National Security Expert David Cole to Speak at Gustavus Thursday

Posted on March 3rd, 2015 by

Dr. David Cole

Dr. David Cole

Dr. David Cole, the Hon. George J. Mitchell Professor in Law and Public Policy at Georgetown University, will speak at Gustavus Adolphus College at 7 p.m. on Thursday, March 5 as part of the College’s new Christenson Lectureship in Politics and Law.

Cole’s lecture is titled “After Edward Snowden: The NSA, Your Cellphone, and the Challenge of Preserving Privacy in the Digital Age.” The lecture will take place in the Nobel Hall of Science’s Wallenberg Auditorium and is free and open to the public.

Besides teaching constitutional law, national security, and criminal justice at Georgetown, Cole is a volunteer attorney for the Center for Constitutional Rights, a legal affairs correspondent for The Nation, a regular contributor to the New York Review of Books, and a commentator on National Public Radio’s All Things Considered.

Cole is the author of six books including Less Safe, Less Free: Why America is Losing the War on Terror, which won the Palmer Civil Liberties Prize for best book on national security and civil liberties. His book Enemy Aliens: Double Standards and Constitutional Freedoms in the War on Terrorism, received the American Book Award in 2004. His book No Equal Justice: Race and Class in the American Criminal Justice System was named best Non-Fiction Book of 1999 by the Boston Book Review, and best book on an issue of national policy in 1999 by the American Political Science Association.

In addition to teaching and writing, Cole has litigated many significant constitutional cases in the Supreme Court, including Texas v. Johnson and United States v. Eichman, which extended First Amendment protection to flag burning; National Endowment for the Arts v. Finley, which challenged political content restriction on NEA funding; and Holder v. Humanitarian Law Project, which challenged the constitutionality of the statute prohibiting material support to terrorist groups, which makes speech advocating peach and human rights a crime. He has been involved in many of the nation’s most important cases involving civil liberties and national security, including the case of Maher Arar, a Canadian citizen rendered to Syria by U.S. officials and tortured there.

The Ronald S. and Kathryn K. Christenson Lectureship in Politics and Law was created thanks to generous funding from Kathryn Kidd Christenson to honor her late husband, Ronald Christenson, a longtime faculty member at the College. Ron Christenson came to Gustavus in 1969 to help establish a department and major in political science. He received the Gustavus Adolphus College Association of Congregations’ Covenant Award in 1997, the College’s prestigious Edgar M. Carlson Award for Distinguished Teaching in 1993, and the Faculty Scholarly Achievement Award and Faculty Service Award, both in 1987.


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