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U. S. Constitution Day to be celebrated with Stewart L. Harris, the creator of "Your Weekly Constitutional," at the Bristol Public Library

September 09, 2013

Continuing in its mission to expand minds and build community, the Bristol Public Library will present Stewart L. Harris, Professor of Law at the Appalachian School of Law and radio personality on WETS, in a public talk at the Library at 4:00 PM on Tuesday, September 17. The 17th is U. S. Constitution Day. Professor Harris is the creator and commentator of Your Weekly Constitutional on the local NPR affiliate WETS radio at East Tennessee State University. This presentation will be the first of annual presentations on the Constitution the Library has planned. This event is free and open to the public. For further information, please contact Doris Stickley on 276-821-6148.

Your Weekly Constitutional is a public radio show and podcast that focuses upon interesting and controversial issues in constitutional law, from gay rights to gun rights. Produced in partnership with James Madison's Montpelier, it features interviews with knowledgeable lawyers, scholars, and others about current and historical topics, including church-state relations, states' rights, and even the constitutionality of secession. YWC's host is Stewart Harris, an award-winning law professor who loves to talk about the Constitution in a fun, accessible way that everyone can understand. He's spoken with many fascinating people, including United States Senator Rand Paul, a leading critic of the Federal Reserve, Governor Beverly Perdue of North Carolina, who led her state's efforts to compensate victims of forced sterilization, and John Bellinger, the former Legal Advisor to the National Security Council.

The show also includes regular features such as the "Madison Minute," which explores James Madison's life, family and thought, and "This Week at Montpelier," which describes the fascinating goings-on at Montpelier, from archaeology to wine tasting.

Professor Harris graduated from Princeton University in 1983, where he earned an A.B. from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. His studies there focused on U.S. foreign policy, particularly nuclear weapons policy. He graduated from the University of Pennsylvania Law School in 1986, where he won the Edwin R. Keedy Cup, the school's highest moot court award.

Harris then spent a number of years practicing law for the federal government and private firms. He notably obtained $500,000 for a newspaper's defamation of a public official in Griffin v. Add, Inc., Case No. 1:99-cv-36 SPM, U.S. District Court, N.D. Fla., 2000. He also served as trial counsel in two reported environmental cases, HCA, Inc. v. Florida Rock Industries, Inc., 19 FALR 1743 (1998) and Hellmuth v. Carolina Solite Corp., 17 FALR 4072 (1996).

Professor Harris began his teaching career at the University of Pennsylvania Law School, where he taught a course as a third-year law student in 1985-1986. He returned to teaching at the University of Florida's Levin College of Law from 1999 to 2001. Since 2001, Professor Harris has taught at Appalachian School of Law. For the past several years he has also taught Constitutional Law during the summer semester at the University of Tennessee College Of Law. His primary scholarly interest is the First Amendment, and his current research focuses on group defamation. Professor Harris has won Appalachian School of Law's Faculty Scholarship Award for “The First Amendment and the End of the World," 68 U. Pitt. L. Rev. 785 (2007). He has also been selected by ASL's first-year or second-year students as Professor of the Year five times, most recently in 2010.