September

Attorney General George Jepsen Presents Talk as Part of Constitution Day

News Story: September 23, 2016
Attorney General Jepsen talks with Pre-law Club students before his talk.

Sacred Heart University hosted Connecticut Attorney General George Jepsen at its annual Constitution Day celebration.

“I love constitutional law,” Jepsen said before the event began. He chatted and took pictures with students and Professor Gary Rose, chair of the Government, Politics and Global Studies department, outside SHU’s Schine Auditorium. “I like to speak with all students, whether fourth graders or pre-law students.”

Jepsen said to make Constitution Day a more well-known celebration, there needs to be more of an emphasis on the day and the “great political document.” The day and its importance need to be “woven into elementary and secondary education,” he said.

Inside the auditorium, students, staff and faculty heard from pre-law students and Rose who introduced Jepsen. Audience members learned that Jepsen went to Dartmouth College and received his law degree at Harvard Law School as well as earning a master’s degree in public policy from the Kennedy School of Government. He served in Connecticut’s General Assembly for 16 years and was chairman of the state’s Democratic Party for two years. He became attorney general in 2011 and is currently president of the National Association of Attorneys General.

When Jepsen took the podium, he explained to the crowd that he loved law school and took every constitutional law class he could. His passion for law and the constitution led him to where he is today. He said his office interacts with the state and federal constitution but has nothing to do with criminal law; the civil side of law enforcement is what Jepson’s office is concerned with. The office’s main priorities are to enforce state laws, represent the state when it gets sued and act in the public’s interest. Jepsen said his office deals with thousands and thousands of cases and employs 200 lawyers.

“We’re the largest law firm in the state,” Jepsen joked. The “firm” consists of 15 different departments.

Jepsen described some of the cases he and his team have represented over the years, ranging from disgruntled union workers who were laid off and seeking retribution from the state to defining what is meant by a free public education for children.

After Jepsen’s informative talk, he fielded a variety of questions from the audience. The queries ranged from conflicts of interest in cases, whether the constitution is a living and breathing document, how attorneys general are selected and questions about specific cases.

Commenting on Jepsen’s delivery, Rose had this to say. “The detail was exceptional and left little doubt about how challenging the office of attorney general is. The integral relationship between the state attorney general and constitutional law was described in very clear terms. I’m sure the audience found the forum educational.”       

George Jepsen 9/21/16