United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, 43rd First Lady of Pennsylvania
The Constitution Day Address: The Constitution and Civic Responsibility
Monday, September 24, 2007
7:00 p.m. – Anita Tuvin Schlechter Auditorium
As a federal judge, First Lady and citizen, The Honorable Marjorie O. Rendell is passionate about civic learning. She has said, “We are the newest guardians of our democracy. It is important that we rededicate ourselves to the creation of those “voices of the people” proficient in understanding and willing to sacrifice for the rights and responsibilities embodied in our Constitution. We have a duty as “living” citizens to educate our youngest so that they not only know the words, “we the people…,” but fully embrace their meaning.” Co-sponsored by the department of political science.
Issue in Context
On September 17, 1787, thirty-nine men signed the U.S. Constitution, giving the people sovereignty under the American government. As the oldest written national constitution in use, the United States Constitution stands as a model of statesmanship and cooperation. September 17, 2007 marked the 220th anniversary of the signing of the Constitution; this date serves as a reminder of the Founding Father’s legacy and American citizen’s responsibility to uphold the privileges, which those thirty-nine men presented.
Though daily life as Americans should provide adequate reminder of the gift of being an American citizen, today, particularly younger generations know and act less on their civic responsibility. Look to yourself, for example, have you registered to vote? Do you remember the Pledge of Allegiance or why the fourth of July is marked with cook-outs and firecrackers? Does the meaning of civic responsibility translate to you as the mail notice dauntingly labeled, jury duty?
What is the civic responsibility of American citizens? Judge Marjorie Rendell has sought to provide an answer: “We are the newest guardians of our democracy. It is important that we rededicate ourselves to the creation of those “voices of the people” proficient in understanding and willing to sacrifice for the rights and responsibilities embodied in our Constitution.”
In four hand written pages, the Constitution represents the owners manual to a government. Allowing Americans to live in the land of the free with the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness and so long as the Constitution stands we always will.
About the Speaker
Judge Marjorie Rendell is a Judge for the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit and the 43rd First Lady of Pennsylvania. Judge Rendell graduated with a bachelor’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania and with a law degree from Villanova University School of Law in 1973. She joined the law firm of Duane, Morris and Heckscher where she became the second women partner. During her twenty year law career Judge Rendell specialized in bankruptcy law and commercial litigation and served as a District Court mediator.
In March 1994 she was inducted as Judge of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. In November of 1997, Judge Rendell was elevated to the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. She also serves as the chair of the United States Judicial Conference Committee on the Administration of the Bankruptcy System and also serves on several Third Circuit committees. Judge Rendell is an elected member of the Federal Judges Association, the American Judicature Society and the National Association of Women Judges.
Judge Rendell’s primary objective as the First Lady of Pennsylvania is to impart public responsibility to the children of America through civic learning. She believes for America’s children to understand and embrace the United States’ system of democracy and foster understanding of the rights and responsibilities which come with that democracy we must develop a shared concern for citizenship.