“Taking Liberties: The War on Terror and the Erosion of American Democracy” wins 2012 IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law/Roy C. Palmer Civil Liberties Prize

Taking Liberties: The War on Terror and the Erosion of American Democracy, by Brooklyn Law School professor and national ACLU president Susan N. Herman, has won the 2012 IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law/Roy C. Palmer Civil Liberties Prize.

The prize was established in 2007 by IIT Chicago-Kent alumnus Roy C. Palmer and his wife, Susan M. Palmer, to honor an exemplary work of scholarship exploring the tension between civil liberties and national security in contemporary American society. Professor Herman, whose book was published in September 2011 by Oxford University Press, will present her work at IIT Chicago-Kent on April 11.

In Taking Liberties: The War on Terror and the Erosion of American Democracy, Professor Herman examines  the human and social costs of the War on Terror. A decade after the September 11 attacks on the United States, Professor Herman says, “[I]t is far from clear that the government’s hastily adopted antiterrorist tactics—such as the Patriot Act—are keeping us safe, but it is increasingly clear that these emergency measures in fact have the potential to ravage our lives—and have already done just that to countless Americans.”

A member of the Brooklyn Law School faculty since 1980, Professor Susan N. Herman currently is the Centennial Professor of Law. Professor Herman teaches courses in Constitutional Law and Criminal Procedure and seminars on Law and Literature and on Terrorism and Civil Liberties. She has written extensively on constitutional and criminal procedure issues for scholarly and other publications. Professor Herman is editor and co-author (with Paul Finkelman) of Terrorism, Government, and Law: National Authority and Local Autonomy in the War on Terror (Praeger Security International 2008) and The Right to a Speedy and Public Trial (Praeger 2006).

In 2008, Professor Herman was elected president of the American Civil Liberties Union after having served on the organization’s national board of directors for 20 years, as a member of its executive committee for 16 years, and as general counsel for 10 years. She has also participated in Supreme Court litigation, writing and collaborating on amicus curiae briefs for the ACLU on a range of constitutional criminal procedure issues and conducting Supreme Court moot courts, and in some federal lobbying efforts.

Professor Herman completed her undergraduate education at Barnard College and earned her J.D. from New York University School of Law. Before entering teaching, Professor Herman was Pro Se law clerk for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, and staff attorney and then associate director of Prisoners’ Legal Services of New York.

Benefactor Roy Palmer, a lawyer and real estate developer, is a 1962 honors graduate of IIT Chicago-Kent and former member of its board of overseers. Palmer is the recipient of the IIT Chicago-Kent Alumni Association’s 2012 Distinguished Alumni Award. He and his wife, Susan, are active in numerous civic, social and philanthropic organizations.

Previous recipients of the Palmer Prize include David D. Cole and Jules L. Lobel for their book Less Safe, Less Free: Why America Is Losing the War on Terror (The New Press); Harold H. Bruff for Bad Advice: The President’s Lawyers in the War on Terrorism (University Press of Kansas); Scott M. Matheson, Jr., for Presidential Constitutionalism in Perilous Times (Harvard University Press); Gabriella Blum and Philip B. Heymann for Laws, Outlaws, and Terrorists: Lessons from the War on Terrorism (Harvard University Press); and Laura A. Dickinson for Outsourcing War and Peace: Preserving Public Values in a World of Privatized Foreign Affairs (Yale University Press).