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Released January 16, 2004


HATTIESBURG - A major figure in one of the most well-known cases in the history of the United States Supreme Court will be one of four speakers at The University of Southern Mississippi's Spring 2004 University Forum series.

Sarah Weddington, considered by some to be the youngest woman ever to win a case before the Supreme Court, argued for the winning side in the landmark Roe v. Wade, which legalized abortion during the first trimester of pregnancy.

"It's probably the most famous case in the modern era of the Supreme Court," said Dr. Kate Greene, associate professor of political science and constitutional law expert at Southern Miss.

Weddington's presentation at the March 9 University Forum is titled, "Some Leaders are Born Women." She is the author of the best seller, A Question of Choice, which details the Roe v. Wade case. A former Texas state legislator, she also served as the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture's General Counsel in 1977, the first woman ever to hold that position.

"Once again we have a diverse lineup of speakers who bring their knowledge and expertise on timely subjects," said Dr. Andrew Wiest, professor of history at Southern Miss and director of University Forum. "We're pleased with the presenters who we have for the spring forum series. The goal of University Forum is to provoke thought and broaden our world view through presentations by experts on the leading issues of our time."

Other speakers include:

February 17: Professor Randall Kennedy, "The Race Line in American Life." Kennedy, a Harvard law professor, is a graduate of Princeton University and Yale Law School and was a Rhodes Scholar. He served as a law clerk for the late Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall. Kennedy writes for a wide range of scholarly and general interest publications and sits on the editorial boards of The Nation, Dissent, and The American Prospect. The lecture is co-sponsored by the African-American History Month Committee and is the annual Armstrong-Branch lecture, honoring the first two African-American students to attend Southern Miss, Elaine Armstrong and Raylawni Branch.

April 6: Dr. Nadine Strossen, "Current Challenges to Civil Liberties Post-9/11." Strossen became the first woman and youngest person ever to lead the American Civil Liberties Union as its president in 1991. A law professor at the New York School of Law since 1989, she has received acclaim for her extensive writing, lecturing and practice in the areas of constitutional law, civil liberties, and international human rights.

April 13: Andrew Sullivan, "American Politics: A View from Home and Abroad." Sullivan is an essayist for Time magazine and a columnist for the Sunday Times of London. He is a former editor-in-chief of The New Republic magazine and is acknowledged for making the magazine more relevant to readers of his generation. He was named Editor of the Year by Adweek and received National Magazine Awards for reporting, general, and public interest.

University Forum is a special series of lectures and programs open without charge to Southern Miss students, faculty, and staff and members of the community. It is sponsored by the Southern Miss Honors College. For more information about the spring 2004 University Forum Series, call (601) 266-5762.


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April 20, 2004 4:09 PM