Past Event

Before the Next Attack

Preserving Civil Liberties in an Age of Terrorism

12:00 AM - 11:59 PM EDT

Before the Next Attack : Preserving Civil Liberties in an Age of Terrorism


Featured Speaker:
Bruce Ackerman, Sterling Professor of Law and Political Science at Yale University, and author of Before the Next Attack: Preserving Civil Liberties in an Age of Terrorism

Remarks By:
Congressman Brian Baird (D-WA-3rd)

Introductions by:
Neera Tanden, Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs, Center for American Progress

Click here to read an exceprt from Before the Next Attack: Preserving Civil Liberties in an Age of Terrorism.

After September 11th, most Americans likely expected the U.S. government to have a plan to resurrect itself following a cataclysmic event and that Congress had adopted a legitimate plan for successive leadership that maintained order and kept our founding principles intact. We have done no such thing. The government instead has gone from instituting a shadow government of unelected bureaucrats, to having the National Security Agency spy on Americans while our freedoms granted to us under the Constitution are all but violated. Bruce Ackerman, author of Before the Next Attack: Preserving Civil Liberties in An Age of Terrorism, will join us to outline his proposal for an “emergency constitution” that would enable the government to take extraordinary actions to prevent a second strike in the short run while prohibiting permanent measures that destroy our freedom over the longer run. Before the Next Attack outlines a series of steps we must take in order to assure that the President has the power to respond to major terrorist attacks and act within the law.


Event Transcript


Note: All video provided in  QuickTime (MPEG-4)  format.

Friday, April 7, 2006
 9:00 AM - 10:00 AM
Breakfast will be served at 8:30 AM
Admission is free.

Center for American Progress
1333 H Street, NW 10th Floor
Washington D.C. 20005
Map and Directions


Bruce Ackerman is Sterling Professor of Law and Political Science at Yale and the author of more than fifteen books that have had a broad influence in political philosophy, constitutional law, and public policy. A frequent commentator on many public policy issues, Professor Ackerman has taught law and public policy for over 30 years at prominent Universities across the country. He is a frequent contributor to the op-ed pages of the New York Times, the Washington Post, and the Los Angeles Times. His books include, Before the Next Attack (2006), Bush v. Gore: The Question of Legitimacy (2002), The Stakeholder Society (1999) and We the People: Transformations (1998). Professor Ackerman is a member of the American Law Institute and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He is the recipient of the Henry Phillips Prize of the American Philosophical Society for “lifetime achievement in jurisprudence.”

Congressman Brian Baird brings a unique perspective to the U.S. House of Representatives as a licensed clinical psychologist who has practiced in Washington state and Oregon. Brian also taught at the university level and is a former chairman of the Department of Psychology at Pacific Lutheran University. Prior to his election, Brian worked in state and Veterans Administration psychiatric hospitals, community mental health clinics, substance abuse treatment programs, institutions for juvenile offenders and head injury rehabilitation programs. Brian was elected to serve the people of Washington State’s Third Congressional District in 1998. He currently serves on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, where he serves on the Water Resources and Environment Subcommittee, the Highways and Transit Subcommittee, and the Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Subcommittee. Baird is also a member of the Science and Budget Committees. He currently serves as a Senior Democratic Whip and on the Democratic Steering Committee. Dr. Baird received his B.S. from the University of Utah, graduating Phi Beta Kappa in 1977. He continued on to the University of Wyoming, receiving his M.S. and PhD in clinical psychology.

Neera Tanden is the senior vice president for Academic Affairs at the Center for American Progress. Prior to joing the Center, she was Legislative Director for Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY). Before that Neera was the senior vice president for Domestic Policy for the Center for American Progress. Neera was the issues director for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. She has also served as the senior policy advisor to the Chancellor of the New York City Schools, Harold Levy. Prior to that she was the deputy campaign manager and policy director for the senate campaign of Hillary Rodham Clinton. Neera also served in the White House under President Clinton as the senior policy advisor to the First Lady and associate director in the Domestic Policy Council. She graduated from UCLA and received her law degree from Yale Law School.

Just released!

Interactive: Mapping access to abortion by congressional district

Click here