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CONTACT: SCOTT HAUSER
100 Old Public Library
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0007; fax (319) 384-0024
e-mail: scott-hauser@uiowa.edu

Release: Immediate

Civil libertarian Wilkinson lectures Jan. 22 at UI on threat to Bill of Rights

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Renowned First Amendment lawyer Frank Wilkinson will discuss the implications for civil liberties of recent changes to federal law designed to curb terrorism at 7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 22 at the University of Iowa College of Law.

Wilkinson, a founder of the National Committee Against Repressive Legislation, will present the lecture, "The Bill of Rights at Risk: The Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996," in Room 285 of the Boyd Law Building.

The talk, sponsored by the UI chapter of the National Lawyers Guild and UI student government, is free and open to the public.

Wilkinson is a former member and founder of the National Committee to Abolish the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC), the forerunner of the current National Committee Against Repressive Legislation. He also is a former member of the board of directors of the Southern California chapter of the Americans Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and a member of the First Amendment Foundation.

He has received the Earl Warren Civil Liberties Award and the National Lawyers Guild Legal Worker of the Year award. He was sentenced to serve one year in federal prison for refusing to testify before the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC), a sentence that was upheld by a 5-4 vote in a 1961 U.S. Supreme Court decision.

The Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 was passed by Congress following the April 1996 explosion at the Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City.

The legislation has been sharply criticized by civil libertarian groups because it limits the right of appeal for people accused and convicted of federal crimes, provides broader discretion for federal agencies to investigate people suspected of aiding terrorist organizations and makes deportation of immigrants easier in some instances.

Individuals with disabilities who need accommodations to attend the lecture should contact the UI chapter of the National Lawyers Guild at (319) 335-0865.

1/20/98