First Amendment Studies

Free Speech and National Security

Presented by the BB&T Dialogue Series on Free Speech

A Panel Discussion

Tuesday, September 30th, 2014

5:30 PM

LOCATION: Peter O'Donnell Jr. Building (POB) 2.302
AVAYA Auditorium


HEIDI KITROSSER - Law Professor, University of Minnesota


SAHAR AZIZ - Law Professor, Texas A&M University

panel speakers 

Panelists will consider such questions as:

  • "Security vs. liberty" - How real is the conflict?
  • What should govern any "tradeoffs" and "balancing"?
  • Do times of crisis call for greater restrictions on expression?
  • Or for fewer restrictions, so as to encourage robust debate?
  • What is a national security crisis?
  • Does government secrecy about national security matters inhibit people's freedom of speech?
  • What difference should national security make to individuals' rights to personal privacy?
  • How effective have restrictions on speech been for achieving security?

More about our speakers

Heidi Kitrosser HEIDI KITROSSER is a law professor at the University of Minnesota.  She teaches courses on constitutional law, the First Amendment, and government secrecy and has published a number of law review articles on topics ranging from congressional oversight to executive privilege to the First Amendment rights of persons who leak classified information.  Her forthcoming book, Reclaiming Accountability: Transparency, Executive Power, and the U.S.Constitution, will appear in early 2015.

Professor Kitrosser took her BA from UCLA and earned her JD at Yale Law School.  She subsequently clerked for Judge William Rea on the District Court for the Central District of California and for Judge Judith Rogers on the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. Kitrosser also worked as an associate at the Washington, D.C. office of Jenner & Block.  She taught at Brooklyn Law School before moving to Minnesota, and has been a visiting law professor at Northwestern, Santa Clara, and the University of Oregon.

Charlie SavageCHARLIE SAVAGE is a Washington correspondent for The New York Times, where he specializes in presidential power and national security legal policy.  Having taken his BA in American Literature and Language from Harvard and an MA from Yale Law School, where he was also a Knight Journalism Fellow, Savage previously wrote for the Miami Herald and Boston Globe.  For his work at the Globe, Savage won several awards, including the 2001 Pulitzer Prize in National Reporting for his coverage of presidential signing statements.

Savage's book about the growth of executive power, Takeover: The Return of the Imperial Presidency and the Subversion of American Democracy, has also won numerous awards and "best of the Year" tributes from an array of institutions.

Aziz picSAHAR AZIZ is a professor of law at Texas A&M.  Her research focuses on the intersection of national security and civil rights law, incorporating critical race theory, feminist theory, and constitutional law into her examination of the disparate impact of post-9/11 laws and public policy on ethnic, racial, and religious minority groups in the United States.  Professor Aziz also writes on rule of law and democracy in Egypt.

Before joining the Texas A&M faculty, Professor Aziz clerked for the Honorable Andre M. Davis on the United States District Court for the District of Maryland, worked as an associate at the Washington firms of Cohen Milstein Sellers and Toll and Wilmer Hale, served at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security as a senior policy advisor for the Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, and as adjunct faculty at Georgetown University.  Her commentaries and media appearances concerning national security and civil right range from such venues as the New York Times, Christian Science Monitor, CNN and The Guardian to the Huffington Post, Russia Today, and Al Jazeera America.  Aziz earned her J.D., as well as an M.A. in Middle Eastern Studies, from the University of Texas.

Tara Smith and Charles Savage