Norman Fletcher, former chief justice of the Georgia Supreme Court and an attorney with Brinson, Askew, Berry, Siegler, Richardson and Davis in Rome, will discuss "The First Under Fire: Contemporary Challenges to the First Amendment," at 7 p.m. Thursday in the Berry College Science Auditorium. Admission is free and open to the public.
Fletcher is the third and final speaker in the 2008 Oxbridge Lecture Series. These lectures have been held in conjunction with the Berry Honors Program course "Freedom of Expression," taught by Brian Carroll, which examines the origins and historical uniqueness of the First Amendment, the evolution in the interpretations of its freedoms over time and the contemporary challenges to one of the Unites States’ most basic laws.
Fletcher ascended to the position of chief justice of the Georgia Supreme Court in June 2001, becoming the 26th person to hold that title since the role was established in 1845. A primary focus during his term was reform of the state’s indigent defense system.
Fletcher was awarded the Georgia First Amendment Foundation’s Charles L. Weltner Freedom of Information Award in March 2005 for "preserving the public’s right to know."
Since his retirement from the Supreme Court in 2005, Fletcher has been active in the Rome community, serving in leadership positions in church and civic groups. In addition to practicing law, he also serves on the University of Georgia’s College of Public and International Affairs Board of Visitors.