Dorsen, NormanVariant names
Professor Dorsen graduated from Columbia University in 1950 and the Harvard Law School in 1953, where he was an editor of the Harvard Law Review (1951-1953). Then, as First Lieutenant in the U.S. Army, he served as an Assistant to the General Counsel of Secretary of the Army (1953-1955); in this capacity he assisted Army attorney Joseph Welch throughout the 1954 Army McCarthy Hearings. Following a Fulbright grant to the London School of Economics (1955 1956), he served as a law clerk to U.S. Court of Appeals Judge Calvert Magruder (1956-1957) and to Justice John Marshall Harlan of the U.S. Supreme Court (1957-1958). In 1958-1960, he practiced law in New York City with Dewey, Ballantine, Bushby, Palmer, and Wood. In 1960, he was campaign manager for William vanden Heuvel, Democrat-Liberal candidate in the 17th Congressional District. Dorsen was also a member of the New York Executive Committee of the Hubert Humphrey presidential campaign in 1960.
Since early 1961 Professor Dorsen has been on the faculty of the New York University Law School, where he is (since 1981) Stokes Professor of Law and (since 1961) director, then (since 1975) co director of the Arthur Garfield Hays Civil Liberties Program, the first American academic institution focused solely on the study of civil liberties. He was also the founding director in 1994 of the Law School's innovative Hauser Global Law School Program, which became the largest program of its kind. In June 2002 he became Counselor to the President of New York University. He has been a Visiting Professor at Harvard Law School, University of California Law School at Berkeley, Chicago Law School, London School of Economics, Florida State University, San Diego Institute on International and Comparative Law, and the University of Paris. He has lectured at many other universities and in 1987 and 1988 he was Fulbright Distinguished Lecturer in Argentina.
From 1969 to 1976 Dorsen served as general counsel to the American Civil Liberties Union and successfully argued several cases before the U.S. Supreme Court, including In re Gault, which established the right of juveniles to due process in delinquency hearings, Tate v. Short, which invalidated certain forms of discrimination in the criminal process, and Levy v. Louisiana, which first recognized constitutional rights of nonmarital children. In 1971 he argued the first abortion rights appeal heard by the Supreme Court ( In re Vuitch ). He also helped write the brief and was counsel of record in the landmark case of Roe v. Wade . He has written briefs amicus curiae in many leading cases, including Gideon v. Wainwright, the Pentagon Papers case, and U.S. v. Nixon. He brought to the Supreme Court in 1969 one of the first cases challenging discrimination against gay people.
In 1965-1966 Dorsen served as Reporter-Draftsman on a committee of the National Conference of Commissioners of Uniform State Laws that produced a Model Anti-Discrimination Act, which influenced subsequent civil rights legislation. In 1970-1972 he was Executive Director of the Special Committee on Courtroom Conduct of the Bar Association of the City of New York. He was the founding president of the Society of American Law Teachers in 1972-1973. In 1973-1975 he was a founding member of the Committee for Public Justice. In 1975 1977 Dorsen chaired the U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare's Review Panel on New Drug Regulation. In 1976 he was elected president of the ACLU, a post he held until 1991. In 1995 1996, he chaired the U.S. Treasury's Citizens Review Panel that monitored the investigation of the racism and other improper conduct by law enforcement officers at the annual Good O'Boy Roundups in Ocoee, Tennessee. In 1996 he was elected the first president of the U.S. Association of Constitutional Law. From 1996 to 2000 he was Chairman of the Lawyers Committee for Human Rights. He was founding president of the U.S. Association of Constitutional Law in 2000. He has been a member of the New York City Commission on the Status of Women, and has served as a consultant to many institutions, including the U.S. Commission on Social Security, the Native American Rights Fund, Random House publishers, Rutgers University, the BBC, and a unit of the N.Y.C. Landmarks Commission. He has advised other government agencies, including the Commerce Department, the Defense Department, and the Department of Justice. He is also the founder and editorial director of I-CON, the International Journal of Constitutional Law . Dorsen is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and a trustee of the Thomas Jefferson Center for the Protection of Free Expression.
Professor Dorsen has received honorary degrees from Ripon College in Wisconsin and John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York. The French Minister of Justice awarded him a medal for his civil liberties work, and he has been honored by the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, the Society of American Law Teachers, and other organizations. In December 2000 President Bill Clinton presented him with the Eleanor Roosevelt Human Rights Award. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.
For 20 years Dorsen served as editor of the ACLU's series of 50 books on the rights of individuals and groups. He has written numerous scholarly and popular articles on constitutional law and civil liberties, and he has delivered named lectureships at many universities and law schools. As a legal scholar, Dorsen specializes in constitutional law, civil liberties, and comparative constitutional law. He has written or edited 13 books, sometimes with others, including Political and Civil Rights in the U.S ., Frontiers of Civil Liberties, The Rights of Americans, None of Your Business: Government Secrecy in America, Disorder in the Court, Our Endangered Rights, The Evolving Constitution, Human Rights in Northern Ireland, Democracy and the Rule of Law ; The Unpredictable Constitution, and Comparative Constitutionalism .
- New York University Annual Survey of American Law58(1) (2001), special issue dedicated to Norman Dorsen.
- Harvard Civil Rights - Civil Liberties Law Review27(2) (Summer 1992), special issue dedicated to Norman Dorsen.
- Biographical information on Norman Dorsen the following folders in the Norman Dorsen Papers at Tamiment Library: Box 12, Folders 1 and 2; Box 40, Folders 20 and 21.
From the guide to the Norman Dorsen Papers, 1953-2006, (Tamiment Library / Wagner Archives)
|referencedIn||American Civil Liberties Union Records: Subgroup 2, 1947-1995||Princeton University. Library. Dept. of Rare Books and Special Collections.Seeley G. Mudd Manuscript Library. Public Policy Papers.|
|referencedIn||Vonnegut mss., 1941-2007||Lilly Library (Indiana University, Bloomington)|
|referencedIn||Paul A. Freund papers||Harvard Law School Library Langdell Hall Cambridge, MA 02138|
|referencedIn||Records of the New York Institute for the Humanities 1971-1995, (bulk 1980-1984).||New York University. Archives|
|referencedIn||American Civil Liberties Union Records: Subgroup 3, Organizational Matters Series, 1919-2006, 1970-2000||Princeton University. Library. Dept. of Rare Books and Special Collections.Seeley G. Mudd Manuscript Library. Public Policy Papers.|
|referencedIn||East, Catherine, 1916-1996. Papers, 1941-1996 (inclusive).||Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America|
|referencedIn||Wickenden, Elizabeth, 1909-2001. Elizabeth Wickenden papers, 1885-2001.||Wisconsin Historical Society, Newspaper Project|
|referencedIn||American Civil Liberties Union Records: Subgroup 2, Project Files Series, 1947-1995||Princeton University. Library. Dept. of Rare Books and Special Collections.Seeley G. Mudd Manuscript Library. Public Policy Papers.|
|referencedIn||Maurice Isserman Research Files for, The Other American: The Life of Michael Harrington, ., Bulk, 1970-1995, 1940-1995||Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives|
|referencedIn||Andreĭ Sakharov papers, 1852-2002 (inclusive), 1960-1990 (bulk).||Houghton Library|
|referencedIn||East, Catherine Shipe. Papers of Catherine Shipe East. 1941-1995||Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America|
|referencedIn||American Civil Liberties Union Records: Subgroup 2, Audiovisual Materials Series, 1947-1995|
|referencedIn||Hand, Learned, 1872-1961. Papers, 1840-1961||Harvard Law School Library Langdell Hall Cambridge, MA 02138|
|creatorOf||Mitford, Jessica, 1917-1996. Papers, 1949-1973 (bulk 1961-1973).||Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center|
|creatorOf||Norman Dorsen Papers, 1953-2006||Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives|
|referencedIn||Records of the New York Institute for the Humanities, Bulk, 1980-1984, 1971-2004||New York University. Archives|
|referencedIn||Magruder, Calvert, 1893-1968. Papers. 1920-1965||Harvard Law School Library Langdell Hall Cambridge, MA 02138|
|referencedIn||American Civil Liberties Union Records: Subgroup 2, Subject Files Series, 1947-1995|
|referencedIn||American Civil Liberties Union Records: Subgroup 2, Organizational Matters Series, 1947-1995|
|creatorOf||Dorsen, Norman. Donald C. Samuels lecture : The Rehnquist court : civil liberties on trial [sound recording] / Norman Dorsen.||Sarah Lawrence College, Esther Raushenbush Library|
|referencedIn||American Civil Liberties Union Records: Subgroup 2, Printed Materials Series, 1947-1995|
|referencedIn||American Civil Liberties Union Records: Subgroup 2, Legal Case Files Series, 1947-1995|
|referencedIn||RISM Vertical Files, Bulk, 1960-2000, Bulk, 1960-2000 1900-2004||New York University. Archives|
|Place Name||Admin Code||Country|
|Political questions and judicial power|
|Activists, Human Rights|
|Civil rights movements|
|Human rights advocacy|