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‘We the people’

‘We the people’

Justice John Greaney to discuss the Constitution at Westfield State

WESTFIELD, Mass., February 23, 2016- As part of its guest lecture series, Westfield State University will hold a lecture by Justice John Greaney, retired from the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court on “Mysteries (and History) of the Constitution: The Role of the Supreme Court” on Wednesday, February 24 from 6:30-8:30 p.m. in Scanlon Banquet Hall B and C. The lecture is free and open to the public.

Justice John Greaney served with distinction in the Hampden County Housing Court, the MA Superior Court, the MA Appeals Court, and the MA Supreme Judicial Court. While on the MA Supreme Judicial Court he authored numerous significant opinions on such matters as termination of life support, the constitutional right to an adequate public school education, and most notably a strong concurring opinion in the landmark Goodridge ruling establishing the right to same-sex marriage in Massachusetts.

Born in Westfield, Mass., Greaney earned his B.A. from the College of the Holy Cross and his J.D. from New York University School of Law where he was a Root-Tilden scholar and chairperson of the Annual Survey of American Law.

Greaney currently serves as director of the Macaronis Institute for Trial and Appellate Advocacy at Suffolk University School of Law.

The lecture was organized by Philip Zambini, professor of political science, who teaches the Constitution in his courses.

“Every engaged citizen needs to learn more about the U.S. Constitution,” Zampini said. “This document affirms individual rights, and also the powers of the national government, and the limits on these powers.”

According to Zampini, Greaney’s lecture will address the common misunderstandings that people have about the Constitution and controversial questions including the document’s support for rights to privacy and gun possession, and what the Constitution says about the powers of the President and of the Supreme Court.

The Guest Lecture Series is supported by funding from the Academic Affairs budget with the goal to enhance student learning and service to the larger community.  An advisory committee with representation by the faculty and librarians, staff, and students review proposals and recommend selection for the year.  For more information on upcoming speakers in the Guest Lecture Series, please visit http://www.westfield.ma.edu/guest-lecture-series.