Constitutional Law Scholar Susan Herman Elected As New ACLU President

October 18, 2008 12:00 am

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NEW YORK – The American Civil Liberties Union Board of Directors today elected constitutional law professor Susan Herman as its new president. Herman is a Centennial Professor of Law at Brooklyn Law School and has served on the ACLU’s National Board for 20 years, on the Executive Committee for the last 16 and acted as the Board’s General Counsel for the last ten.

“I’m deeply honored to have the privilege of leading the ACLU, especially as our country goes through a period of profound transition,” said Herman. “Through every administration, no matter who is president, there are always challenges requiring the protection of our country’s fundamental freedoms, and that remains especially true in these tumultuous times. The ACLU has been and will remain on the front lines to protect our civil liberties.”

As ACLU President, Herman will preside over a lively 83-member Board of civil libertarians, consult with the ACLU Executive Director on major decisions, and act as an ACLU spokesperson.

“Susan Herman is a deeply principled and talented leader who will ably harness the collective energies of the ACLU Board,” said ACLU Executive Director Anthony D. Romero. “She has a profound appreciation for the ACLU’s historical role and monumental achievements and, at the same time, an enormous capacity to envision the ACLU’s vibrant and growing role as it continues to fight the inevitable civil liberties challenges that lay ahead.”

Herman’s commitment to the ACLU started over 25 years ago when she was still in law school and worked as an intern with the organization’s Sexual Privacy Project. Since her days as an intern, Herman has served on multiple ACLU committees and subcommittees, authored or co-authored many Supreme Court friend-of-the-court briefs for the organization, lobbied Congress for ACLU positions, and served as a public spokesperson for the organization in a variety of contexts.

As a law professor, Herman specializes in constitutional law and has written two books and numerous articles on civil liberties issues, including the due process rights of prisoners, the Patriot Act, the Fourth Amendment, socioeconomic rights and equality, and the First Amendment. She has regularly appeared as a commentator on constitutional issues on NBC News, MSNBC and NPR.

Herman’s goals for the organization include continuing the ACLU’s work to preserve civil rights and liberties in all areas; increasing understanding of the ACLU’s work as well as membership in the organization; and redoubling efforts with the ACLU’s Leading Freedom Forward campaign to strengthen its state affiliates, particularly in states where civil liberties violations are most egregious.

Herman replaces Nadine Strossen who stepped down this year after serving as ACLU President for 18 distinguished years. Strossen will remain active in ACLU campaigns and continue to teach full time at New York Law School.

Herman’s bio is available online at:

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