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Aliens and Sedition: National Security, Individual Rights and the Law in Historical Perspective
Wednesday, May 14, 2008 6:30 pm

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Arising from the September 11 attacks, the war on terror has sparked a vigorous debate over how many of our civil liberties, if any, should be sacrificed to keep the public safe from terrorist attack. Civil liberties and national security did not conflict for the first time after the September 11 attacks. They have conflicted throughout our history -- notably in the Alien and Sedition Acts at the end of the eighteenth century, President Abraham Lincoln’s suspension of habeas corpus in the Civil War, and the internment of Americans of Japanese descent during World War II.

How similar were those three events to the war on terror? How was the conflict between civil liberties and national security resolved in those events? What do those events have to add to the current debate over the war on terror? Join four eminent scholars and commentators for an exploration of these and other questions regarding the conflict between civil liberties and national security in our nation’s history.

Provost and Allan Nevins Professor of History, Columbia University

Professor of History, Yale University

Chair, 9/11 Commission; former Governor of New Jersey

McCabe Greer Professor in the American Civil War Era, Pennsylvania State University

Sponsored by:
Committee on Legal History, Thomas M. Ross, Chair

Co-sponsored by:
The Gilder-Lehrman Institute of American History

Registration is recommended.