Law School Welcomes Seventh Circuit Judge for Annual Brennan Lecture

March 13, 2013

Brook Arbeitman
Director of Marketing and Communications
Oklahoma City University School of Law
(405) 208-6300

Law School Welcomes Seventh Circuit Judge for Annual Brennan Lecture

(OKLAHOMA CITY – March 13, 2013) – Oklahoma City University School of Law is pleased to welcome the Honorable Diane S. Sykes, Circuit Judge, United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit as the Brennan Lecturer. Judge Sykes will give her public lecture titled “New Federalism: Confessions of a Skeptical Former State Supreme Court Justice” on March 14 at 5 p.m. in the Homsey Family Moot Courtroom at the Sarkeys Law Center (NW 23rd and Kentucky).

Judge Sykes’ lecture will include her observations about state constitutionalism, which was derived from her experience on the Wisconsin Supreme Court, as well as react to developments in theory and method. She plans to address specific areas in which state high courts seem to have found firmer textual and historical footing for giving greater protective force to the individual-rights clauses in their state constitutions: eminent domain and religious liberty.

Judge Sykes was nominated to the Seventh Circuit by President George W. Bush and confirmed by the U.S. Senate in June 2004. Prior to her appointment to the federal bench, Judge Sykes was a justice on the Wisconsin Supreme Court. She was appointed by Governor Tommy G. Thompson in September 1999 to fill a mid-term vacancy on the state high court and elected to a full ten-year term in a statewide election in April 2000. From 1992-1999, Judge Sykes served on the state trial bench in Milwaukee County; she was first elected in 1992 and re-elected in 1998. From 1985-1992, Judge Sykes practiced law with the Milwaukee firm of Whyte & Hirschboeck, S.C., and from 1984-1985 was a law clerk to Federal Judge Terence T. Evans.

Judge Sykes earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University in 1980 and a law degree from Marquette University Law School in 1984. Between college and law school, Judge Sykes worked as a reporter for the Milwaukee Journal.

The Brennan Lecture is named in honor of the late United States Supreme Court Justice William J. Brennan Jr. The lecture provides a forum for distinguished jurists and scholars to examine timely issues in the field of state constitutional law.


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