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Civil Rights in Iowa with Professor Paul Finkelman

Civil Rights in Iowa with Professor Paul Finkelman

Friday, August 19, 2011 - 3:45pm

Presenter: Professor Paul Finkelman, Albany Law School, Albany, NY.

President William McKinley Distinguished Professor of Law & Public Policy;

Senior Fellow in the Government Law Center

A specialist in American legal history, constitutional law, and race and the law, Professor Paul Finkelman is the author of more than 150 scholarly articles and more than 25 books.  His op-eds and shorter pieces have appeared in the New York Times, the Washington Post, USA Today, and on the Huffington Post.  He was recently named the ninth most cited legal historian according to "Brian Leieter's Law School Rankings." He is an expert in constitutional history and constitutional law, freedom of religion, the law of slavery, civil liberties and the American Civil War, and legal issues surrounding baseball.

Subject: Civil Rights in Iowa: From Emancipated Slaves to Integrated Schools to Marriage Equality

Professor Finkelman will explore the vibrant history of civil rights in Iowa. Iowa courts aggressively pushed for freedom of visiting slaves before the Civil War. In 1867 the Iowa legislature, led by Senator John A. L. Crookham (a former judge) took steps to enfranchise black veterans. In 1868, the Iowa Supreme Court issued the first school desegregation order in Clark v. Board of Directors of Muscatine Schools, a case brought by Alexander Clark.  During the War, Clark helped recruit troops for Iowa's black regiment.  This heritage of civil rights helped pave the way to the Court's Varnum v. Brien (2009) decision. 

Those who need to leave early are welcome to do so. 

Reservations are necessary to attend Crossroads and are due by Tuesday, August 16. The cost is $10.

Please call 515-279-8715 or email

You can find out about Crossroads each month at our website at


Plymouth Congregational Church
42nd and Ingersoll Waveland Hall
Des Moines , IA