In this issue:
Chief Justice of the United States Speaks at Centennial Celebration in Boise, Delivers Bellwood Lecture in Moscow
Marking its 100th year of service to the State of Idaho and to American legal education, the University of Idaho College of Law hosted a special visitor, Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr., in Boise and Moscow on March 12-13, 2009. On March 12, at the Boise Centre on the Grove, the Chief Justice addressed a reception celebrating the College’s centennial. The gathering, limited to invitees for facility planning and security reasons, attracted approximately 780 guests, including Idaho Governor C. L. “Butch” Otter, Lieutenant Governor Brad Little, and other state constitutional officers; members of the State Board of Education; Idaho’s legislative leadership; Idaho’s federal judges and state appellate judges; the leadership of the Idaho State Bar; and other distinguished members of the Idaho bench and bar. In his remarks, the Chief Justice noted that he generally limits major travel/speaking engagements to one or two events per year, and that University of Idaho College of Law centennial was a special occasion. He saluted the University of Idaho and other regional public universities for their teaching and scholarship on western legal issues, and for their support of states as laboratories of experimentation in our federal legal system. The Chief Justice specifically cited the University of Idaho’s interdisciplinary “Waters of the West” initiative – a water resources management and policy program that combines law and science – as an example of western innovation.
On March 13, in Moscow, the Chief Justice delivered the Sherman J. Bellwood Memorial Lecture and participated in a full round of academic activities. He began the day by mixing and mingling with students at a gathering in the foyer of the College of Law, followed by a panel discussion in the courtroom on the role and responsibilities of the Office of the Solicitor General in the U.S. Department of Justice, where the Chief Justice, early in his career, worked as a colleague with UI law professor and associate dean Richard Seamon. Dean Seamon facilitated the discussion by a panel that also included UI visiting law professor Nora O’Callaghan, UI political science chair Don Crowley, and Washington State University political science professor Cornell Clayton. The Chief Justice responded to their comments and questions as well as to questions from students who packed the courtroom.
In the afternoon, following a luncheon with the law faculty, the Chief Justice presented the Bellwood Lecture to an overflow audience at the University of Idaho Student Union Building. Live-feed broadcasts of the lecture were shown at the University of Idaho/Boise Center, University of Idaho/Coeur d’Alene Center, University of Idaho/Idaho Falls Center, Idaho State University, and the College of Southern Idaho. After welcoming remarks by University of Idaho Provost Douglas Baker (speaking on behalf of UI President Steven Daley-Laursen, who was ill that day), Idaho Chief Justice Daniel Eismann, and Idaho State Bar president Dwight Baker, the Chief Justice focused his lecture on the connection between Idaho and President Abraham Lincoln. It was President Lincoln who signed the law creating the Territory of Idaho and who signed the Morrill Act that created the system of land-grant universities eventually encompassing the University of Idaho. The Chief Justice noted that the oldest statue of Lincoln in the west is located in Boise. The Chief Justice further extolled Lincoln for his record of public service and for his role-model conduct in the ethical practice of law. In response to questions from the floor, the Chief Justice defined “justice” as the application of neutral principles to particular facts in an objective way, and he characterized “discretion” under the Constitution as the power to apply the law evenhandedly, without regard to persons. He also criticized as “wrong” a recent trend toward politicizing the federal judicial appointment process.
O’Connor, Scalia, and Ginsburg. In addition, the late Justice Blackmun delivered a graduation address at the University of Idaho. Further information about the 2009 Bellwood Lecture and the Bellwood Lecture series is available from Dean Burnett (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Governor Otter Proclaims 2009 as “University of Idaho College of Law Centennial Recognition Year”
As mentioned above, Idaho’s Governor, C. L. “Butch” Otter was among the dignitaries attending the College of Law centennial celebration on March 12. In addition to welcoming Chief Justice Roberts to Idaho, the Governor also issued a proclamation recognizing the College’s 100 years of service. The language of the proclamation follows:
STATE OF IDAHO
OFFICE OF THE GOVERNOR
WHEREAS in 1909, under authority of the Board of Regents, the University of Idaho established a Law Department later declared to be the College of Law, in order to provide affordable public legal education and to develop the expertise needed in the rapidly forming legal institutions of the State;
WHEREAS affordable public legal education today remains essential to assuring access to justice as well as making legal services available to Idahoans of ordinary means;
WHEREAS the College of Law is a vital part of the State’s land-grant University charged with the statewide mission in legal education;
WHEREAS the College of Law in its first century has prepared more than 4,500 graduates for careers in the legal profession, the judiciary, business, education, social services, public administration, the military, and civic leadership in Idaho and the nation; and
WHEREAS College of Law alumni have played vital roles in pursuing and administering justice under the rule of law, and in shaping the economic development of this great State;
NOW THEREFORE, I, C.L. "BUTCH" OTTER, Governor of the State of Idaho, do hereby proclaim 2009 to be University of Idaho College of Law Centennial Recognition Year.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand and caused to be affixed the Great Seal of the State of Idaho in Boise, Idaho, on this 12th day of March in the year of our Lord two-thousand and nine and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred thirty-third and of the Statehood of Idaho the one hundred nineteenth.
/s/ C. L. “Butch” Otter
/s/ Ben Ysursa
Secretary of State