Political writer John Nichols to speak on Constitutional challenges on September 27


Contributed by Marian Brown

To commemorate Constitution Day 2011, on Tuesday, September 27 at 7:30PM in Textor Hall Room 102, Ithaca College will present renowned political observer John Nichols, speaking on “First Amendment Remedies: The Constitution as a Call to Action”. 

“James Madison’s Constitution calls us to action for peace, economic justice, and human values—not corporate values,” argues John Nichols. The political writer for The Nation will examine the U.S. Supreme Court's Citizens United ruling and the challenge to historic understandings of our rights that is posed by the concept of "corporate personhood." He will also discuss the constitutional underpinnings of the recent struggles in Wisconsin, Ohio, Maine and other states to defend labor rights and local democracy.

John Nichols, a pioneering political blogger, has written the Beat since 1999. His posts have been circulated internationally, quoted in numerous books and mentioned in debates on the floor of Congress. Nichols writes about politics for The Nation magazine as its Washington correspondent. Nichols is a frequent guest on radio and television programs as a commentator on politics and media issues.

With Robert W. McChesney, Nichols has co-authored the books It's the Media, Stupid! (Seven Stories), Our Media, Not Theirs (Seven Stories), Tragedy and Farce: How the American Media Sell Wars, Spin Elections, and Destroy Democracy (The New Press) and, most recently, The Death and Life of American Journalism (Nation Books).  Of Nichols, author Gore Vidal says: "Of all the giant slayers now afoot in the great American desert, John Nichols’s sword is the sharpest."

This special Constitution Day event is co-sponsored by: The Office of the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, The Park School of Communications, The Departments of Politics and Sociology, the Legal Studies Program, L.I.P.S. (Labor Initiative in Promoting Solidarity),  and The Park Center for Independent Media.

Constitution Day commemorates the formation and signing of the U.S. Constitution by thirty-nine brave men on September 17, 1787; all educational institutions receiving federal funding are required to annually hold an educational program pertaining to the United States Constitution sometime around September 17th.  

This Ithaca College event is free and open to the public. Individuals with disabilities requiring accommodations should contact Marian Brown, 607-274-3787, or by email at mbrown@ithaca.edu. We ask that requests for accommodations be made as soon as possible.

For this Constitution Day event, the Ithaca College Library has collated a number of resources on Citizens United: Corporate Speech, Political Ads and the Law, which can be accessed here.

John Nichols will also be participating in a panel discussion forum on Tuesday, September 27th at 4:15PM in Lewis Auditorium, G76 Goldwin-Smith Hall, at Cornell University. The forum, titled “Stand Up, Fight Back: Reclaiming Collective Bargaining”, will include Debby Cho, BSILR '12 and Kate Bronfenbrenner, Director of Labor Research. This event is open to the public.