Thomas Jefferson Center for the Protection of Free Expression

Sep 082008
 

On August 20, 2008, the Thomas Jefferson Center for the Protection of Free Expression brought a time machine to the Community Chalkboard at the eastern end of the Downtown Mall. A crowd assembled was transported to the year 1828 to hear from James Monroe, the fifth President of the United States.

The Presidential time machine appears to operate once every August. In 2007, James Madison himself leapt from the past in order to give his view of history.

Apr 152008
 

On March 28, 2008, the Hon. J. Harvie Wilkinson, III, of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit presented the Tenth Annual Henry J. Abraham Distinguished Lecture Series, hosted by the Thomas Jefferson Center for the Protection of Free Expression. The lecture was part of the Virginia Festival of the Book, and was moderated by Robert O’Neil.

J. Harvie Wilkinson, III, is the author of several works, including Serving Justice: A Supreme Court Clerk’s View and One Nation Indivisible: How Ethnic Separatism Threatens America. A former clerk to U.S. Supreme Court Justice Lewis Powell, he serves as a Judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.

Read more in the Daily Progress

Apr 142008
 

Legal questions involving academic freedom, affirmative action, and student speech are but a few of the issues facing college administrators today. On March 29, 2008, a panel of experts was called together by the Thomas Jefferson Center for the Protection of Free Expression at the 14th Annual Virginia Festival of the Book for a discussion of some of the legalities involved in providing a college education.

John C. Jeffries, is the author of Justice Lewis F. Powell, Jr. and Civil Rights Actions: Enforcing the Constitution (with Pamela S. Karlan, Peter W. Low, & George A. Rutherglen), among others. He argued the case of Rosenberger v. University of Virginia before U.S. Supreme Court and is currently the Dean of the UVa School of Law.

Robert O’Neil is the author of Academic Freedom in the Wired World and Free Speech in the College Community. His books stem from his experiences as the former president of UVa and Wisconsin and his present position as the Director of the Thomas Jefferson Center for the Protection of Free Expression.

Barbara Perry, Ph.D., is the author of The Michigan Affirmative Action Cases, Freedom and the Court (with Henry J. Abraham) and seven other books. She is Carter Glass Professor of Government at Sweet Briar College and is a former Supreme Court Fellow.

The moderator is Henry J. Abraham, the author of Freedom and the Court: Civil Rights and Liberties in the United States. A renowned Constitutional scholar, he has authored eleven additional books and is the winner of the 2007 DAR Americanism Medal. He is James Hart Professor of Politics, Emeritus, at UVa.

Oct 282007
 

On Wednesday, August 22, at 7:00 pm, Virginia General Assembly Delegates Rob Bell (R-58) and David Toscano (D-57) participated in a community forum to address audience questions on past and future legislative sessions. The forum will be moderated by WINA Radio host Jane Foy.

The event was held at The Community Chalkboard and Podium: Charlottesville’s Monument to the First Amendment, located on the downtown mall outside City Hall. In the case of rain, an event will be moved to The Charlottesville Pavilion. The forum is sponsored by The Thomas Jefferson Center for the Protection of Free Expression and is free and open to the public. For more information, please contact the Thomas Jefferson Center at 434-295-4784.

Aug 162007
 

On August 14, 2007, a time machine temporarily turned the east end of the Downtown Mall back to the year 1807, allowing for Orange County resident James Madison to appear. He spoke about foreign affairs and whether he should run for president. Mr. Madison (as played by John  Douglas Hall) also took questions from the audience.

The time machine was arranged by the Thomas Jefferson Center for the Protection of Free Expression.

Apr 032007
 

In November 1997, the Reverend Jerry Falwell and publisher Larry Flynt appeared together at the University of Virginia School of Law as part of a conference organized by the Thomas Jefferson Center for the Protection of Free Expression. The conference examined the legal and cultural impact of the landmark U.S. Supreme Court case in which the minister sued the publisher for the unauthorized use of Falwell’s name and picture in a parody of an advertisement for an alcoholic beverage. Although once bitter legal adversaries, Reverend Falwell and Mr. Flynt sat side by side as they discussed a variety of issues, including the friendship that had developed between them in the years since the Court’s decision. The discussion was moderated by noted US Supreme Court reporter Tony Mauro.

Apr 032007
 

Oliver Hill, from the College of William and Mary

Civil rights attorney Oliver Hill is well known for the role he played in the landmark U.S. Supreme Court decisions that ended the doctrine of “separate but equal” and other forms of racial discrimination in the United States. One of the cases in which Hill was a key figure was NAACP v. Button. On its face, Button was a challenge to Virginia statutes defining and punishing attorney malpractice. The impact of the 1963 decision was, however, far greater. NAACP v. Button established the principle that active encouragement of public interest litigation is “speech” protected by the First Amendment – a principle that was critical to civil rights litigation.

In February 2000, the Thomas Jefferson Center sponsored a conference at Howard University on the lasting impact of the decision. Prior to the conference, Center director Robert O’Neil interviewed Oliver Hill about NAACP v. Button and his involvement in the case. Hill was 93 years old at the time of the interview and his voice was sometimes weak, making it occasionally difficult to hear his comments. His mind was sharp, however, making it worth the effort of concentrating to hear his comments.

Apr 022007
 

In March 2007, ABC News Supreme Court Correspondent Jan Crawford Greenburg delivered the ninth annual lecture of the Henry J. Abraham Distinguished Lectureship Series. Sponsored by the Thomas Jefferson Center for the Protection of Free Expression, the series was created and funded by the former students of Professor Abraham to honor his outstanding career as teacher and scholar of constitutional law at the Universities of Pennsylvania and Virginia.  Ms. Greenburg spoke on her recently published book, Supreme Conflict: The Inside Story of the Struggle for Control of the United States Supreme Court.

Mar 252007
 

Ronald Collins, co-author of The Trials of Lenny Bruce, and attorney Robert Corn-Revere discuss the free speech trials of comedian Lenny Bruce, including their successful effort to earn Bruce the first posthumous pardon granted by the State of New York. The presentation was sponsored by the Thomas Jefferson Center as part of the 2007 Virginia Festival of the Book.

Feb 162007
 

In April 2003, Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court William H. Rehnquist provided the fifth annual lecture of the Henry J. Abraham Distinguished Lectureship Series. Sponsored by the Thomas Jefferson Center for the Protection of Free Expression, the series was created and funded by the former students of Professor Abraham to honor his outstanding career as teacher and scholar of constitutional law at the Universities of Pennsylvania and Virginia. Chief Justice Rehnquist addressed the history and propriety of Supreme Court Justices serving in other public roles while they were seated on the Court.

Mar 242006
 

Legal news commentator and reporter Joan Biskupic, discusses her new biography, Sandra Day O’Connor: How the First Woman on the Supreme Court Became Its Most Influential Justice. This event is part of the 2006 Virginia Festival of the Book, and is sponsored by the Thomas Jefferson Center for the Protection of Free Expression.