‘Hidden Constitution’ talk Thursday at UMPI

     PRESQUE ISLE, Maine — The University of Maine at Presque Isle will celebrate the 228th birthday of the signing of the U.S. Constitution with a special presentation delivered by Dr. Brent Andersen, an assistant professor of political science (adjunct) at the University.

     The talk, “America’s Hidden Constitution,” will be held Thursday, Sept. 17, 2015 from 12-1 p.m. in the University’s Center for Innovative Learning. This event is free and open to the public.

     Andersen will explain some of the less well-known provisions of the Constitution, how these have influenced the course of American history, and how they affect us today. The lecture will be interactive, with quiz questions for audience participants.

     The theme of this particular Constitution Day event was selected for a few reasons, including connections with current events, said Andersen, who has delivered several other Constitution Day presentations.

     “There’s been a lot of talk lately among Republican presidential candidates about ‘illegal immigration’ and ‘anchor babies.’ The citizenship clause of 14th Amendment to the Constitution is directly relevant to this discussion, so I thought it would be interesting to explain the history behind that clause and how it has been interpreted,” Andersen said. “This got me thinking about some of the other clauses in the Constitution that aren’t well known, but have had an impact on American government and politics, and I’ll be sharing some of those connections. For example, why do we even have a District of Columbia?”

     Congress designated Constitution Day to commemorate the Sept. 17, 1787, signing of the Constitution. In 2004, Congress passed a spending bill that included a provision requiring every school and college that receives federal money to teach about the Constitution on Sept. 17, with a grace period should that day fall on a weekend or conflict with established schedules.

     For more information, call 768-9452 or email gshaw@maine.edu.