If former U.S. Attorney General Edwin Meese III is unapologetic about one issue, it’s that the U.S. Constitution is the nation’s keystone and deserves respect.
“I believe that is the duty of each generation — as it is of ours today — to preserve, protect, and pass on to our posterity this invaluable document, which is the basis of our freedom and the basis in which we carry out our duties as citizens of this republic,” said Meese at the Ave Maria School of Law’s “A Conversation with...” series Friday at the Ritz-Carlton Naples Beach Resort.
More than 200 people attended the event, the second of a three-part series that ends Monday with Fox News Channel founder and President Roger Ailes.
“I think it’s wonderful,” said Bonita Springs resident Jean Bradley, 79, of Friday’s event.
Bradley, who met Meese when she lived in Washington, D.C., said she was impressed with the lecture series and was looking forward to Ailes on Monday.
“That is going to be another good one,” she said.
The objective of the “A Conversation with…” series was to bring nationally recognized figures to Naples, invite the community to attend and have a dialogue with them, said John Knowles, Ave Maria School of Law Director of External Affairs, before the event.
And what distinguishes the series from other lectures is definitely the conversational aspect, Knowles said.
“We really emphasize the back and forth between the audience and the speaker,” he said of the free event.
Audience members took this to heart, with questions ranging from “Where should terrorists be tried civil or military court?” to “What is your opinion on whether civics should be required to be taught in schools?”
Meese said he believed it was a mistake to try terrorists in civil courts and that precedent dictated that they needed to be tried in military tribunals.
As for whether civics needs to be taught in schools, Meese said although he sometimes believed legislatures should not set educational requirements, teaching civics to America’s future is paramount.
Meese, both Attorney General and Counsel to President Reagan, was a member of the Cabinet and the National Security Council. He also served as chairman of the Domestic Policy Council and the National Drug Policy Board.
After Reagan won the White House in the 1980 election, Meese headed the transition team. In the campaign, he was the Reagan-Bush Committee’s senior official.
In addition to being the Heritage Foundation’s Ronald Reagan Distinguished Fellow in Public Policy, Meese is a Distinguished Visiting Fellow at the Hoover Institute at Stanford University in California and lectures, writes and consults throughout the United States on a variety of subjects.
“A Conversation with...” Roger Ailes will be from 4 to 6 p.m. Monday at the Ritz-Carlton Naples Golf Resort, 2600 Tiburon Drive. Information: call (239) 687-5400.
Connect with Elysa Batista at www.naplesnews.com/staff/elysa_batista