Indiana State University Newsroom

Roger Newman to speak on civil liberties, surveillance and terrorism Tuesday

September 24, 2010

Roger Newman, a professor at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and author of "Hugo Black," will be speaking at Indiana State University Tuesday (Sept. 28) about civil liberties.

At 4 p.m. in the Cunningham Memorial Library's Special Events Area, Newman will speak on "Civil Liberties, Surveillance and Terrorism." The public is invited to attend this free lecture.

"The existence of secret databases of all telephone calls and emails made by Americans along with the government's ability to wiretap without a court order makes the matter urgent," Newman said. "The whole subject simply cannot be escaped."

Newman said that the Obama administration has continued what the Bush administration started, even though more than 400 legislatures of states, cities and counties have urged all or part of the Patriot Act be repealed.

"During the Vietnam War, a general famously said, ‘We must destroy the village in order to save it,'" he said. "But we can never preserve the freedom for which we fought by eliminating much of it."

Newman's biography of Hugo Black, one of the longest serving justices on the Supreme Court, won the Scribes Book Award - the American Society of Writers on Legal Subjects and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Biography in 1995. He is co-author of "Banned Films: Movies, Censors and the First Amendment" and editor of "The Constitution and Its Amendments." His writing has appeared in the Washington Post, The Nation and The American Lawyer as well as many other publications. He has appeared on NPR, PBS C-Span and Entertainment Tonight.

Newman is serving as Indiana State's Constitution Day speaker. His visit is being sponsored by the University Honors program, the Center for Public Service and Community Engagement and the American Democracy Project.

Contact: Darlene Hantzis, Indiana State University, professor of communication and women's studies, at 812-237-3658 or

Writer: Jennifer Sicking, Indiana State University, assistant director of media relations, at 812-237-7972 or