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U.S. District Judge Harpool to speak at Constitution Day

U.S. District Judge M. Douglas Harpool will speak at 10 a.m. Friday, Sept. 16, in the Joe Roberts Room of the McClelland Dining facility at Southwest Baptist University.

Harpool’s talk commemorates Constitution Day, which marks the signing of the U.S. Constitution on Sept. 17, 1787.

“We’re excited that our students and the community have the opportunity to learn about the Constitution from someone immediately involved in the Judicial Branch of government,” said Dr. Coyle Neal, assistant professor of political science.

Nominated by President Barack Obama in August 2013, Harpool was confirmed as U.S. District Judge for the Western District of Missouri on March 13, 2014. Harpool also is a former member of the Missouri House of Representatives from southwest Missouri’s 134th district and served five terms from Jan. 3, 1983 to Jan. 3, 1992.

Harpool served as chair of the Missouri Senate redistricting committee where he focused on population growth and census data to redraw district boundaries.

From 1980 to 2006, Harpool served at a number of law firms in the Springfield area. Since an unsuccessful bid for the Missouri Senate from the 30th district in 2006, he has been a shareholder at Baird, Lightner, Millsap & Harpool, PC, in Springfield.

Harpool received his bachelor of science degree from Missouri State University in 1977 and his juris doctor in 1980 from the University of Missouri School of Law.

The event is free and open to the public.

For more information about Constitution Day at SBU, contact Neal at (417) 328-1722 or