TITLE: National Security and the Rule of Law
SPEAKER: Rubens Medina , Charlie Savage, Mickey Edwards, James Thurber, Virginia Sloan
EVENT DATE: 09/17/2007
FORMAT: Video + Captions
RUNNING TIME: 92 minutes
TRANSCRIPT: View Transcript (link will open in a new window)
Law Librarian Rubens Medina and his staff hosted a panel discussion on "National Security and the Rule of Law." A part of the Law Library's Speaker Series, the program commemorated Constitution Day and was co-sponsored by the Constitution Project. Charlie Savage, Pulitzer-prize winning author and Boston Globe journalist, was presented with the Constitution Project's Award for Constitutional Commentary. Savage then presented a lecture covering many topics from his recent book "Takeover: The Return of the Imperial Presidency and the Subversion of American Democracy."
Following the lecture, Savage was joined by Mickey Edwards, former Congressman from Oklahoma and director of the Aspen Institute's Rodel Fellowships in Public Leadership and James Thurber, distinguished professor of government and director of the Center for Congressional and Presidential Studies at American University. Virginia Sloan, president of the Constitution Project, moderated the discussion, which focused on the NSA surveillance program, the politicization of the Justice Department, the debate over torture and the detention of "enemy combatants," presidential signing statements and administration secrecy policies.
Speaker Biography: Rubens Medina is the 21st Law Librarian of Congress, having been appointed to the position in 1994 after serving as Chief of the Hispanic Law Division since 1971. He holds a law degree from the National University of Asuncion, Paraguay, and a Ph.D. in Law and Sociology from the University of Wisconsin. Medina also serves as Chair of the Executive Council of the Global Legal Information Network (GLIN), an international cooperative information system developed and maintained by the Law Library.
Speaker Biography: Charlie Savage is a journalist for The Boston Globe, where he serves as their Washington correspondent. This past month, Little Brown and Company published Savage's first book, "Takeover: The Return of the Imperial Presidency and the Subversion of American Democracy." Earlier this year he was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for National Reporting for a series of articles on President George W. Bush's use of signing statements. Before joining The Boston Globe in 2003, Mr. Savage was a journalist for the Miami Herald, where he covered the local and state government beats. Mr. Savage received his undergraduate degree in English and American Literature from Harvard College and a master's degree in legal studies from Yale Law School, where he was a Knight Foundation Journalism Fellow.
Speaker Biography: Mickey Edwards served in the House of Representatives for 16 years (R-Okla.), where he was the ranking Republican member of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Foreign Operations and chairman of the House Republican Policy Committee. Since leaving Congress, he has taught at Harvard, Princeton, and Georgetown universities, served as a regular commentator on National Public Radio, and written a weekly political column for the Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times and Boston Globe. Currently, in addition to continuing his teaching at Princeton, he is director of a political leadership program at the Aspen Institute, a director of the Constitution Project, and co-chair of the Project's War Powers Committee and a member of its Liberty and Security Committee and its Coalition to Defend Checks and Balances. He is the author of "Reclaiming Conservatism," to be published by the Oxford University Press in 2008.
Speaker Biography: James A. Thurber is Distinguished Professor of Government and Director of the Center for Congressional and Presidential Studies at American University in Washington, D.C. He has been on the faculty at American University since 1974, and has served as acting dean of the School of Government and Public Administration. Thurber received his Ph.D. in political science from Indiana University, was an American Political Science Association Congressional Fellow, and has been an author or editor of 12 books on American politics and public policy. He has served as the director of the Human Affairs Research Centers of the Battelle Memorial Institute and as principal investigator of a seven-year grant from the Pew Charitable Trusts to the Campaign Management Institute to study campaign conduct. He is a fellow at the National Academy of Public Administration, and a member of the Constitution Project's Coalition to Defend Checks and Balances.
Speaker Biography: Virginia E. Sloan founded the Constitution Project in 1997 and is now its president and also serves on its Board of Directors. She previously served as Executive Director of the Task Force on Gender, Race and Ethnic Bias of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, and as counsel to the House of Representatives Committee on the Judiciary. Currently, Sloan serves as special counsel to the Council of the American Bar Association's Section of Individual Rights and Responsibilities. She also served as chair of the Section's Criminal Justice Committee, which co-sponsored the successful ABA resolution in favor of a death penalty moratorium. Sloan is a member of the Board of Directors of the Southern Center for Human Rights and of the Mid-Atlantic Innocence Project, as well as the Honorary Board of the Washington Council of Lawyers. She is also a member of the ABA Death Penalty Moratorium Implementation Project's Assessments Project Advisory Board.