On The Front Lines

UVA's Batten School Hosts Public Talk on the State of Free Speech in America With First Amendment Lawyers John Whitehead & Nadine Strossen

March 15, 2018

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — Events of the past year have generated a nearly unprecedented level of public debate over the protections and limits of the First Amendment right of free speech. On March 21, 2018, two of the nation’s foremost civil liberties attorneys, John W. Whitehead (president of The Rutherford Institute) and Nadine Strossen (former head of the ACLU) will discuss and debate the unique tensions surrounding First Amendment activities in the current national and political climate, especially as they relate to free speech, freedom of the press, the right to petition/protest, and the freedom of assembly, hate speech laws, laws limiting protest activities nationwide, and the role of government leaders in cultivating an environment in which free speech is valued and protected.

Moderated by Dean Allan C. Stam of the Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy, the program, “Freedom for the Speech We Hate,” will be held in the Rotunda of the University of Virginia, from 12-30-2:30 pm, EDT. The program is free and open to the public but RSVP is required. This event is co-sponsored by the Batten School and The Rutherford Institute.

  • Constitutional attorney John W. Whitehead is the founder and president of The Rutherford Institute, a Charlottesville-based national civil liberties organization that has litigated numerous First Amendment cases, including the free speech and assembly rights of the Charlottesville protesters in August 2017. A prolific author, Whitehead has published over 30 books. His latest work is Battlefield America: The War on the American People. His book A Government of Wolves: The Emerging American Police State will be published in paperback in May 2018.
  • From 1991-2008, Nadine Strossen served as president of the ACLU, and is currently the John Marshall Harlan II Professor of Law at New York Law School. She has written, taught, and advocated extensively in the areas of constitutional law and civil liberties. Her latest work, HATE: Why We Should Resist It with Free Speech, Not Censorship, will be published in May 2018.
  • Allan C. Stam is the Dean of the Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy at the University of Virginia. Previously he was Director of the International Policy Center at the Gerald R Ford School of Public Policy and Professor of Political Science and Senior research scientist at the University of Michigan’s Institute for Social Research. His research focuses on the dynamics of armed conflict between and within states. Before completing his undergraduate degree at Cornell University in 1988, he served as a communications specialist on an ‘A’ detachment in the U.S. Army Special Forces and later as an armor officer in the US Army Reserves. He holds an MA and PhD in Political Science from the University of Michigan.

The Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy is dedicated to developing leaders and generating new knowledge to solve the world’s toughest public policy challenges. Through training in policy analysis and critical leadership skills, the school and its faculty serve as a model for transforming public policy education.

The Rutherford Institute, a nonprofit civil liberties organization, provide legal services in the defense of civil liberties and to educate the public on important issues affecting their constitutional freedoms.

Press Contact

Nisha Whitehead
(434) 978-3888 ext. 604