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Media Advisory
April 30, 2008

Oroma Mpi, 212-382-6713


Aliens and Sedition:
National Security, Individual Rights and the Law in Historical Perspective

When:       Wednesday, May 14, 2008; 6:30 p.m.
Where:      New York City Bar Association, 42 West 44th Street (between 5th & 6th Ave.)

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.

Journalist, The New Yorker

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:
Gilder-Lehrman Institute of American History

This event is free and open to the public.

About the Association
The New York City Bar Association ( was founded in 1870, and since then has been dedicated to maintaining the high ethical standards of the profession, promoting reform of the law, and providing service to the profession and the public. The Association continues to work for political, legal and social reform, while implementing innovative means to help the disadvantaged. Protecting the public’s welfare remains one of the Association’s highest priorities.


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