National Conference of
Appellate Court Clerks

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Thomas Jefferson on The Constitution and The Courts

Thomas Jefferson was born April 13, 1743. He died July 4, 1826, at the age of 83, on the fiftieth anniversary of the adoption of his Declaration of Independence. His life was composed of three elements:He was a Virginia agriculturist. His soul was always with his family, his farms, his garden, and his beloved Monticello, though his time was usually spent elsewhere. He was an amateur scientist. He considered himself a member of an international republic of letters. Jefferson took enormous pride in this part of his life, though he was modest about his literary achievements. He was a politician. Jefferson was on of the greatest statesmen and legislators. He believed average men were capable of governing themselves by majority rule.

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Presenter Biography

Clay JenkinsonClay Jenkinson is a humanities scholar, author and social commentator who has devoted most of his professional career to public humanities programs and is considered one of the most entertaining public speakers in the United States. His performances are always humorous, educational, thought provoking and enlightening, while maintaining a steady focus on ideas. Jenkinson is widely regarded as one of the most articulate public speakers in the country and he brings a humanities perspective - partly learned as a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University - to everything he does.

Clay is also one of the nation's leading interpreters of Thomas Jefferson. He has lectured about and portrayed Jefferson in forty-nine states over a period of fifteen years. Clay also portrays Meriwether Lewis, John Wesley Powell, J. Robert Oppenheimer and Theodore Roosevelt. He has performed before Supreme Court justices, presidents, eighteen state legislatures, and countless public, corporate and student audiences as well as appearing on The Today Show, Politically Incorrect, The Colbert Report and CNN.