FAIRBANKS—U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor will speak at the University of Alaska Fairbanks campus later this summer as part of the Summer Sessions and Lifelong Learning program.
The event will take place at 4 p.m. Aug. 14. at the Davis Concert Hall on campus. KUAC reporter Robert Hannon will moderate the event and ask Sotomayor questions submitted in advance through the program's website.
Sotomayor was appointed by President Barack Obama in 2009 and is the first Hispanic Supreme Court justice.
Michelle Bartlett, director of Summer Sessions and Lifelong Learning at UAF, spent several months arranging the event, according to a Wednesday morning news release announcing Sotomayor's appearance .
“She is a very busy woman. But the stars aligned last week, and we are thrilled to have the justice here in August,” Bartlett said.
The Summer Sessions and Lifelong Learning program hosts the Legacy lecture series and also arranged the appearance of renowned feminist, activist and speaker Gloria Steinem at the Davis Concert Hall last summer.
Interim Chancellor Mike Powers expressed enthusiasm about Justice Sotomayor’s visit, according to the release.
"We at UAF are honored to host such an inspiring advocate of civil rights, and equally delighted she graciously accepted Michelle's offer to visit our campus and to meet our community," Powers said.
Sotomayor made national news this week with her strong dissent of the court's 5-3 ruling Monday allowing evidence gained by a police officer from an illegal stop to be used in court if the evidence was found during a search conducted after the officer learned the person had an outstanding arrest warrant.
“The court today holds that the discovery of a warrant for an unpaid parking ticket will forgive a police officer’s violation of your Fourth Amendment rights,” she wrote. “Do not be soothed by the opinion’s technical language: This case allows the police to stop you on the street, demand your identification and check it for outstanding traffic warrants — even if you are doing nothing wrong.
Questions for Sotomayor can be submitted at www.uaf.edu/summer beginning June 27, according to Bartlett.
Contact staff writer Dorothy Chomicz at 459-7582. Follow her on Twitter: @FDNMcrime.