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Pulitzer Prize Finalist Author To Speak on Civil Liberties in Constitution Day Lecture at Bellarmine on Sept. 16

Sep 01, 2011


Roger Newman's appearance marks 10th anniversary of 9/11 attacks

A Pulitzer Prize finalist will speak at Bellarmine University about civil liberties in the post-9/11 era. The free Constitution Day lecture by Roger Newman takes place at 7 p.m. on Friday, September 16, 2011, in Bellarmine's Amy Cralle Theater. [see Wyatt Center for the Arts on campus map]

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"The events of September 11, 2001, have cast our civil liberties in a new light," said Newman. "The existence of secret databases of all telephone calls and e-mails made by Americans along with the government’s ability to wiretap without a court order makes the matter urgent. The whole subject simply cannot be escaped. If the first casualty of war is truth, civil liberties are second."

Newman, who teaches in the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, wrote "Hugo Black: A Biography" (1994) and co-authored "Banned Films: Movies, Censors and the First Amendment" (1982). With his biography of Hugo Black, a Supreme Court Justice from 1937 to 1971, Newman became a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in 1995.


Roger Newman
Newman's lecture, which will focus on civil liberties, the media, surveillance and terrorism, is sponsored by Bellarmine University’s Institute for Media, Culture & Ethics, and the Brown Scholars Leadership Program. He is appearing in Louisville as a fellow in the Institute. He will participate in several communication classes, and appear before the Brown Scholars and the university’s pre-law organization. In addition, Newman will spend one-on-one time with several students.

“Roger Newman has become a powerful voice on the topic of civil liberties," said Ed Manassah, director of the Institute. "When we became acquainted earlier this year it became a natural tie to the work of the Institute to connect students and the community to varied voices. With the 9/11 anniversary imminent, his lecture topic became even more timely.”

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Over the past several years, the Institute has brought a wide variety of talented people to campus as fellows, giving students and the Louisville community special experiences. These have included a talk by retired CBS News president Andrew Heyward, a film preview by Helen Whitney about forgiveness which aired this past spring on PBS, and a musical performance and commentary about the First Amendment, among others.

Constitution Day is observed each year on September 17 to commemorate the signing of the Constitution on September 17, 1787. In 2004, Congress added a requirement that each education institution receiving federal funds should hold an educational program on the Constitution for students on September 17. With September 17 falling on a Saturday, it can be observed on Friday.