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US educational institutions celebrate first Constitution Day

[JURIST] Educational institutions across the United States took up the subject of the US Constitution [Library of Congress backgrounder and documents] for a day Friday, each with their own twist. The nationwide history lesson for students in schools and universities marks the first Constitution Day [official website; National Archives materials] held as required by an amendment added to a 2004 spending bill by Sen. Robert Byrd [official website], D-WV. The amendment requires that all educational institutions receiving federal aid offer students some form of instruction on the historic text every Sept. 17, the day the document was adopted in 1787. Because Sept. 17 falls on a weekend this year, institutions have the option to observe the day on the Friday before or Monday after. They also have discretion on how to observe the day, with the University of California simply posting a Constitution website, Michigan University holding a reading of the text and a speech by Sen. Carl Levin, D-MI, and Columbia University offering an exhibit on John Jay and the Constitution. US Supreme Court Justices Sandra Day O'Connor and Stephen Breyer talked with high school students at the Supreme Court Friday about the Constitution; watch recorded video. AP has more.

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Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

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