Cameron University will join colleges and universities across the nation to celebrate Constitution Day on Monday, September 18, with "The Fifth Amendment: Then and Now.” Kyle Cabelka, district attorney for Comanche and Cotton counties, will address the historical origins of the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution, the individual liberties it protects, and the ways judicial interpretation of those rights has evolved over time. The presentation takes place at 2 p.m. in the Shepler Ballroom, located on the mezzanine level of the Shepler Center.
Enacted in 1791 as part of the Bill of Rights, the Fifth Amendment provides several protections for people accused of crimes. It guarantees the right to a grand jury, ensures that a person cannot be tried twice for the same offense and protects against self-incrimination. Additionally, it ensures that people cannot be imprisoned without due process of law and requires the government to compensate citizens when it takes private property for public use.
A 2007 CU graduate, Cabelka was appointed as the district attorney for District 5, which covers Comanche and Cotton counties, by Gov. Kevin Stitt in 2021. He has worked in this district attorney’s office since he was in law school at Oklahoma City University. He began interning as a licensed legal intern in Comanche and Cotton counties in May 2011. After receiving his Juris Doctorate in 2013, he continued his career there as an assistant district attorney through 2016 when he was promoted to serve as first assistant.
As first assistant district attorney, Cabelka prosecuted felony and misdemeanor crimes and advised elected officials in Comanche and Cotton counties on legal matters related to their offices. He led Comanche County’s Multi-Disciplinary Team, formed under state statute, to protect children from abuse, and organized and participated in diversion programs covering mental health and drug court, among other areas. He was also responsible for providing training on legal updates for local law enforcement, coordinated case prosecution with victims, and handled out-of-county conflict cases as assigned by the attorney general’s office.
In September 1782, America’s founding fathers signed the most influential document in the nation’s history: the U.S. Constitution. Educational institutions commemorate the 1788 ratification of the Constitution annually on Constitution Day, a federal observance that encourages all Americans to consider the enduring legacy of the Constitution in their everyday life. The annual observance recognizes the success of a nation of free people whose rights and liberties are protected by a written Constitution.
Cameron’s observance of Constitution Day is made possible by funding from the Dr. William L. and Barbara Scearce Endowed Lectureship in Political Science and is sponsored by the CU School of Graduate and Professional Studies, the Department of Social Sciences and the Lawton Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution.