The University of Maine at Farmington is launching a new UMF Public Forum series, beginning with UMF Professor of Political Science James Melcher’s 17th annual Constitution Day presentation.

This event is set for 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 20, in the Performance Space in the Emery Community Arts Center on the UMF campus. The event is free.

UMF Professor of Political Science James Melcher Submitted photo

The forum is a university event series sponsored by the Office of the President. Each lecture will be followed by a discussion and a reception with light refreshments.

“As a public university, UMF is committed to providing the people of Maine with quality education, innovative research and community engagement. The UMF Public Forum is a unique opportunity to share research, insights and creative works with the greater Farmington community,” Joseph McDonnell, UMF president, said in a news release from the university.

This year’s presentation will feature a docket of U.S. Supreme Court cases focusing on last term’s highlights and this term’s coming attractions.

“While the Supreme Court did not have any cases last term with the impact of the Dobbs case overturning Roe v. Wade, they had no shortage of other controversial issues to address. These included affirmative action, environmental regulation and more,” said Melcher.


Last Supreme Court Term:

• 303 Creative v. Elenis: Freedom of speech and LGBT rights

• Students for Fair Admissions v. Harvard/UNC: Affirmative action in college admissions

• National Pork Producers v. Ross: Hidden Commerce Clause

• Biden v. Nebraska: Student loans

• Sackett v. EPA: Wetlands regulation


This Supreme Court Term:

• US v. Rahimi: 2d Amendment and restraining orders

• Vidal v. Elster The First Amendment and trademark law

• Consumer Financial Protection Bureau v. Community Financial Services Association of America, Limited: Is the CFPB constitutional?

• Lindke v. Freed: Government and social media

• McElrath v. Georgia: Double jeopardy


Opinions on last term’s cases can be found at

UMF’s Constitution Day event this year is sponsored by the UMF Pre-Law Program, the Department of Political Science and the Division of Social Science and Business.

Melcher has taught at UMF since 1999 and teaches a wide range of courses on American politics, government and political thought. He also serves as UMF’s pre-law adviser. He has become known throughout the University of Maine system for his work on the Maine Public Policy Scholars program and has become a frequent “voice of the University” in his numerous interviews as a political expert with media both within and outside Maine.

For more information, contact April Mulherin, UMF associate director for media relations, at 207-778-7081 or


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