UM Law School Events Celebrate 50th Anniversary of Montana Constitution

MISSOULA – The Montana Law Review at the University of Montana’s Alexander Blewett III School of Law will host a symposium celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Montana Constitution.

Named after UM alum and former U.S. Court of Appeals judge for the Ninth Circuit, “The Honorable James R. Browning Symposium” will take place Sept. 15- 16, on the UM campus. The symposium is a part of UM’s celebration of Constitution Day. It is open to the public. Those who are interested in attending can register online.

“The Montana Law Review could not be more excited to welcome an incredible lineup of academics, judges, practitioners and citizens to the law school for a celebration of Montana’s constitution,” said Blake Koemans a UM law student and member of the Montana Law Review. “What our fellow citizens crafted for us all in 1972 stands as first among equals and is a model for the nation and the world in protecting individual rights, freedoms and dignities.

“All Montanans should know, understand, and engage with this document because it is the legal underpinning of the values we should hope to protect for this and future generations in Montana.”

On Sept. 15, the symposium will kick off with a panel that includes a dynamic lineup that includes delegate to the 1972 Montana Constitutional Convention Mae Nan Ellingson, legendary Montana political journalist Chuck Johnson, Constitutional Convention researcher Rick Applegate and retired Justice of the Montana Supreme Court Jim Nelson. President Seth Bodnar and Acting Dean of the Law School Elaine Gagliardi will give opening remarks. Keynote speakers for the following day are former Montana Gov. Marc Racicot and Chief Judge for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit Jeffrey Sutton.

Panel members for the events also include distinguished faculty members from across the country, as well as members of the Montana legal community. Experts in voting rights, election law, reproductive rights, liberty interests, substantive due process, environmental law and many other topics will discuss Montana’s unique constitutional culture and how the law will change over the next 50 years.

Attorneys interested in the symposium can register for CLE credit for the event. A full schedule of symposium events also is available online.

The Montana Law Review is a legal periodical published twice a year. Established in 1940 and composed of second- and third-year law students, the Montana Law Review serves as a primary resource of legal scholarship in the State of Montana.


Contact: Blake Keomans, Montana Law Review, 406-243-5258,