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          Judge Michael McConnell speaks about the Ninth Amendment

          Mirela Turc

          Issue date: 10/31/08 Section: News
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          McConnell provided additional insights in a later interview. As a legal scholar who has extensively studied the separation of church and state, he explained his neutrality argument concerning religion in public schools. Though generally labeled a conservative, he would oppose an amendment allowing prayer in public schools. The two reasons he gives are that there would be pressure on students to participate in prayer and that such a prayer, composed by an agent of the state, the teacher, would amount to the government instructing students on how to pray. McConnell asserts that public schools should provide accommodations for students that believe in the importance of prayer during the school day, but that the government cannot have a "one-size-fits-all prayer for the entire classroom."

          Regarding Roe v. Wade, McConnell thinks that though this case is an important decision whose repercussions are not yet behind us, it should not be "elevated to a litmus test for judges in a way that is inappropriate." McConnell explained that nominees who support abortion rights, or believe that the Constitution does not protect such rights, should not be immediately disqualified.

          McConnell suggested that students who want to go to law school consider this career path carefully. "Do something else for a year or two before going to law school," he said. "Find out a little more about who you are and what your real interests are before rushing on into three more years of schooling."
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            Saqib Ali

            Saqib Ali

            posted 3/30/09 @ 1:42 PM EST

            An excellent and informative talk. The video of the entire session is available @
            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bLANRrZPm-k

            Some excerpts from the speech:


            "It is important to note that this idea of natural rights, the rights of a person in the state of nature is nothing at all like our modern conception of fundamental rights, alienable rights, human rights or constitutional rights. (Continued…)

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            In This Issue

            News

            • A Conversation with Caroline Goulding
            • Don't blow it all at once: financial tips for recent graduates
            • International student session to debut during 2010 orientation
            • Name That Place - 4/23/2010
            • Relay For Life raises $76,000, short of goal but not short of spirit
            • Student Leadership Award Winners
            • Tanning dangers abound as summer approaches
            • What Now?
            • Mass funding successful for some, headache for other organizations

            Sports

            • Case falls to Wooster at Progressive Field
            • Spartan Spotlight: Obinna Nwanna
            • Spartans are optimistic heading into UAA's
            • Spartans extend win streak to six
            • Spartans snap long losing streak
            • The next step
            • Top 10 Spartan stories of 2009-2010

            Opinion

            • 2009-2010 Year in Review
            • Letter to the Editor: Straight Answers to Questions about Greek Life Funding
            • Living - and dying - on your own terms
            • The last hurrah: experiencing senior week
            • What are you doing this summer?

            Focus

            • A final fling for finals
            • Despite an oppressive crowd and disappointing opener, Ben Folds continues to impress on stage
            • MaDaCol performance distinguishes dance as alternative communication medium
            • Parting word of advice: Express yourself
            • Springfest blowout to feature activities, student bands and national headlines
            • The best bars in Cleveland
            • Tri-C Jazz Festival features stunning jazz organ performance, among others
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