In this issue:
Bellwood Speaker Will Bring Unique Background to Topics of Judicial Independence and Aiding the Disadvantaged
It’s not every day that a full-time law student or practicing lawyer earns a place in the Pro Football Hall of Fame; or that a successful candidate for high public office declines to take positions advocated by partisan interest groups; or that a public official uses personal time and resources to help more than 2,500 children get a college education. On October 20, 2005, the University of Idaho’s Bellwood Lecture Series will feature an individual who has done all these things: the Honorable Alan C. Page, Justice of the Minnesota Supreme Court.
A graduate of Notre Dame and the University of Minnesota Law School, Justice Page earned his Juris Doctor degree as a full-time law student, and later practiced law, while also engaging in what he modestly calls “full-time employment as a professional football player.” In fact, he became a legendary Minnesota Viking, winning the National Football League’s “Most Valuable Player” award in 1971 and earning a place in the NFL Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1988. He went on to become the first African American ever elected to state office in Minnesota. He has been re-elected twice to the state Supreme Court, establishing a reputation as a reflective, deliberate and disciplined jurist. As a candidate for judicial office, he has underscored the importance of judicial impartiality by declining to make pledges or promises in response to issue-specific questionnaires propounded by partisan interest groups.
Justice Page’s visit to the University of Idaho will feature two presentations:
At 9:00 a.m. in the College of Law courtroom, Justice Page will participate in a panel discussion on the timely topic, “Is Judicial Independence under Assault? The Future of State Courts.” Justice Page, who has spoken to the National Press Club on the growing issue of money and politics in state judicial elections, will make the opening presentation. Joining him on the panel, and making their own presentations, will be the Honorable Gerald Schroeder, Chief Justice of the Idaho Supreme Court, and attorney Fred Hoopes of Idaho Falls, a member of the Idaho State Bar Judicial Independence and Integrity Committee.
At 4:00 p.m. in the UI Student Union Ballroom, Justice Page will deliver the 2005 Bellwood Lecture. An exponent of public service and the transformative power of education, Justice Page will speak on “The Legal Profession’s Calling to Aid the Disadvantaged.” Justice Page will draw upon his background as a member of the American Law Institute, a past member of the board of directors of the Minneapolis Urban League, a past member of the Board of Regents of the University of Minnesota, and a recipient of numerous humanitarian and civic awards including the Aetna “Voice of Conscience” Arthur Ashe, Jr., achievement award. Justice Page is the creator of the Page Education Foundation, which to date has assisted more than 2,500 minority youths in obtaining a post-secondary education. In return, he insists that these students provide tutoring or mentoring for other, younger students.
Law Faculty Take Teaching Beyond the Classroom
Several professors recently have played central roles in special outreach programs offered in Moscow.
On September 8, 2005, the University of Idaho presented its inaugural “Constitution Day” program, pursuant to a directive enacted by Congress for all higher education institutions receiving federal funds. Law professors Russell Miller and Richard Seamon participated in a panel discussion regarding the President’s power of nomination, and the Senate’s power of advice and consent, with respect to U.S. Supreme Court appointments. The program focused on the then-pending the nomination of the Honorable John Roberts to be Chief Justice of the United States. Professor Seamon worked with John Roberts in the Solicitor General's Office during the early 1990s.
On September 14-16, 2005, the College of Law co-hosted a "Symposium on the Settlement of Indian Reserved Water Rights Claims," held in conjunction with the Western States Water Council and the Native American Rights Fund. The symposium’s programmatic content was organized principally by Professor Barbara Cosens, who teaches water law as well as environmental law. The symposium attracted state and federal regulators, tribal leaders, practicing lawyers, and academics from 14 states plus the District of Columbia. UI law students also participated. Professor Cosens delivered the keynote address.