Legal scholars Erwin Chemerinsky, founding dean of UC Irvine Law School, and John Eastman, former dean of Chapman University Law School, will go head to head in a debate on the controversial Second Amendment for Constitution Day.

The Social and Behavioral Sciences division has planned three activities over the course of several days in observance of Constitution Day, generally celebrated on Sept. 17, the day the Constitution was signed in 1787.

“I’m really excited about this debate. It is so interesting to hear both sides of a controversial issue and especially from two well-known legal scholars,” said Nicole Lloyd, division coordinator for Social and Behavioral Sciences.

The constitutional debate is scheduled at 11:10 a.m. to 12:35 p.m. on Tuesday in the Robert B. Moore Theatre. Students, whose teachers have approved it, can receive extra-credit for attending the debate. Extra credit forms will be handed out after the debate at the exits of the theatre. Admission is free and open to the public.

A day after the debate a lecture on constitutional issues will be given by Coast Community College District trustee and former U.S. Congressman Jerry Patterson, along with two of OCC’s political science professors — Herrick Arnold and Rendall Drew.

The lecture will run from 11:10 a.m. to 12:35 p.m. on Wednesday in the Giles T. Brown Forum. They will be discussing current constitutional issues. Admission is free but seating is limited.

Concluding the events, more than 500 high school students from Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino counties will focus on civics on Sept. 20 with keynote presentations by Chemerinsky and Judith McConnell, an administrative presiding justice of the California Court of Appeal, fourth Appellate District.

“I think this a marvelous opportunity for us as a campus community to take part in the annual observance of Constitution Day,” said Paul Asim, OCC Social and Behavioral Sciences division dean. “We are not only students, teachers and administration but also citizens. As such we have duties and a responsibility as good citizens. It is our civic duty to know our constitution and participate in its process.”

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