September 5, 2007 (REVISED September 17, 2007) Law Library of Congress and the Constitution Project To Mark Constitution Day with Sept. 17 Panel Discussion

Program is Part of Law Library’s Lecture Series on "National Security and the Rule of Law"

Press Contact: Audrey Fischer (202) 707-0022
Public Contact: Alisa Carrel (202) 707-9838

Established by Congress in 2004, Constitution Day is an American federal holiday that recognizes the ratification of the United States Constitution on Sept. 17, 1787, at the Constitutional Convention. Introduced by West Virginian Senator Robert Byrd, the legislation expands the Sept. 17 celebration of Citizenship Day, which President Harry Truman established in 1952 to recognize everyone who had become a U.S. citizen during the previous year. In combining the observances, the act mandates that all publicly funded educational institutions provide programming on the history of the American Constitution on that day.

For their part, the Law Library of Congress and the Constitution Project will mark the occasion with a bipartisan panel discussion at 12:30 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 17, in the Montpelier Room, located on the sixth floor of the Library’s James Madison Building, 101 Independence Ave. S.E., Washington, D.C.

The program is free and open to the public. Seating is limited and advance reservations are required; contact Alisa Carrel at [email protected] A lunch preceding the program is by invitation only.

Law Librarian of Congress Rubens Medina will deliver opening remarks. The panel, moderated by Virginia Sloan, president of the Constitution Project, will include former congressman Mickey Edwards (R-Okla.), American University professor James A. Thurber and Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Charlie Savage.

During the program, the first-ever Constitution Project Award for Constitutional Commentary will be presented to Charlie Savage for his latest work, titled “Takeover: The Return of the Imperial Presidency and the Subversion of American Democracy,” scheduled to be published on Sept. 5.

Savage has been a Washington correspondent for The Boston Globe since 2003. He covers the Supreme Court, the Department of Justice and the Department of Homeland Security with a focus on legal and policy issues related to the war on terrorism.

Thurber is Distinguished Professor of Government and Director of the Center for Congressional and Presidential Studies at American University in Washington, D.C.

Edwards is chairman of the Republican Policy Committee and lecturer at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University.

The Constitution Project Award for Constitutional Commentary was established to recognize exceptional critical analysis of the constitutional implications of public policy. The award will be given annually by the Constitution Project to the author of an outstanding written work that has improved the quality of public discourse through insightful, articulate analysis of a constitutional question.

The Law Library of Congress is celebrating the 175th anniversary of its founding through legislation enacted on July 14, 1832. The Law Library’s collection now exceeds 2.5 million volumes. For more information about the Law Library, visit the Web site at


PR 07-174
ISSN 0731-3527