Constitution Day talk slated for Sept. 17 at WCSU, Danbury

Fordham University Associate Professor of Political Science Dr. Robert J. Hume will discuss "Our Many American Constitutions: Same-Sex Marriage and the Struggle for Social Reform" at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 17, in Room 125 of the Science Building on the Western Connecticut State University Midtown campus, 181 White St. in Danbury. The talk will take place on Constitution Day, an American federal observance that commemorates the formation and signing of the U.S. Constitution on Sept. 17, 1787, and recognizes all who have become citizens either by being born in the U.S. or by naturalization. The talk will be free and the public is invited.

"We often forget that our constitutional system is not just composed of the U.S. Constitution, but 50 state constitutions as well," Hume said. "In my talk, I will explain how some state constitutions offer substantially better venues for the expansion of our rights than the U.S. Constitution, while other states offer fewer opportunities. Social reformers who would use state courts to achieve social change can have very different success rates depending on where they litigate."

According to his profile on the Fordham website, Hume's research interests are in the areas of constitutional law and judicial policy development, with particular emphasis on the impact of court decisions. Recent projects have focused on the impact of state supreme courts on same-sex marriage policy. Other projects have studied the impact of the U.S. Court of Appeals on the federal bureaucracy and the language strategies used by judges to advance implementation goals.

His first book, "How Courts Impact Federal Administrative Behavior," won the 2010 Alpha Sigma Nu Book Award in Professional Studies. His second book, "Courthouse Democracy and Minority Rights: Same-Sex Marriage in the States," is available at Oxford University Press.

Hume's research has appeared in numerous academic journals, including American Politics Research, the Law & Society Review, the Journal of Empirical Legal Studies, Justice System Journal and Publius.

For more information, call the Office of University Relations at (203) 837-8486.

Western Connecticut State University offers outstanding faculty in a range of quality academic programs. Our diverse university community provides students an enriching and supportive environment that takes advantage of the unique cultural offerings of Western Connecticut and New York. Our vision: To be an affordable public university with the characteristics of New England's best small private universities.

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