Stover Scholars to present annual Constitution Day celebration production

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In celebration of Constitution Day, the Stover Scholars at Waynesburg University will present “Constitutionally Condemned: Susette Kelo's Takings Clause Battle to Keep her Pink House,” Tuesday, September 17, at noon in the Goodwin Performing Arts Center. Admission is free, and the public is cordially invited to attend.

“By dramatizing Susette Kelo's failed Fifth Amendment Takings Clause battle to keep her pink house, the Stover Scholars portray the pivotal importance for all people of property rights protections in the constitutional order,” said Dr. Lawrence M. Stratton, director of the Stover Center for Constitutional Studies and Moral Leadership and assistant professor of ethics and constitutional law. “The Stover Scholars are to be commended for writing the play and thereby bringing Ms. Kelo's legal story to life.”

Written by three Waynesburg University Stover Scholars, Nika Anschuetz, Chase Ayers and Daniel Czajkowski, “Constitutionally Condemned: Susette Kelo's Takings Clause Battle to Keep her Pink House” dramatizes property owner Susette Kelo's battle to keep her New London, Conn., home in the face of a redevelopment plan involving the New London and Connecticut governments and Pfizer Corporation.

Kelo and her attorneys argued the development plan did not qualify as a “public use” under the U.S. Constitution's Fifth Amendment Takings Clause, which states that “Nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation,” taking the case all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. Although Kelo's constitutional challenge failed before a closely divided Supreme Court, she catalyzed a national movement to reinvigorate property rights in the United States.

Directed by Edward L. Powers, professor of theater, and presented by the Stover Center for Constitutional Studies and Moral Leadership, the play brings to life the passions and conflicts of Kelo's case as well as the critical jurisprudential issues facing the Supreme Court.

The cast list includes:
• Susette Kelo: Nika Anschuetz, a sophomore communication (electronic media) major from Harmony (Lincoln Park Performing Arts Charter School)
• Justice John Paul Stevens: Chase Ayers, a junior sociology (pre-law) major from Charleroi (Charleroi Area High School)
• Justice Sandra Day O'Connor: Ashley Beener, a freshman sociology major from Rockwood (Rockwood Area Jr-Sr High School)
• Scott Bullock: Daniel Buzzard, a senior history major from New Bethlehem (Redbank Valley Jr-Sr High School)
• Claire Gaudiani: Paige Carter, a freshman sociology (pre-law) major from Coraopolis (Abundant Life Academy)
• Justice Antonin Scalia: Daniel Czajkowski, a senior criminal justice major from Frederick Md. (Spencerville Adventist Academy)
• Justice Stephen Breyer: Jeremy Hinkle, a junior forensic accounting major from Washington (Canon-McMillian High School)
• Wesley Horton: Parker Kantos, a sophomore sociology (pre-law) major from Waupaca Wis. (Waupaca High School)
• Chief Justice William Rehnquist: J.R. Kautz, a sophomore business management major from Marianna (Bethlehem Center High School)
• Justice Anthony Kennedy: Matthew Kenney, a sophomore computer science major from Northumberland (Shikellamy High School)
• Governor John Rowland: Colin Phillips, a junior history major from Bexley Ohio (Bexley High School)
• Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg: Gina Robinson, a senior English secondary education major from Lower Burrell (Saint Joseph High School)
• Peter Ellef: Ryan Schwertfeger, a freshman communication (electronic media) major from Oakland N.J. (Indian Hills High School)
• James Madison: Zander Shashura, a senior accounting major from Fredericktown (Bethlehem Center High School)
• Justice David Souter: Andrew Stanko, a freshman communication (sports broadcasting and information) major from Lewisburg (Lewisburg Area High School)
• Justice Clarence Thomas: Jonathan Waldon, a senior sociology (political science) major from Carmel Ind. (Carmel high School)
• Narrator: John Wicker, a freshman business major from Ambridge (Eden Christian Academy)

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Contact: Ashley Wise, Communication Specialist