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American Constitution Society

Constitution

Article I – Name

This organization shall be known as “The American Constitution Society of Lewis and Clark Law School,” “The American Constitution Society,” or “ACS.”

 

Article II – Statement of Purpose

The American Constitution Society of Lewis and Clark Law School is a group of students, faculty, and staff who believe deeply in the importance of law as the mechanism which governs the relationships between and among the individuals and institutions that form our society, and we recognize the direct relationship between legal theory and the broader political debate about the kind of society in which we live.

In recent years, the view has been ascendant that the traditional values of compassion and respect for human dignity have little or no place in legal discourse. This view permeates all aspects of legal debate: academic scholarship, judicial interpretation, and debate about laws proposed for enactment. The cornerstone of this legal view is an approach to understanding the United States Constitution that is essentially devoid of concern for the way in which the law affects the lives of the people who make up the nation in which we live.

We believe, contrary to this conservative orthodoxy, that the law, and, in particular, the Constitution, serves human values. We believe that the Constitution is a charter of liberty, the blueprint for a noble and unique experiment designed to prevent the excesses of government in order to protect the human dignity necessary for individuals to realize the full potential of their lives. The goal of the Constitution, and the United States it created, is to permit people to succeed in the “pursuit of happiness,” one of the inalienable rights this nation explicitly was founded to secure to the American people.

We believe that the Constitution, and by extension, many other areas of American law, can be understood only by reference to principles of decency, reason, humanity and compassion. We believe that those who enforce the law must have concern for the way in which it affects the lives of the people who make up the nation in which we live. And we believe these principles should form a starting point for enactment, as well as interpretation, of the law.

The mission of the American Constitution Society is to harness these values of compassion and respect for each individual, and to re‑incorporate them into American law and politics, in order to build a stronger and more decent national community. We seek to restore the fundamental principles of respect for human dignity, protection of individual rights and liberties, genuine equality, and access to justice to their rightful — and traditionally central — place in American law. We want to strengthen the intellectual underpinnings of — and the public case for — a vision of the law in which these values are paramount.  Our goal is a rekindling of the hope that by reason and decency, we can create an America that is better for us all.

 

Article III - Membership

Membership shall be open to all Lewis and Clark Law School students, faculty and staff.

 

Article IV – The Executive Board

The ACS officers will be known as the Executive Board.

The Executive Board will meet periodically to organize events, determine the general direction of ACS and to decide issues of long‑term importance to ACS.

Only current Lewis and Clark Law School students who are also current members of the national American Constitution Society for Law and Policy may serve on the Executive Board.

The officers on the ACS Executive Board shall be as follows:

President: The President shall call ACS meetings, coordinate the operations and direction of ACS, and serve as a liaison between ACS and the Lewis and Clark administration.

Vice‑President: The Vice‑President shall call ACS meetings in the President’s absence and coordinate the activities of the chairpersons.

Secretary: The Secretary shall compile and maintain the minutes of meetings and the records of the organization, keep a current list of members, and be responsible for notifying members of meetings.

Treasurer: The Treasurer shall maintain the financial accounts and records of ACS, set forth the Society’s budget, submit the ACS’s financial reports and budget proposal to the Student Bar Association according to their guidelines.

Membership Chairperson: The Membership Chairperson shall organize a membership drive in the fall and shall organize additional membership drives as needed to recruit new members.  The Membership Chairperson shall keep an up to date list of all members and ensure all members are student members of ACS National.  Preference should be given to a Membership Chair beginning their first year of law school.

Program Chairperson: The Program Chairperson shall coordinate the planning and organization of events.  Any activity or event-specific committees will be coordinated and supervised by the Program Chairperson.

Communications Chairperson: The Communications Chairperson shall be responsible for coordinating and implementing public communications to the Lewis and Clark Student body as well as off campus organizations and media.  Communications Chairperson shall also be responsible for advertising for ACS events in copy and electronic form, including listserv, website, social media, and other relevant mediums.

Article V – Faculty Advisor

The Faculty Advisor(s) shall serve as a resource for the Society members, facilitate the acquisition of speakers, and serve as a liaison between the local chapter and the advisors of American Constitution Society chapters at other schools.

The Faculty Advisor(s) shall be selected by two-thirds vote of the Executive Board.

Article VI – Elections

Elections for The American Constitution Society Executive Board shall be open to all Lewis & Clark Law students. 

Elections for the following school year will be held in March or April of each year if possible for all positions except Membership Chair.  Election for Membership Chair should be held at the first meeting of ACS in the following fall semester.

Each officer will serve for a term of one year.

Article VII – Removal of officers

Officers may be removed for good cause by the unanimous vote of the remaining members of the Executive Board or a two-thirds vote of the membership.

Article VIII — Amendments

Amendments to these bylaws may be adopted be by two‑thirds vote of the Executive Board.

Major modifications of these bylaws must also receive a majority vote of approval of the membership at the earliest practicable meeting.

Article IX — Governance

This organization shall be governed by these bylaws and the rules and regulations of Lewis and Clark Law School.

Article X – Ratification

These bylaws shall be ratified upon unanimous vote of the Executive Board.