Georgetown law professor is first speaker in MU Amicus Curiae lecture series

By Chris Dickerson | Aug 28, 2014

HUNTINGTON – Dr. Laura K. Donohue, a professor of law and director of the Center on National Security and the Law at Georgetown University Law Center, will be the featured speaker Thursday, Sept. 11, in the first installment of the fall 2014 Amicus Curiae Lecture Series at Marshall University.

The Amicus Curiae – or “Friend of the Court” – Lecture Series on Constitutional Democracy focuses on issues of law, history, politics and governance in the United States of America. It is sponsored by Marshall’s Simon Perry Center for Constitutional Democracy, with financial support from the West Virginia Humanities Council.

Donohue’s lecture, titled “The Future of Privacy, Uncertain,” will take place at 7 p.m. at the Marshall University Foundation Hall, Home of the Erickson Alumni Center, on the Huntington campus. Two other Amicus Curiae lectures will be given this fall. Donohue describes her lecture as focusing on individual privacy in an age of terrorism and resulting heightened security.

“On June 6, 2013, the Washington Post and The Guardian captured public attention by reporting that the intelligence community was collecting large amounts of information about U.S. citizens,” she explained. “The National Security Agency (NSA) was tapping directly into the central servers of nine leading U.S. Internet companies extracting audio, video, photographs, e-mails, documents and connection logs that enable analysts to track a person’s movements and contacts over time.

"The NSA, it has since been learned, relied upon post-9/11 legislation to support these and other surveillance programs. Information obtained by the intelligence committee for national security purposes can then be used for criminal prosecution, without any of the protections that ordinarily accompany law enforcement investigations.”

Donohue has been a project director for the U.S. Justice Department and the Department of Homeland Security on projects related to mass-terror incidents. She earned her A.B. in Philosophy (with Honors) from Dartmouth College, her M.A. in Peace Studies (with Distinction) from the University of Ulster, Northern Ireland, her J.D. (with Distinction) from Stanford Law School, and her Ph.D. in History from the University of Cambridge. She is a life member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

Here is a brief look at each of the other two speakers and their topics scheduled this fall:

7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 7, 2014: David O. Stewart, a graduate of Yale College and Yale Law School and a former law clerk to Supreme Court Associate Justice Lewis F. Powell Jr., will speak on the subject of his book, “American Emperor: Aaron Burr’s Challenge to Jefferson’s America.”

7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 20, 2014: Samuel Issacharoff, the Bonnie and Richard Reiss Professor of Constitutional Law at New York University’s School of Law, will speak on the future of voting rights in America in his lecture, “Ballot Bedlam.”

Stewart’s and Issacharoff’s lectures also will take place in the Foundation Hall.

“We are thrilled that, for the fourth consecutive year, the Simon Perry Center will be able to offer this series to the community, and grateful for the financial support of the West Virginia Humanities Council that enables us to do so,” said Patricia Proctor, director of the Simon Perry Center for Constitutional Democracy.

For more information on the Amicus Curiae Lecture Series, call 304-696-2801.

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