Dorsen, Norman

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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 .

Sources:

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)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
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)http://www.indiana.edu/~liblilly
referencedIn Papers, 1918-1993 Harvard Law School Library, Harvard University.
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). Harvard University, Schlesinger Library
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 / Wagner Archives
referencedIn Andreĭ Sakharov papers, 1852-2002 (inclusive), 1960-1990 (bulk). Houghton Library.
referencedIn Papers, 1941-1995 Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute
referencedIn American Civil Liberties Union Records: Subgroup 2, Audiovisual Materials Series, 1947-1995 Princeton University. Library. Dept. of Rare Books and Special Collections.Seeley G. Mudd Manuscript Library. Public Policy Papers.
referencedIn Papers, 1840-1961. Harvard Law School Library, Harvard University.
creatorOf Mitford, Jessica, 1917-1996. Papers, 1949-1973 (bulk 1961-1973). Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center
creatorOf Norman Dorsen Papers, 1953-2006 Tamiment Library / Wagner Archives
referencedIn Records of the New York Institute for the Humanities, Bulk, 1980-1984, 1971-2004 New York University. Archives.
referencedIn Papers, 1920-1965 Harvard Law School Library, Harvard University.
referencedIn American Civil Liberties Union Records: Subgroup 2, Subject Files Series, 1947-1995 Princeton University. Library. Dept. of Rare Books and Special Collections.Seeley G. Mudd Manuscript Library. Public Policy Papers.
referencedIn American Civil Liberties Union Records: Subgroup 2, Organizational Matters Series, 1947-1995 Princeton University. Library. Dept. of Rare Books and Special Collections.Seeley G. Mudd Manuscript Library. Public Policy Papers.
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 Princeton University. Library. Dept. of Rare Books and Special Collections.Seeley G. Mudd Manuscript Library. Public Policy Papers.
referencedIn American Civil Liberties Union Records: Subgroup 2, Legal Case Files Series, 1947-1995 Princeton University. Library. Dept. of Rare Books and Special Collections.Seeley G. Mudd Manuscript Library. Public Policy Papers.
referencedIn RISM Vertical Files, Bulk, 1960-2000, Bulk, 1960-2000 1900-2004 New York University. Archives.
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Abe Beame Task Force on Human Rights. corporateBody
associatedWith American Association of University Professors. corporateBody
associatedWith American Bar Association. corporateBody
associatedWith American Civil Liberties Union. corporateBody
associatedWith American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California. corporateBody
associatedWith American Civil Liberties Union of Washington. corporateBody
associatedWith American Jewish Committee. corporateBody
associatedWith American Jewish Congress. corporateBody
associatedWith American Trial Lawyers Association. corporateBody
associatedWith Arthur Garfield Hays Civil Liberties Program. corporateBody
associatedWith Association of the Bar of the City of New York. corporateBody
associatedWith Association of Trial Lawyers of America. corporateBody
associatedWith Battery Park City Authority. corporateBody
associatedWith Bazelon, David L. person
associatedWith Black, Hugo LaFayette, 1886-1971 person
associatedWith Blackmun, Harry A. (Harry Andrew), 1908-1999 person
associatedWith Bok, Derek Curtis person
associatedWith Boudin, Leonard, 1912- person
associatedWith Braucher, Robert person
associatedWith Brennan, William J. (William Joseph), 1906-1997 person
associatedWith Breyer, Stephen G., 1938- person
associatedWith British Institute of Human Rights. corporateBody
associatedWith Buckley, William F. (William Frank), 1925-2008 person
associatedWith Caldwell, Gillian person
associatedWith Catherine East, 1916-1996 person
associatedWith Center for International Policy (Washington, D.C.). corporateBody
associatedWith Citizens' Board of Inquiry into Hunger and Malnutrition in the U.S. corporateBody
associatedWith Cohn, Roy M. person
associatedWith Committee for Public Justice (U.S.). corporateBody
associatedWith Congress of Racial Equality. corporateBody
associatedWith Davis, Oscar K. person
associatedWith Douglas, William O. (William Orville), 1898-1980 person
associatedWith Eagleton, Thomas F., 1929-2007 person
associatedWith East, Catherine, 1916-1996. person
associatedWith Emergency Civil Liberties Committee. corporateBody
associatedWith Federation of Protestant Welfare Agencies. corporateBody
associatedWith Food and Drug Law Institute (U.S.). corporateBody
associatedWith Fortas, Abe. person
associatedWith Friedman, Leon. person
associatedWith Gillers, Stephen, 1943- person
associatedWith Glasser, Ira. person
associatedWith Hand, Learned, 1872-1961 person
associatedWith Harlan, John M. (John Marshall), 1899-1971 person
associatedWith Harvard Law School. corporateBody
associatedWith Heffner, Christie. person
associatedWith Hentoff, Nat. person
associatedWith International League for the Rights of Man. corporateBody
associatedWith Isserman, Maurice person
associatedWith Javits, Jacob K. (Jacob Koppel), 1904-1986 person
associatedWith Kennedy, Edward M. (Edward Moore), 1932-2009 person
associatedWith Kennedy, Robert F., 1925-1968 person
associatedWith Kenyon, Dorothy, 1888-1972 person
associatedWith Kevorkian, Aram Jack. person
associatedWith Koch, Ed, 1924- person
associatedWith Law, Sylvia A. person
associatedWith Lawyers Committee for Human Rights (U.S.). corporateBody
associatedWith Lewis, Anthony, 1927- person
associatedWith Magruder, Calvert, 1893-1968 person
associatedWith Marshall, Burke, 1922- person
associatedWith McCarthy, Joseph, 1908-1957 person
associatedWith Mitchell, George. person
associatedWith Mitford, Jessica, 1917-1996. person
associatedWith National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. corporateBody
associatedWith National Coalition against Censorship (U.S.). corporateBody
associatedWith National Council for Civil Liberties (Great Britain). corporateBody
associatedWith Native American Rights Fund. corporateBody
associatedWith Neier, Aryeh, 1937- person
associatedWith New York Civil Liberties Union. corporateBody
associatedWith New York (N.Y.). Commission on the Status of Women. corporateBody
associatedWith New York State Bar Association. corporateBody
associatedWith New York (State). Court of Appeals. corporateBody
associatedWith New York University. corporateBody
associatedWith New York University. School of Law. corporateBody
associatedWith North American Religious Liberties Association. corporateBody
associatedWith Pantheon Books. corporateBody
associatedWith Paul A. Freund person
associatedWith Posner, Michael H. person
associatedWith Project on Social Welfare Law (New York University. School of Law). corporateBody
associatedWith Random House (Firm). corporateBody
associatedWith Reitman, Alan. person
associatedWith Right-to-Sing Committee (New York, N.Y.). corporateBody
associatedWith Ripon College. corporateBody
associatedWith Rosenthal and Rosenthal. corporateBody
associatedWith Ross, Stanford G. person
associatedWith Rudovsky, David. person
associatedWith Sakharov, Andreĭ, 1921-1989 person
associatedWith Sarah Lawrence College. corporateBody
associatedWith Society of American Law Teachers. corporateBody
associatedWith Stevens, John Paul, 1920- person
associatedWith Stewart, Potter. person
associatedWith United States Commission on Civil Rights. corporateBody
associatedWith United States. Dept. of Health, Education, and Welfare. Review Panel on New Drug Regulation. corporateBody
associatedWith United States. Dept. of the Army. corporateBody
associatedWith United States. Food and Drug Administration. corporateBody
associatedWith United States Supreme Court. corporateBody
associatedWith Village Independent Democrats (New York, N.Y.). corporateBody
associatedWith Vonnegut, Kurt person
associatedWith Warren, Earl, 1891-1974 person
associatedWith Welch, Joseph N., 1890-1960 person
associatedWith Wickenden, Elizabeth, 1909-2001. person
associatedWith Wilder, Shirley person
associatedWith Wright, J. Skelly person
associatedWith Wulf, Melvin person
Place Name Admin Code Country
United States
Subject
Civil rights--United States
Law--Israel--Speeches, addresses, etc
Human rights advocacy--United States
Congressional testimony
Bar associations--New York (State)
Civil rights movements--United States--History--20th century
Bar associations--New York (State)--New York
Foster children--Legal status, laws, etc.--New York (State)--New York
Lawyers--United States
Law--Study and teaching
Army--McCarthy Controversy, 1954
Human rights activists
Constitutional law--United States--Cases
Civil rights
Lawyers--New York (State)--New York
Constitutional law--United States--Study and teaching
Constitutional law--United States--History
Law teachers--United States
Law--New York (State)--New York--Speeches, addresses, etc
Political questions and judicial power
Human rights--Philippines
Human rights--Cuba
Social security--United States--Evaluation
Law--Puerto Rico--Speeches, addresses, etc
Occupation
Function

Person

Birth 1930-09-04

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