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David Cole

Legal Affairs Correspondent

David Cole, national legal director of the ACLU, is legal affairs correspondent for The Nation and a professor at Georgetown University Law Center. He is the author, most recently, of Engines of Liberty: The Power of Citizen Activists to Make Constitutional Law (April 2016).

  • Politics September 8, 2006

    Knock on Wood

    The Bush Administration's illegitimate use of renditions, disappearances, torture and an illegal war has fostered the growth of a loose-knit global band of fanatics willing to do unspeakable violence against us.

    David Cole

  • Law July 14, 2006

    The ‘Kennedy Court’

    By casting the decisive vote in Hamdan v. Rumsfeld and other contentious disputes, Justice Anthony Kennedy plays a crucial role in a Supreme Court that may soon veer off in an extreme rightward direction.

    David Cole

  • Society April 27, 2006

    Lost in Translation

    Good translators speak for others, not for themselves. So why is a translator for Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman being prosecuted as a co-conspirator?

    David Cole

  • Campaigns and Elections March 16, 2006

    Patriot Act Post-Mortem

    The failure of a complaisant, Republican-controlled Congress to enact meaningful changes to the Patriot Act means that midterm elections are the only true path to reform.

    David Cole

  • Law February 23, 2006

    Tortured Exceptionalism

    Despite a recent federal district court ruling, the prohibition on torture knows no geographical boundaries and applies to all, no matter what passport they hold--even Americans.

    David Cole

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  • February 23, 2006



    New York City

    David Cole and Our Readers

  • Law February 2, 2006

    NSA Spying Myths

    The Bush Administration has propagated five myths in its current campaign to rationalize its illegal domestic spying program.

    David Cole

  • Political Figures December 21, 2005

    The Emperor’s Powers

    The Bush Administration believes it can ignore the rule of law--in pursuit of torture, Pentagon surveillance of antiwar groups and now, domestic spying. We must continue to insist that in a democracy, the rule of law cannot be ignored.

    David Cole

  • Criminal Justice December 1, 2005

    Post-9/11 Shell Game

    José Padilla will never be charged, and never have his day in court.

    David Cole

  • Covert Ops November 3, 2005

    Intolerable Cruelty

    If the US is to prevail in the war on terror, we must do it by distinguishing ourselves from the enemy. Torture and degrading treatment are as morally evil as terrorism, because they brutally disregard the value of human life.

    David Cole