December 1, 2009
WASHINGTON, DEC. 1- Edwin Meese III, the former U.S. attorney general and confidant to Ronald Reagan who remains an active elder statesman of the conservative movement, will visit Tucson on Thursday, Dec. 3, to assess the rule of law in America in a dinner speech to area business and civic leaders gathered at Loews Ventana Canyon Resort.
Meese is likely to question the behavior of judges who disregard the Constitution to use the law as a political forum-one of his chief concerns as chairman of the Center for Legal and Judicial Studies at The Heritage Foundation, the leading Washington think tank.
Before dinner, a panel featuring two of Meese's Heritage colleagues, Robert Alt and Hans von Spakovsky, will take on the topic "Protecting the Rule of Law" beginning at 4:30 p.m. at the resort, 7000 N. Resort Dr. Also on the panel will be Clint Bolick, director of the Center for Constitutional Litigation at the Phoenix-based Goldwater Institute.
A reception will follow at 6, then dinner at 7.
"The Constitution is our most fundamental law. It is, in its own words, 'the supreme Law of the Land,' " Meese wrote in The Heritage Guide to the Constitution, a reference work he spearheaded. "The Constitution--the original document of 1787 plus its amendments--is and must be understood to be the standard against which all laws, policies and interpretations should be measured."
Event sponsor is the Tucson Committee for Heritage, a local group that supports the think tank's conservative public policy solutions. Count Ferdinand von Galen is chairman and Jim Click is honorary chairman.
Toward the end of President Reagan's second term, Meese joined Heritage as the research institution's first Ronald Reagan Distinguished Fellow in Public Policy, a position he continued to hold after agreeing to oversee Heritage's new legal center in 2001. The center's mission is to educate government officials, the media and the public about the Constitution and legal principles and how they affect public policy.
In 2006, Meese was a member of the Iraq Study Group, the bipartisan presidential commission that recommended a way forward during the most difficult months of the war in Iraq.
He served as the 75th attorney general of the United States from 1985 to 1988, having held the position of counselor to the president during Reagan's first term. When Reagan was governor of California from 1967 to 1975, Meese, who had been deputy district attorney for Alameda County, was his legal affairs secretary and then executive assistant and chief of staff.
Tickets to the Tucson event are $60 for non-members, $30 for members, $20 for students. Online registration is at www.myheritage.org/committees/tucson.
The Heritage Foundation is the nation's most broadly supported public policy research institute, with more than 545,000 individual, foundation and corporate donors. Heritage, founded in February 1973, has a staff of 244 and an annual expense budget of more than $60 million.