Pacific News

Surprise Lecturer at Pacific McGeorge Constitutional Law Class

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy leads a lively, hour-long class discussion on the Constitution in a surprise visit to Pacific McGeorge School of Law on September 4, 2012

Sep 11, 2012
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Second-year students in two Constitutional Law classes knew something was up when they were asked to meet as one unit in a bigger classroom on September 4, 2012. It was an even bigger surprise when United States Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy walked in to teach the class.

Dean Jay Mootz introduced the Justice Kennedy, a long-time member of Pacific McGeorge's faculty, and Kennedy engaged the students in an hour-long discussion of the Constitution's origins, structure and rights.

His hypotheticals, some involving recent high court cases, provoked a lively give-and-take between the students and the Sacramento native. Kennedy taught Constitutional Law to Evening Division classes at Pacific McGeorge from 1965-1988 when he joined the Supreme Court. He also taught Fundamental Rights in Europe and the United States at the law school's summer program in Salzburg, Austria, from 1988-2011.

Kennedy thanked Professors Leslie Jacobs and Brian Landsberg for turning over their lecture time to him. After class, he stayed on to talk to students for a half hour then met with other members of the faculty later in the day.

"I know that Justice Kennedy pays at least one visit to our campus every year, but it's always a thrill for the students to see and interact with him," Dean Mootz said.