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Arizona v. the United States: Challenging the Constitution with Thomas J. Davis

May 24, 2023 @ 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm


Comparatively young, Wild West, borderland that Arizona is with its rich indigenous heritage, pioneer, settler mentality, and fierce, independent spirit, the state has given rise to challenges that have shaped understanding of the US Constitution. For example, any reader or viewer of US police procedurals is familiar with Miranda v. Arizona (1966), treating the Fifth Amendment rights of a suspect interrogated in custody. From the death penalty to immigration, involuntary confessions, the right to work, search and seizure, voting rights, and more, court cases arising in Arizona have tested the scope and substance of fundamental personal rights, the power of police, and the balance of authority between states and the federal government. As an opportunity to engage the ever-ongoing process of building a just and civil society, this presentation contributes to understanding of the US Constitution and the structure of federalism by exploring several significant US Supreme Court decisions arising from Arizona.

This program is cohosted by the Arizona capitol Museum. This is an in-person event.


Thomas J. Davis is an historian, lawyer, and professor emeritus at Arizona State University, Tempe, where he taught U.S. constitutional and legal history. He taught also as a visiting professor of law at the ASU College of Law. He received his PhD in U.S. history from Columbia University in the City of New York and his JD cum laude from the University at Buffalo School of Law in New York. He has been an AZ Humanities Public Scholar Nominee and served as Arizona’s State Scholar for the 2020-21 Voices and Votes: Democracy in America, Museum on Main St. (MoMS), Smithsonian Institution, traveling exhibition. AZ Humanities bestowed on him its 2021 Founder’s Community Partner Award, recognizing his work “to further public humanities through sustained collaboration and exemplary community outreach.”


May 24, 2023
2:00 pm - 3:00 pm
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Arizona Capitol Museum
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Arizona Capitol Museum, Historic Senate Chamber
1700 W. Washington St.
Phoenix, 85007
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