Free Speech

Bruce  Fein

Bruce Fein is a nationally and internationally renowned constitutional lawyer, scholar, moral philosopher, and writer. After graduating from Harvard Law School with honors in 1972, Mr. Fein served as special assistant to the Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Legal Counsel at the U.S. Department of Justice from 1973-1975.

At age 26, and one day after Watergate’s “Saturday Night” massacre, the Acting Attorney General’s office tasked Mr. Fein to define in 100 pages an impeachable high crime and misdemeanor which would occasion the unprecedented resignation of President Richard M. Nixon.

Mr. Fein served as Associate Deputy Attorney General in the U.S. Department of Justice and supervised the Department’s litigation and vetting of candidates for the federal judiciary.  He served as General Counsel of the Federal Communications Commission from 1983-1984, spearheading the repeal of the Fairness Doctrine as violating the free speech rights of broadcasters, and the break-up of “Ma Bell” known as A T & T into seven “Baby Bells.”  During this time Mr. Fein testified during Senate confirmation hearings for presidential nominees Supreme Court Justices. 

In the private sector, Mr. Fein has participated in the drafting of constitutions for over 20 foreign countries.  He has consulted for the U.S. - India Business Council of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and contributed a weekly column for techcentralstation.com on telecom issues.  Mr. Fein has testified as an expert witness by both Republicans and Democrats before House and Senate Committees on approximately 100 occasions.  He was one of the first to be consulted by the Attorneys General’s office during the Bush Administration on the warrantless Terrorist Surveillance Program that flouted FISA.  Mr. Fein then testified before three congressional on revising FISA. Recently, he has written and spoken out against the NSA Surveillance abuses and continues his fight against FISA court secrecy, brought to the national conversation by his client’s son, Edward Snowden.

Mr. Fein is founder and President of the newly formed non-profit Commission on Intelligence and Foreign Wars. He is the author of Constitutional Peril:  The Life and Death Struggle for our Constitution and Democracy, and American Empire Before The Fall.   He currently writes regular columns fo

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Topics: Constitution Foreign Policy Free Speech Liberty National Security



Adam  Kissel

Adam Kissel graduated from Harvard University and from the University of Chicago, where he served as Student Liaison to the Board of Trustees and earned a master's degree from the Committee on Social Thought. Over five years at the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), he has spoken about free speech, religious liberty, academic freedom, and due process on college campuses in more than 15 states, at CPAC, and for professional and community organizations. His academic interests include the history and theory of liberal education and rhetoric's relationship with philosophy. He also has served as a professional editor for Nobel laureate James Heckman and for faculty in a variety of disciplines. In recent years, Mr. Kissel won a First Prize in education reporting from the National Education Writers Association and was named a “Champion of the First Amendment” at Iowa State University. He now works in higher education philanthropy in the D.C. area.

Cost: $1,000 negotiable; prefers to make own travel arrangements

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Topics: Academic Freedom Constitution Education Free Speech Religious Liberty



Ilya  Shapiro

Ilya Shapiro is a senior fellow in constitutional studies at the Cato Institute and editor-in-chief of the Cato Supreme Court Review. Before joining Cato, he was a special assistant/advisor to the Multi-National Force in Iraq on rule of law issues and practiced international, political, commercial, and antitrust litigation at Patton Boggs and Cleary Gottlieb. Shapiro has contributed to a variety of academic, popular, and professional publications, including the Wall Street Journal, Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy, L.A. Times, USA Today, National Law Journal, Weekly Standard, New York Times Online, and National Review Online. He also regularly provides commentary for various media outlets, including CNN, Fox News, ABC, CBS, NBC, Univision and Telemundo, The Colbert Report, NPR, and American Public Media’s Marketplace. Shapiro has provided testimony to Congress and state legislatures and, as coordinator of Cato’s amicus brief program, filed more than 100 “friend of the court” briefs in the Supreme Court. He lectures regularly on behalf of the Federalist Society and other groups, is a member of the Legal Studies Institute’s board of visitors at The Fund for American Studies, was an inaugural Washington Fellow at the National Review Institute, and has been an adjunct professor at the George Washington University Law School. Before entering private practice, Shapiro clerked for Judge E. Grady Jolly of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, while living in Mississippi and traveling around the Deep South. He holds an A.B. from Princeton University, an M.Sc. from the London School of Economics, and a J.D. from the University of Chicago Law School (where he became a Tony Patiño Fellow). Shapiro is a member of the bars of New York, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. Supreme Court. He is a native speaker of English and Russian, is fluent in Spanish and French, and is proficient in Italian and Portuguese.

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Topics: Conservative Thought Constitution Free Speech State’s Rights