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National Constitution Day Commemorated

On Friday, September 16, the Western New England University School of Law commemorated Constitution Day and Citizenship Day with a special presentation and discussion by Law Professor Sudha Setty titled “United States Constitutionalism in the Global Context.” The talk was held in the Blake Law Center and was well attended by law students and faculty.

Professor Setty explained that only in recent decades have U.S. Supreme Court justices considered the fundamental rights written into foreign constitutions, and foreign court decisions, as relevant to their own decision making process. Both liberal and conservative justices have cited foreign case law in the arguments.
“There is a strong likelihood that the interpretation of the U.S. Constitution will continue to be influenced by the thinking of judges and constitutional drafters in other countries,” said Setty.

old painting of first continental congress

Professor Setty explored the many ways in which national constitutions have influenced each other, focusing on how and why there are great differences between the U.S. Constitution and most constitutions drafted since the end of World War II.

“Many nations in Central and South America adopted the same model as the U.S. government,” explained Professor Setty. “However, most other nations have chosen different models and different approaches to articulating fundamental rights.” 

Constitution Day and Citizenship Day was established in 1952 by Congress, marking September 17 as a day to commemorate the formation and signing of the U.S. Constitution on September 17, 1787. The day also recognizes all those who have attained American citizenship through the naturalization process.