This speech was given at The Future of Freedom Foundation’s June 2008 conference, “Restoring the Republic: Foreign Policy & Civil Liberties” held in Reston, Virginia.
Jonathan Turley is a professor of law at The George Washington University Law School where he holds the Shapiro Chair for Public Interest Law. He frequently appears in the national media as a commentator on a multitude of subjects ranging from the 2000 Presidential Election Controversy to the Terri Schiavo case in 2005.
Some of Turley’s most notable non-academic work is his representation of the Area 51 workers at a secret air base in Nevada; the nuclear couriers at Oak Ridge, Tennessee; the Rocky Flats grand jury in Colorado; Dr. Eric Foretich, the husband in the famous Elizabeth Morgan custody controversy. He challenged Black Bag Operations authorized under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) in espionage cases against former CIA officer Harold Nicholson; and four former United States Attorneys General during the Clinton impeachment litigation. He has also represented defendants in terrorism cases including Dr. Ali Al-Timimi (the alleged head of the Virginia Jihad/Paintball conspiracy) and Dr. Sami Al-Arian (alleged to be a Hamas leader). The conceptual thread running through many of the cases taken on by Turley is that they involve claims of Executive Privilege and national security exceptions to fundamental constitutional rights.
He is a frequent witness before the House and Senate on constitutional and statutory issues as well as tort reform legislation. Professor Turley is also a nationally recognized legal commentator. Turley was ranked as 38th in the top 100 most cited public intellectuals in the recent study by Judge Richard Posner. Turley was found to be the second most cited law professor in the country. His articles on legal and policy issues appear regularly in national publications with over 500 articles in such newspapers as The New York Times, Washington Post, USA Today, Los Angeles Times and Wall Street Journal. He is on the Board of Contributors of USA Today. In 2005, Turley was given the Columnist of the Year award for Single-Issue Advocacy for his columns on civil liberties by the Aspen Institute and the Week Magazine. Professor Turley also appears regularly as a legal expert on all of the major television networks. Since the 1990s, he has worked under contract as the on-air Legal Analyst for NBC News and CBS News to cover stories that ranged from the Clinton impeachment to the presidential elections. Professor Turley is often a guest on Sunday talk shows with over two-dozen appearances on Meet the Press, ABC This Week, Face the Nation, and Fox Sunday.
Prior to joining the George Washington University, he was one of the youngest professors to be offered tenure at Tulane University Law School. Turley teaches torts, criminal procedure and environmental law and runs the Project for Older Prisoners (POPS), the Environmental Law Clinic and the Environmental Legislation Project. In the classroom, he is known for his self-deprecating humor, playing practical jokes on his students, and for his engaging teaching style in which he uses entertaining stories drawn from his real-world experiences.
Turley received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Chicago and his law degree from Northwestern University School of Law.
Turley, in his capacity as a constitutional scholar, testified in favor of the Clinton impeachment. In October 2006, in an interview by Keith Olbermann of MSNBC, he expressed strong disapproval of the Military Commissions Act of 2006. Jonathan Turley was a House page from 1977 to 1978. His blog is found at www.jonathanturley.org.