August

Martha Dean to Speak at 7th Annual Constitution Day

News Story: July 1, 2011
Martha A. Dean, Esq.

Sacred Heart University will host its 7th Annual Constitution Day on Wednesday, September 14, at 2 p.m. The event will be held in the Schine Auditorium and will feature speaker Martha A. Dean, Esq., the 2010 Republican candidate for Connecticut Attorney General. She will be speaking on “Defibrillating the Constitution: Jump-Starting the Heart of America’s Economic Engine.”

Martha Dean has practiced law for 23 years. Constitutional cases that she has handled include the recent Roger Sherman Liberty Center challenge to the state budget under the state constitution’s balanced budget amendment, and a consumer challenge to contracts affecting a forced waiver of the right to a jury trial under the U.S. Constitution.

Dean is also a business owner who has run her own multi-lawyer firm for the past 16 years. Prior to that, she worked at Robinson & Cole, in Hartford; Gaston, Snow & Ely Bartlett in Boston; and the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission, in New York. Dean is co-founder of the Hartford Lawyers Chapter of the Federalist Society for Law & Public Policy Studies and a graduate of Wellesley College, ’82, and the University of Connecticut School of Law, ’86, where she was an editor of the Connecticut Law Review. She is a member of the Connecticut Bar, the bars of the U.S. District Court (Connecticut), U.S. Court of Appeals (2nd Circuit), and the U.S. Supreme Court.

In addition to commemorating the United States Constitution, Sacred Heart University Press is also commemorating the Connecticut Constitution by publishing a pocket-sized edition of the Connecticut Constitution. While the U.S. Constitution was made available to the general populace some time ago, now the Connecticut Constitution also will be available for general understanding and application in this new edition. This newly published version is especially appropriate when Connecticut is known as the “Constitution State” because many historians regard its Fundamental Orders (1638-39) as the first written constitution in the history of the world.

Copies of the Connecticut Constitution and a similar edition of the U.S. Constitution will be available for purchase to all in attendance at the Constitution Day event.

Professor and Chair of the Department of Government and Politics Gary L. Rose, Ph.D. said, “The reason for doing so is to increase awareness and appreciation for the spirit of constitutionalism, and to help people understand that the preservation of our civil liberties and civil rights is dependent on meaningful and enforceable constitutions.”

Rose assisted the project to publish the Connecticut Constitution, which was conceived by Attorney Deborah Stevenson. Stevenson practices Constitutional Law, Appellate Law, Educational Law, and Criminal Law in a variety of courts, including Connecticut Appellate and Supreme Courts, federal District Courts, and the Second Circuit Court of Appeals. Stevenson also serves as Chief Counsel for We the People of Connecticut, Inc., an organization whose goal is to act as Connecticut’s Constitution Lobby, to protect and defend the Constitution and the rule of law. She has written many articles on Constitutional Law, and has given many lectures on the Constitution and individual rights in workshops held in several states across the country.

“Constitution Day” is the result of a federal law introduced by the late U.S. Sen. Robert Byrd, D-W. Va. The law requires any university or college in the U.S. that is a recipient of federal funds to conduct some form of activity to honor the Constitution of the United States.

For the past six years, Sacred Heart University has honored the U.S. Constitution by hosting prestigious guest speakers on Constitution Day. Representing many different backgrounds, the speakers have included Quinnipiac Law Professor William Dunlap; Senior Fellow in Legal Studies at the Heritage Foundation Todd Gaziano; then-U.S. Rep. Christopher Shays, R-Conn.; Associate Justice of the Connecticut Supreme Court Barry Schaller; U.S. Rep. Jim Himes, D-Conn.; and Legal Director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Connecticut Sandy Staub.

This event is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served following the presentation. This event is sponsored by the Department of Government and Politics. For more information please contact Tracy Deer-Mirek at 203-371-7751 or via email at deer-mirekt@sacredheart.edu.