Columbia University professor Roger Newman will speak on the state of civil liberties in the United States in the decade since 9/11 on Wednesday, Sept. 14, at 3 p.m. in the Bone Student Center Prairie Room. The Constitution Day speaker presentation, sponsored by Illinois State University’s American Democracy Project, is free and open to the public.

Newman is a faculty member at the Columbia Journalism School and the author of a biography of Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black, which earned a Scribes Book Award and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. He is also the editor of two large works, the Yale Biographical Dictionary of American Law, and a four-volume encyclopedia, The Constitution and Its Amendments. Newman has appeared on C-Span, PBS, National Public Radio and even Entertainment Tonight, which used another of his books, Banned Films, as the basis of a week-long series on movie censorship. He is currently working on a book about President Clinton and his Supreme Court appointments.

Newman argues that if the first casualty of war is truth, civil liberties are second. According to Newman, the reaction to 9/11 has threatened civil liberties in ways that are not yet fully understand. He claims that to an unparalleled extent the government is monitoring and keeping records of citizens’ private communications.