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Bill of Rights Lecture by U.Va. Professor Set for Madison County

"Our Rights and Civil Liberties"

Sept. 30 Presentation Hosted by Montpelier & Virginia Foundation for the Humanities

Sept. 29, 1999 -- Henry J. Abraham, a University of Virginia professor of government and an internationally recognized authority on American constitutional issues, will present a special lecture on civil liberties on Thursday, Sept. 30, at 7 p.m.

The lecture will be presented at the Madison County Office Building. The lecture, which is free and open to the public, is the third in a five-part series of talks on the Bill of Rights that is being held this fall in the region. The series is sponsored by The Montpelier Foundation and the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities and Public Policy.

Abraham's speech is titled "Reflections on the Contemporary Status of Our Rights and Civil Liberties".

Abraham will explore how the Supreme Court's interpretations of the Bill of Rights and subsequent constitutional amendments have been shaped and re-shaped over time -- and how the Court's perception of the Bill of Rights is affected by changing public opinion.

Abraham is the James Hart Professor of Government and Foreign Affairs (emeritus) at the University of Virginia. He holds an A.B. degree from Kenyon College, an A.M. degree from Columbia University, and a Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania. His work as a visiting professor and lecturer in American government and politics has taken him to five continents.

Abraham has received numerous awards, including the University of Virginia Alumni Association Distinguished Professor Award. He is the author of numerous books and articles on American government; his eleventh book, A History of the U.S. Supreme Court Appointments from Washington to Clinton, was published earlier this year.

Upcoming lectures in the Bill of Rights series include:

  • "The Supreme Court: Understanding Life Inside the Marble Temple", a lecture by Dr. Barbara Perry, Professor of Government and Chair of the Department of Government and International Affairs at Sweet Briar College, and author of The Priestly Tribe: The Supreme Court's Image in the American Mind, on Thurs., Oct. 7 at the Orange Train Depot at 7:00 p.m.; and
  • "Property Rights in the Age of Environmental Protection", a lecture by Lynda L. Butler, Professor of Law and Director of the Environmental Science and Policy Cluster at the College of William and Mary, and co-author of Virginia Tidal and Coastal Law, on Thurs., Oct. 14 at the Montpelier Visitor Center at 7 p.m.

Special financial support for the Montpelier Bill of Rights series has been provided by Somerville & Wilkinson Ltd., and Allen, Allen, Allen, and Allen. For additional information about the Bill of Rights series, please call (540) 672-0025.

Montpelier, a National Trust historic site, was the lifelong home of James Madison, the Father of the Constitution and the lead congressional sponsor of the Bill of Rights. Montpelier is located on Route 20, four miles southwest of Orange, Virginia. Additional information about Montpelier and special events at the historic home of James and Dolley Madison is available at

FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Please contact University News Services at (804) 924-7116. Television reporters should contact the TV News Office at (804) 924-7550.
SOURCE: Montpelier


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