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ACLU Recognizes Law Professor for Civil Liberties Work

David Cole

David Cole

February 12, 2013 – The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) Foundation has recognized Georgetown constitutional law scholar David Cole for his “outstanding contributions to civil liberties” by awarding him the inaugural Norman Dorsen Presidential Prize.

The prize comes with a $10,000 stipend and is one of only two awards the national ACLU presents each year – the other being the Roger Baldwin Medal of Liberty.

“I am a great admirer of Norman Dorsen and the ACLU and all they have done to keep civil liberties strong in the United States, so I’m especially honored to be chosen for this award,” says Cole, who will receive the award at the ACLU Biennial Leadership Conference in June.  

Dorsen served as ACLU general counsel from 1969 to 1976 and as ACLU president from 1976 to 1991.

Cole teaches constitutional law, national security and criminal justice at Georgetown. He also volunteers as an attorney for the Center for Constitutional Rights. The law scholar also is the legal affairs correspondent for The Nation and a regular contributor to the New York Review of Books.

He has published widely in law journals, newspapers and magazines and is the author of seven books. His second book, Enemy Aliens: Double Standards and Constitutional Freedoms in the War on Terrorism (New Press, 2005), was honored with the American Book Award. 

Cole has litigated many significant constitutional cases before the Supreme Court, including Texas v. Johnson and United States v. Eichman, which extended First Amendment protection to flag burners; and National Endowment for the Arts v. Finley, which challenged “decency” restrictions on NEA arts grants.


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