“Civil liberties,” including the rights to free speech, privacy, freedom of religion, the right to assemble and protest, and freedom of the press, are defining features of American society and constitutional law. The US Constitution and the Bill of Rights promise these rights on paper, but making them a reality has long required sustained civic engagement and legal fights – often against the sentiment of the majority at any given time. The struggle for our civil liberties continues today, in courts, legislatures, executive offices, and the streets. David Cole, national legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union, the nation’s largest and oldest civil liberties organization, pinpoints the new threats to our constitutional rights and what we as citizens can do to preserve the rights that define us as a nation.
David Cole is the national legal director for the ACLU and is a professor in law and public policy at Georgetown University. He is also the legal affairs correspondent for The Nation and has been widely published in law journals and the popular press. Mr. Cole oversees the ACLU's Supreme Court docket where he has litigated many significant constitutional cases.
Listen to event audio:
Center for the Study of Politics and Governance; Humphrey School of Public Affairs; UMN
Cole, David; Jacobs, Lawrence R..
Civic Resistance: The Fight for Civil Liberties in America.
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