News and Press Releases

Second Circuit to Sit in Vermont and Hold Hands Lecture

September 6, 2012

Burlington, VT – Chief Judge Dennis Jacobs of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit announces that the Court of Appeals will hold court in the United States Courthouse & Post Office in Rutland, Vermont on Friday, October 5, 2012 commencing at 10:00 a.m.  The Chief Judge noted that the October 5th sitting marks the first time in its 123-year history that the Court of Appeals will sit in Vermont.  A three-judge panel of circuit judges will hear oral arguments in the newly renovated and restored historic courtroom located on the second floor in the United States Post Office & Court House in Rutland.

On Thursday afternoon, October 4th at 4:00 p.m., the Second Circuit Committee on History, Commemorative Events and Civic Education will sponsor a Hands Lecture in the Paramount Theater in Rutland.  Named after first cousins Learned and Augustus Hand, who sat on the Second Circuit Court of Appeals for over thirty years, this lecture series sponsors addresses by well-known speakers on topics of interest often touching on historical and sociological developments tied directly or indirectly to the judiciary and the bar of the Second Circuit.  On October 4th, Professor Frank Bryan, the John G. McCullough Professor of Political Science at the University of Vermont, will speak on the topic: "Why Political Systems Change:

The Case of Vermont." In the words of Professor Bryan:

Political scientists tend to argue that fundamental partisan change in political systems awaits (and is caused by) fundamental changes to society and not by the mechanics and the personalities of politics itself.  Vermont offers a fascinating caveat to this claim. The end of one hundred years of Republican hegemony in Vermont was caused not (as many argue) by the influx of newcomers to the state culminating in the election of Democrat Phil Hoff to the Governorship in 1962 but rather by a homegrown division within the Republican Party fueled by politics and personalities generic to Vermont.  The appointment in 1950 of Ernest Gibson (Republican) to the Federal District Court by Harry Truman (Democrat) was a key event in this process as was Sterry Waterman's appointment to the Second Circuit Court of Appeals in 1955.

The Hands Lecture will be followed by a reception in the lobby of the Paramount Theatre. The Hands Lecture and the post-lecture reception are free and open to the public.

Chief Judge Jacobs stated, " In recent the years, our Court has occasionally held oral arguments in the districts outside Manhattan.  We are delighted that our Court will now be sitting in the District of Vermont for the first time and that Professor Bryan has agreed to deliver a Hands Lecture to mark the occasion."

The Second Circuit is comprised of thirteen federal appellate, district and bankruptcy courts in the states of New York, Connecticut and Vermont.

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