of the earliest editions of Magna Carta, printed in London in 1578
  • The Law of Laws: or, The Excellency of the Civil Law, Above All Other Humane Laws Whatsoever. Shewing of How great use and necessity the civil law is to this nation, by Sir Rob. Wiseman, printed in London, 1686.
  • First edition of The Federalist Papers, printed in New York, 1788.
  • First edition of The Constitutions of Several Independents States of America, printed in Philadelphia, 1781.
  • Laws of the Territory of the United States Northwest of the River Ohio, printed in Cincinnati 1800.


The Collection also contains of very rare and unique items on the history of slavery in the United States and the works of the lawyers, judges, and activists leading to the Civil Rights Act of 1866. A few examples are on display. Of note are:

  • Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave, Written by Himself .., printed in Dublin, Ireland by the abolitionist printer Richard D. Webb in 1846.
  • Anti-slavery addresses of 1844 and 1845, by Salmon Portland Chase and Charles Dexter Cleveland, printed in in London and Philadelphia,1867.



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