RMA lecture: The History of America’s Democratic Institutions

Retired Men’s Association of Greenwich, Inc. (RMA) welcomes Professor Philip R. McKnight, Esq. to its next meeting Wednesday, Sept. 14, at 11 a.m., at First Presbyterian Church, Lafayette Place, Greenwich. McKnight will talk about “The History of America’s Democratic Institutions.”

Professor McKnight will bring a historical context to today’s presidential election by outlining how we as a nation, as a people, dealt with political crises in the past. From the earliest days of our republic law has nurtured and sustained the democratic institutions that are at the heart of our great experiment.But that law was not created in a vacuum.It was the direct result of political, social and economic forces, and, most importantly, the involvement and influence of strong leaders, politicians, judges, lawyers, legislators, ordinary people and powerful people, who sought to shape American democracy by shaping the institutions of the law which created it.

McKnight will discuss several significant times in American legal history that shaped America’s democratic institutions, including the rise of representative government from the Constitutional Convention of 1787, the establishment of individual liberties, the regulation of business and commerce, the creation of property rights and environmental protections, the law of gender, race and sexual orientation, crime and punishment, and the Supreme Court’s evolving concept of constitutional privileges and immunities, equal protection and due process.

McKnight is a trial and appellate attorney, is currently on the faculty of the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts in North Adams, MA, and is an adjunct professor of environmental law and environmental history at both Williams College and MCLA. He completed the honors program for both American History and Literature and European History at Williams, and earned his law degree from the University of Chicago Law School. He then practiced in Europe, in the state and federal courts of New York and Connecticut (with Ivey, Barnum and O’Mara in Greenwich CT)

The Greenwich Retired Men’s Association offers a free program every Wednesday that is open to the public, both men and women; no reservations are required. Social break starts at 10:40 a.m. followed promptly by speaker at 11 a.m. Programs are at the First Presbyterian Church, 1 West Putnam in Greenwich.For additional information see greenwichrma.org or contact [email protected]

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