National Constitution Center 2017 Freedom Day

April 13, 2017 1:00 PM -
April 13, 2017 4:30 PM
Freedom Day was launched on April 13, 2015 at the National Constitution Center, headquartered on Independence Mall in Philadelphia.


  • Judge Ransey Cole Jr.

    Chief Judge R. Guy Cole Jr., A72, was nominated by President Clinton and unanimously confirmed by the U.S. Senate in 1995 to a federal judgeship on the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, which hears all federal appeals from the States of Ohio, Michigan, Kentucky, and Tennessee. Judge Cole continued in active service from January 1996 until August 2014, when he assumed the role of Chief Judge for the Sixth Circuit-becoming the first African American to hold that position since the court's formation in 1869. During his 20 years on the bench, Judge Cole has authored hundreds of legal opinions, including landmark decisions on civil rights, criminal procedure, and the scope of the First Amendment. Prior to joining the Sixth Circuit, Judge Cole served as an attorney in private practice at the Columbus law firm of Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease, where he became the first African-American partner; as a litigator for the Commercial Litigation Branch of the Department of Justice in Washington, D.C.; and as a United States Bankruptcy Judge for the Southern District of Ohio. Judge Cole credits his parents and his upbringing in the "Dynamite Hill" area of Birmingham, Alabama, during the height of the civil rights movement for his decision to become a lawyer and judge. Witnessing the violence and depravity that sometimes befall mankind if left unchecked gave Judge Cole a lifelong and indomitable commitment to the principles of equality and justice for all. In addition to his judicial responsibilities, Judge Cole gives back to the community by serving as an adjunct professor at The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law and on the governing boards of several philanthropic organizations in central Ohio. Judge Cole lives in Columbus, Ohio, with his family and enjoys his time both on (and off) the bench.

  • Mickey Edwards Mickey Edwards was a member of Congress for 16 years, serving on the House Budget and Appropriations Committees and as a chairman of the House Republican Policy Committee. After leaving Congress he taught for 11 years at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government before moving on first to Princeton's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs and then back to Washington, DC, as vice president of the Aspen Institute, where he directs a bipartisan fellowship for elected public officials. Edwards, who grew up in Oklahoma City, has degrees in both law and journalism.  He began his career as a newspaper editor and reporter and later won awards in advertising and public relations before being elected to Congress.  While teaching at Harvard he returned to journalism as a weekly political columnist for the Chicago Tribune and Los Angeles Times and broadcast a weekly commentary on National Public Radio's "All Things Considered". Edwards is a board member of both the Constitution Project, where he has chaired task forces on judicial independence and the war power, and the Project on Government Oversight.  He was a member of the American Bar Association's select task foce on the use of presidential signing statements and the American Society of International Law's task force on the International Criminal Court and has  chaired policy task forces for both the Brookings Institution and the Council on Foreign Relations. Among his books are "Reclaiming Conservatism", published in 2008 by Oxford University Press, and "The Parties Versus the People: How to Turn Republicans and Democrats Into Americans", published in 2013 by Yale University Press. His articles have appeared frequently in publications ranging from the New York Times and the Washington Post to Daedalus, The Public Interest, and the Atlantic. He is a frequent public speaker and has been a guest on many of the nation's leading radio and television news and opinion broadcasts.
  • Judge Jeremy Fogel Born in San Francisco, raised in Los Angeles, California. Attended Los Angeles public schools. Bachelor of Arts with Great Distinction from Stanford University, 1971, major in Religious Studies. Juris Doctor cum laude from Harvard University, 1974. Admitted to practice in California, 1974. Private practice of law in San Jose, 1974-78. Founder and Directing Attorney, Mental Health Advocacy Project, Santa Clara County Bar Association Law Foundation, 1978-81. Appointed to Santa Clara County Municipal Court, 1981; appointed to Santa Clara Superior Court, 1986. Judge, United States District Court, Northern District of California, 1998-2011. Director, Federal Judicial Center, 2011-present. Presiding Judge, Santa Clara County Municipal Court, 1984-85; Supervising Judge, Family Law Division, Santa Clara Superior Court, 1987-88, 1995; Supervising Judge, Probate/Mental Health Division, 1991; Civil Team Leader and Law and Motion Judge, Santa Clara Superior Court 1992-94, 1996-98. Member, Executive Board, California Judges Association, 1988-91; Vice-President, 1990-91; Chair, Judicial Ethics Committee, 1987-88; Chair, Judicial Discipline Advisory Panel (confidential counseling service for judges facing discipline), 1992-98. Chair, Planning Committee, California Continuing Judicial Studies Program, 1995-97. Faculty, California Continuing Judicial Studies Program and California Judicial College (alternative dispute resolution, psychology, ethics, family law, sexual harassment awareness and prevention, domestic violence, and judicial excellence), 1987-2009. Mediation trainer and member, Advisory Committee on ADR Education, Federal Judicial Center, 2002-2009; faculty, FJC Advanced Patent Program, 2005-present. Member of international legal exchange delegations to various countries in the Middle East, Eastern Europe, Latin America, and East and South Asia (alternative dispute resolution, case management, intellectual property rights and judicial ethics), 1999-present. Frequent lecturer on ethics, discipline and professional conduct for both Bench and Bar. Lecturer, Stanford University Law School (psychology of litigation), 2003-present (on leave while at FJC). President's Award for Outstanding Service to the California Judiciary, California Judges Association, 1997; Judge of the Year Award, Santa Clara County Trial Lawyers Association, 1997, 2005 and 2011; "LACY Honors" Award, Legal Advocates for Children and Youth, Santa Clara County Bar Association Law Foundation, 1997. Recipient, Special Award for Exemplifying Highest Standards of Professionalism in the Judiciary, Santa Clara County Bar Association, 2002. Justice of the Year, San Francisco Trial Lawyers Association, 2007; named one of California's 100 most influential lawyers by Daily Journal Corporation, 2007. Married since 1977 to Kathleen Wilcox; two children: Megan, 29 and Nathaniel, 26.
  • Caroline Fredrickson Caroline Fredrickson joined ACS in 2009 and serves as president. She oversees the group and provides a steady hand of leadership to the nation's leading progressive legal organization. During her tenure, Caroline has helped grow ACS, which now has more than 40 lawyer chapters across the country, student chapters in nearly every law school in the United States, and thousands of members throughout the nation. She is an eloquent spokesperson for ACS and the progressive movement on issues such as civil and human rights, judicial nominations and the importance of the courts in America, marriage equality, voting rights, the role of money in politics, labor law, anti-discrimination efforts, and so much more. She has been widely published on a wide range of legal and constitutional issues and is a frequent guest on television and radio shows, including a notable and well-covered appearance on Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor in 2012 defending the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act. Caroline is author of Under The Bus: How Working Women Are Being Run Over (The New Press, 2015). Before joining ACS, Caroline served as the director of the ACLU's Washington legislative office and as general counsel and legal director of NARAL Pro-Choice America. In addition, Caroline was chief of staff to Sen. Maria Cantwell and deputy chief of staff to then-Senate Democratic Leader Tom Daschle. During the Clinton administration, she served as special assistant to the president for legislative affairs. Caroline graduated summa cum laude from Yale University with a Bachelor of Arts in Russian and East European Studies in 1986 and from Columbia University School of Law with a Juris Doctorate in 1992. In law school, she was a Harlan Fiske Stone scholar, served on the Columbia Law Review and co-founded the Columbia Journal of Gender and Law. Following law school she clerked for James L. Oakes of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. She currently is a member of Law Students for Reproductive Justice's Advisory Board. In 2013, Caroline is a Public Member of the Administrative Conference of the United States (ACUS), which includes 50 government and 40 public members. Caroline is a co-chair the National Constitution Center's Coalition of Freedom Advisory Board. In 2015 Caroline was named a Demos Senior Fellow, and appointed a member of the Yale Les Aspin Fellowship Committee. Follow her on Twitter and visit the "Under The Bus: How Working Women Are Being Run," Facebook page. 
  • John Harrison John C. Harrison joined the faculty in 1993 as an associate professor of law after a distinguished career with the U.S. Department of Justice. His teaching subjects include constitutional history, federal courts, remedies, corporations, civil procedure, legislation and property. In 2008 he was on leave from the Law School to serve as counselor on international law in the Office of the Legal Adviser at the U.S. Department of State. A 1977 graduate of the University of Virginia, Harrison earned his law degree in 1980 at Yale, where he served as editor of the Yale Law Journal and editor and articles editor of the Yale Studies in World Public Order. He was an associate at Patton Boggs & Blow in Washington, D.C., and clerked for Judge Robert Bork on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. He worked with the Department of Justice from 1983-93, serving in numerous capacities, including deputy assistant attorney general in the Office of Legal Counsel (1990-93).
  • Susan Herman Susan N. Herman was elected President of the American Civil Liberties Union in October 2008, after having served on the ACLU National Board of Directors for twenty years, as a member of the Executive Committee for sixteen years, and as General Counsel for ten years. Herman holds a chair as Centennial Professor of Law at Brooklyn Law School, where she currently teaches courses in Constitutional Law and Criminal Procedure, and seminars on Law and Literature, and Terrorism and Civil Liberties. She writes extensively on constitutional and criminal procedure topics for scholarly and other publications, ranging from law reviews and books to periodicals and on-line publications.  Her current book, Taking Liberties: The War on Terror and the Erosion of American Democracy, published by Oxford University Press in October 2011, and reissued in an expanded paperback edition in March 2014, is the winner of the 2012 IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law/Roy C. Palmer Civil Liberties Prize. Other publications include two additional books, TERRORISM, GOVERNMENT, AND LAW: NATIONAL AUTHORITY AND LOCAL AUTONOMY IN THE WAR ON TERROR, editor and co-author, with Paul Finkelman (Praeger Security International 2008) and THE RIGHT TO A SPEEDY AND PUBLIC TRIAL (Praeger 2006) (part of a series on the Constitution), and law review articles including The USA PATRIOT Act and the Submajoritarian Fourth Amendment, 41 HARV. CIV. RTS.-CIV. LIB. L. REV. 67 (2006). Herman has discussed constitutional law issues on radio, including a variety of NPR shows; on television, including programs on PBS, CSPAN, NBC, MSNBC and a series of appearances on the Today in New York show; and in print media including Newsday and the New York Times. In addition, she has been a frequent speaker at academic conferences and continuing legal education events organized by groups such as the Federal Judicial Center, and the American Bar Association, lecturing and conducting workshops for various groups of judges and lawyers, and at non-legal events, including speeches at the U.S. Army War College and many other schools. 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. Herman received a B.A. from Barnard College as a philosophy major, and a J.D. from New York University School of Law, where she was a Note and Comment Editor on the N.Y.U. Law Review. Before entering teaching, Professor Herman was Pro Se Law Clerk for the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, and Staff Attorney and then Associate Director of Prisoners' Legal Services of New York.
  • Dafna Linzer

    Dafna Linzer is Managing Editor of Before joining MSNBC, she was an award-winning senior investigative reporter at ProPublica and is the author of "Shades of Mercy," a series and e-book on racial bias in presidential pardons. Previously, she covered national security for the Washington Post and was a special projects reporter and foreign correspondent with the Associated Press, based in Jerusalem and at the United Nations.

  • John Malcolm John G. Malcolm oversees The Heritage Foundation's work to increase understanding of the Constitution and the rule of law as director of the think tank's Edwin Meese III Center for Legal and Judicial Studies. Malcolm, who also is Heritage's Ed Gilbertson and Sherry Lindberg Gilbertson senior legal fellow, brings to the challenge a wealth of legal expertise and experience in both the public and private sectors. Before being named director of the Meese Center in July 2013, Malcolm spearheaded the center's rule of law programs. His research and writing as senior legal fellow focused on criminal law, immigration, national security, religious liberty and intellectual property. The Meese Center works to educate government officials, the media and the public about the Constitution and legal principles -- and how they affect public policy. The center was founded in 2001 and overseen until early 2013 by the conservative icon whose name it bears, former Attorney General Edwin Meese III. In addition to his duties at Heritage, Malcolm is chairman of the Criminal Law Practice Group of the Federalist Society and chairman-elect of the board of directors for Boys Town Washington, D.C., which provides homes and services to troubled children and families who are edging toward crisis. Before joining Heritage in 2012, Malcolm was general counsel at the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom as well as a distinguished practitioner in residence at Pepperdine Law School. An independent and bipartisan panel, USCIRF reviews reported violations of religious freedom around the world and makes policy recommendations to the president, the secretary of state and Congress. From 2004 to 2009, Malcolm was executive vice president and director of worldwide anti-piracy operations for the Motion Picture Association of America. He served as a deputy assistant attorney general in the Department of Justice's Criminal Division from 2001 to 2004, where he oversaw sections on computer crime and intellectual property, domestic security, child exploitation and obscenity, and special investigations.  Immediately prior to that, he was a partner in the Atlanta law firm of Malcolm & Schroeder, LLP. From 1990 to 1997, Malcolm was an assistant U.S. attorney in Atlanta, assigned to the fraud and public corruption section, and also an associate independent counsel, investigating fraud and abuse in the Department of Housing and Urban Development. He was honored with the Director's Award for Superior Performance for his work as an assistant U.S. attorney in the successful prosecution of Walter Leroy Moody Jr., who assassinated an 11th Circuit judge and the head of the Savannah chapter of the NAACP. Malcolm began his law career as a law clerk to a federal district court judge and a federal appellate court judge as well as an associate at the Atlanta-based law firm of Sutherland, Asbill & Brennan. Malcolm is a graduate of Harvard Law School and holds a bachelor's degree in economics from Columbia College. Born in New York City, he grew up in Tenafly, N.J. He and his wife, Mary Lee, currently reside in Washington, D.C. They have two adult children, Andy and Amanda.
  • Norm Ornstein Norman Ornstein is resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), a Washington D.C. think tank. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Michigan. Ornstein led a working group of scholars and practitioners that helped shape the law, known as McCain-Feingold that reformed the campaign financing system. His books include The Permanent Campaign and Its Future (AEI Press, 2000); The Broken Branch: How Congress Is Failing America and How to Get It Back on Track, with Thomas E. Mann (Oxford University Press, 2006); and, It's Even Worse Than It Looks: How the American Constitutional System Collided With the New Politics of Extremism, also with Tom Mann, (Basic Books 2012).
  • Lee Liberman Otis Senior Vice President and Faculty Division Director, The Federalist Society After graduating from Yale College and the University of Chicago Law School, where she served on the Law Review, Ms. Otis clerked for Judge Antonin Scalia on the U.S. Court of Appeals, served as a Special Assistant at the Department of Justice under Attorneys General William French Smith and Edwin Meese, and returned to clerk for Justice Scalia after his appointment to the Supreme Court.  She then joined George Mason University School of Law as an Assistant Professor, where she taught Constitutional Law, Federal Courts, Appellate Advocacy and Legislation.  She went on to serve as Associate Counsel to President George H.W. Bush, to practice appellate litigation at the Washington office of Jones, Day, Reavis and Pogue, and to serve as Chief Counsel to the Immigration Subcommittee of the Senate Judiciary Committee, General Counsel of the Department of Energy, and most recently as Associate Deputy Attorney General at the Department of Justice. Ms. Otis has been an important member of the Federalist Society team since the organization's beginnings 25 years ago.  Together with David McIntosh, she led the effort to start what became the Chicago chapter of the Society.  She also helped organize the Society's first conference at Yale, its second conference at Chicago, and its first Lawyers Division chapter in Washington DC, as well as the effort to incorporate the Society, recruit its permanent staff, and obtain its early funding.  She was a Founding Director of the Federalist Society.   Together with Federalist Society Chairman and Northwestern University School of Law George C. Dix Professor of Constitutional Law Steven G. Calabresi and Federalist Society Director and former Congressman David McIntosh, on April 26, 2007, Ms. Otis was awarded the Heritage Foundation's Henry Salvatori prize for citizenship for her work in connection with the Federalist Society.
  • Gary Rosen Editor, Weekend Review, The Wall Street Journal Gary Rosen has been the editor of The Wall Street Journal's Weekend Review section since its 2010 launch. Formerly managing editor of Commentary and chief external affairs officer of the John Templeton Foundation, he is the editor of The Right War? The Conservative Debate on Iraq and author of American Compact: James Madison and the Problem of Founding. He has written for publications including Commentary, The National Interest, and The New York Times. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.
  • Jeffrey Rosen Jeffrey Rosen is President and CEO of the National Constitution Center. He is also a Professor of Law at The George Washington University Law School, and a Contributing Editor of The Atlantic. Rosen is a graduate of Harvard College, Oxford University, and Yale Law School. His new book, Louis D. Brandeis: American Prophet, was published on June 1, 2016, the 100th anniversary of Brandeis's Supreme Court confirmation. His other books include The Supreme Court: The Personalities and Rivalries that Defined America, the best-selling companion book to the award-winning PBS series; The Most Democratic Branch: How the Courts Serve America; The Naked Crowd: Freedom and Security in an Anxious Age; and The Unwanted Gaze: The Destruction of Privacy in America, which The New York Times called the definitive text in privacy perils in the digital age. Rosen is coeditor, with Benjamin Wittes, of Constitution 3.0: Freedom and Technological Change, the proceedings of the Brookings Project on Technology and the Constitution. His essays and commentaries have appeared in The Atlantic, The New York Times Magazine, on National Public Radio, in the New Republic, where he was the legal affairs editor, and in The New Yorker, where he has been a staff writer. The Chicago Tribune named him one of the ten best magazine journalists in America, and the Los Angeles Times called him the nation's most widely read and influential legal commentator.
  • Mark Thompson

    President & Chief Executive Officer, The New York Times Company Mark Thompson became president and chief executive officer of The New York Times Company on November 12, 2012. He is responsible for leading the Company's strategy, operations and business units, and working closely with the chairman to direct the vision of the company. Mr. Thompson has been instrumental in accelerating the pace of The Times's digital transformation. Under his leadership, The Times became the first news organization in the world to pass the one million digital-only subscription mark. The company has also introduced a new era of international growth, launched an industry leading branded content studio and invested in virtual reality, producing some of the most celebrated work in this emerging medium. Before joining the Times Company, Mr. Thompson served as Director-General of the BBC from 2004, where he reshaped the organization to meet the challenge of the digital age, ensuring that it remained a leading innovator with the launch of services such as the BBC iPlayer. He also oversaw a transformation of the BBC itself, driving productivity and efficiency through the introduction of new technologies and bold organizational redesign. Mr. Thompson joined the BBC in 1979 as a production trainee. He helped launch Watchdog and Breakfast Time, was an output editor on Newsnight, and was appointed editor of the Nine O'Clock News in 1988 and of Panorama in 1990. He became controller (programming and scheduling chief) for the TV network BBC2 and Director of Television for the BBC before leaving the BBC in 2002 to become CEO of Channel 4 Television Corporation in the United Kingdom. In the autumn of 2012, he was a visiting professor of Rhetoric and the Art of Public Persuasion at the University of Oxford. His book "Enough Said: What's Gone Wrong with the Language of Politics?" which is based on the lectures he gave at Oxford, was published in the UK and US in September 2016. Mark Thompson was educated at Stonyhurst College and Merton College, Oxford.

  • Judge Timothy Tymkovich

    Timothy Tymkovich is a native third-generation Coloradan. He is a 1979 graduate of The Colorado College, and a 1982 graduate of the University of Colorado School of Law. After graduation, he clerked for Chief Justice William Erickson of the Colorado Supreme Court. After his clerkship, he worked for the Denver law firm, David Graham & Stubbs, in its Denver and Washington DC offices. In 1991, he joined Colorado Attorney General Gale Norton as the State's Solicitor General. In that position, he directed legal policy for the State of Colorado and was responsible for legislative matters before the Colorado General Assembly and the U.S. Congress. He also represented the State of Colorado in two cases before the U.S. Supreme Court. He returned to private practice in 1996, helping to form Hale Hackstaff Tymkovich, where he practiced in the areas of business litigation and appeals, election law, and legislative and regulatory matters. Judge Tymkovich was nominated to the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals by President George W. Bush. Congress confirmed Tymkovich in April 2003. His Chambers are located in Denver, Colorado. Judge Tymkovich serves the federal Judiciary as Chair of its Committee on Judicial Resources. The Committee is responsible for judicial vacancies and overall budget. He also is an adjunct professor of law at the University of Colorado School of law, where he teaches Election Law. He is President of the Doyle Inn of court, and a member of the American Law Institute and the International Society of Barristers. Since he joined the Circuit, Judge Tymkovich has hosted judicial delegations from Russia, Kazakhstan, and Afghanistan, and has also represented the United States in programs at Kiev and Yalta in the Ukraine.

  • George F. Will George F. Will is today's most widely read columnist. His newspaper column has been syndicated by The Washington Post since 1974. Today, it appears twice weekly in approximately 500 newspapers in the United States and in Europe. In 1976, he became a regular contributing editor of Newsweek magazine, for which he provided a bimonthly essay until 2011. In 1977, he won a Pulitzer Prize for commentary for his newspaper columns. Altogether eight collections of Will's Newsweek and Washington Post columns have been published, the most recent being One Man's America. In 1990, Will published Men At Work: The Craft of Baseball, which topped The New York Times best-seller list for two months and was most recently reissued on April 13, 2010 as a 20th Anniversary special edition with a new introduction (paperback). In 1998, Scribner published Bunts: Curt Flood, Camden Yards, Pete Rose and Other Reflections on Baseball, a best-selling collection of new and previously published writings by Will on baseball. His new book, A Nice Little Place on the North Side: Wrigley Field at One Hundred, was released March 25, 2014. Will was a member of Major League Baseball's Blue Ribbon Panel, examining baseball economics. For 32 years, beginning as a founding member in 1981, he was a panelist on ABC television's This Week with George Stephanopoulos. Will was born in Champaign, Illinois, educated at Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut, Oxford University and Princeton University, where he earned his Doctor of Philosophy degree. He has taught Political Philosophy at Michigan State University and the University of Toronto. Will served as a staff member in the United States Senate from 1970 to 1972. From 1973 through 1976, he was the Washington editor of National Review magazine. Today, Will lives and works in Washington.

About this conference

Freedom Day was launched on April 13, 2015 at the National Constitution Center, headquartered on Independence Mall in Philadelphia. This year, Freedom Day will launch a bi-partisan commission: A Madisonian Constitution For All, and will explore what James Madison and the other Founding Fathers would make of today's Congress, presidency, courts, and media, and how we can resurrect the Framers' values in a polarized age.

About National Constitution Center

The National Constitution Center is the first and only nonprofit, nonpartisan institution devoted to the most powerful vision of freedom ever expressed: the U.S. Constitution. Located steps away from Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia, the Center illuminates constitutional ideals and inspires active citizenship as a hands-on museum, national town hall, and civic education headquarters.

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