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After 18 Years, ACLU Elects New President

Susanherman The American Civil Liberties Union elected a new president Saturday, choosing Brooklyn Law School professor Susan N. Herman to succeed Nadine Strossen, who resigned in May from the post she'd held since 1991. Herman, a professor of constitutional law, has served on the ACLU's National Board for two decades, on its Executive Committee for 16 years, and acted as the board's general counsel for the past 10 years.

Herman told Associated Press that her agenda includes reaching out to African-Americans and to religious communities where the group has sometimes been seen as an adversary. "There's a very widespread misimpression that the ACLU opposes religion," she said, even though the ACLU works to protect rights of religious expression. And she has been surprised to find that "there aren't more people in the African-American community that believe the ACLU is their organization."

Herman's faculty bio says that she has written a number of Supreme Court amicus briefs in the area of criminal procedure and constitutional law. She is the author of a 2006 book, The Right to a Speedy and Public Trial, and of sections for several books on criminal law and procedure, law and film, prisoners' rights and civil rights. Before joining Brooklyn's faculty, she was associate director of Prisoners' Legal Services in New York and pro so law clerk to the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

At her blog Hunter of Justice, Georgetown law professor Nan Hunter praises Herman. "The ACLU chose well, and we can all celebrate that such an immensely important organization will be led by such an immensely principled and gracious woman," Hunter writes. She will be the organization's second female president, after Strossen.

Posted by Robert J. Ambrogi on October 20, 2008 at 12:04 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

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