UMF kicks off new Public Forum series with 17th annual Constitution Day presentation, Sept. 20

FARMINGTON, ME  (September 14, 2023)—The University of Maine at Farmington is kicking off a new UMF Public Forum series beginning with UMF Professor of Political Science James Melcher’s 17th annual Constitution Day presentation.

This Public Forum event will take place at 6:30 p.m., Sept. 20, 2023, in the Performance Space in the Emery Community Arts Center on the UMF campus. The event is free and open to the public.

UMF Professor James Melcher
UMF Professor of Political Science James Melcher

The UMF Public Forum is a University event series sponsored by the Office of the President. Each lecture will be followed by a discussion and a reception with light refreshments.

“As a public university, UMF is committed to providing the people of Maine with quality education, innovative research and community engagement. The UMF Public Forum is a unique opportunity to share research, insights and creative works with the greater Farmington community,” said Joseph McDonnell, UMF president.

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

“While the Supreme Court did not have any cases last term with the impact of the Dobbs case overturning Roe v. Wade, they had no shortage of other controversial issues to address. These included affirmative action, environmental regulation and more,” said Melcher.

Last Supreme Court Term:

  • 303 Creative v. Elenis: Freedom of speech and LGBT rights
  • Students for Fair Admissions v. Harvard/UNC: Affirmative action in college admissions
  • National Pork Producers v. Ross: Hidden Commerce Clause
  • Biden v. Nebraska: Student loans
  • Sackett v. EPA: Wetlands regulation

This Supreme Court Term:

  • US v. Rahimi: 2d Amendment and restraining orders
  • Vidal v. Elster The First Amendment and trademark law
  • Consumer Financial Protection Bureau v. Community Financial Services Association of America, Limited: Is the CFPB constitutional?
  • Lindke v. Freed: Government and social media
  • McElrath v. Georgia: Double jeopardy

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 September 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 Pre-Law Program, the Department of Political Science and the Division of Social Science and Business.

Melcher has taught at UMF since 1999 and teaches a wide range of courses on American politics, government and political thought. He also serves as UMF’s pre-law adviser. He has become known throughout the University of Maine system for his work on the Maine Public Policy Scholars program and has become a frequent “voice of the University” in his numerous interviews as a political expert with media both within and outside Maine.

More on University of Maine at Farmington

A nationally recognized liberal arts college known for its commitment to teacher preparation and student success, UMF provides a challenging yet supportive environment to prepare students for both careers and further study. Rooted in a tradition of teacher preparation, UMF offers top quality programs in the arts and sciences, teacher preparation, and pre-professional studies. Located in the heart of Maine’s four-season outdoor recreational region, UMF is a welcoming, close-knit academic community that prepares students for engaged citizenship, enriching professional careers and an enduring love of learning.

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Photo Caption: UMF Professor of Political Science James Melcher
Photo Credit: UMF Image

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