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March 13, 2012
State Constitutional Law to be Topic of Supreme Court Lecture Series

A federal appeals court judge will champion the cause of making greater use of state constitutions at the Supreme Court of Ohio’s latest Forum on the Law lecture. Judge Jeffrey S. Sutton of the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals will present “In Praise of State Constitutions” on April 4.

Judge Sutton advances his position as a practical approach.

“Lawyers are problem solvers, and when a state or local law stands in the way of a client’s objective, it generally will matter little to the client whether the lawyer manages to strike the law on federal or state ground,” he said.

He has addressed state constitutional law in speeches, a law review article and a textbook he co-authored.

“Many of the most groundbreaking constitutional disputes of the day are being waged in state courts under state constitutions,” Sutton continued. “Whether it is school funding, property rights, the definition of marriage or other modern rights disputes, the state courts in recent years have gone from being civil rights followers to leaders.”

When Judge Sutton took his seat on the appellate court in the spring of 2003 he brought with him considerable state and federal experience. He was a partner with the law firm of Jones Day Reavis & Pogue in Columbus and served as State Solicitor of Ohio. He also was a law clerk to the Honorable Lewis F. Powell Jr. (Ret.), the Honorable Antonin Scalia and the Honorable Thomas J. Meskill.

He co-authored “State Constitutional Law, the Modern Experience” that was published in 2010. He graduated from Williams College and the Ohio State University College of Law, where he has been an adjunct professor since 1994.

Co-sponsored by the Columbus Lawyers Chapter of the Federalist Society and the Thomas J. Moyer Ohio Judicial Center Foundation, registration for the event will begin at 5:30 p.m. with remarks at 6 p.m. in the Courtroom, and a reception to follow.

The lecture and reception are open to the public, but reservations are required. To reserve your seat, R.S.V.P. by April 2 to events@sc.ohio.gov or 614.387.9267.