Arizona State University’s new School of Civic and Economic Thought and Leadership hosted its first event this year, a Constitution Day celebration featuring Floyd Abrams. The event, titled “Freedom of Speech on Campus? A Conversation with Floyd Abrams,” was one of many supported by the Jack Miller Center through its Constitution Day Initiative, which are united this year by a common theme, Freedom of Speech.
“We are delighted to have such a prominent national leader on First Amendment issues to launch this series,” said professor Paul Carrese, director of ASU’s new School of Civic and Economic Thought and Leadership. “The goal of this year-long series is to convene leading experts on free speech and intellectual diversity in education, and leaders in American civic life, to explore the heated debates and clashes in higher education about free discourse, civility, diversity, and inclusion. These events advance the School’s mission to revive the crucial link between civic education and liberal education in America, in order to prepare thoughtful leaders for civil society and for public service.”
Abrams has argued frequently before the Supreme Court in a large number of its most significant First Amendment cases. He was co-counsel to The New York Times in the Pentagon Papers case; counsel to the Brooklyn Museum of Art in its legal battles with Mayor Rudolph Giuliani; counsel to Senator Mitch McConnell and the National Association of Broadcasters in a First Amendment-rooted challenge to the constitutionality of the McCain-Feingold campaign finance legislation; counsel to Senator McConnell in the Citizens United case; and counsel to many journalists, including Judith Miller and Myron Farber, who sought to protect the identity of their confidential sources. He has represented The Times, ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, Time Magazine, Business Week, The Nation, Reader’s Digest, The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. and numerous other clients in trials and appeals.