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Civil liberties lawyer Marjorie Heins will deliver U-M lecture on academic and intellectual freedom


DATE: 4 p.m. Oct. 23, 2013

EVENT: Marjorie Heins, a civil liberties lawyer and author, will discuss her book, "Priests of Our Democracy: The Supreme Court, Academic Freedom, and the Anti-Communist Purge," during the University of Michigan Senate's 23rd Annual Davis, Markert, Nickerson Lecture on Academic and Intellectual Freedom. The lecture is free and open to the public.

Heins is the founding director of Free Expression Policy Project, which provides research and advocacy on free speech, copyright and media democracy issues. Her recent book, "Priests of Our Democracy," chronicles the history, law and personal stories behind the struggle to recognize academic freedom as "a special concern of the First Amendment."

From 1991 to 1998, she directed the American Civil Liberties Union's Arts Censorship Project, where she was co-counsel in several major First Amendment cases, including Reno v. ACLU (invalidating a law that criminalized "indecent" communications on the Internet).

Her previous book, "Not in Front of the Children: 'Indecency,' Censorship, and the Innocence of Youth," won the American Library Association's Eli Oboler Award for Best Published Work on Intellectual Freedom in 2002.

The lecture is named for three U-M faculty members—Chandler Davis, Clement Markert and Mark Nickerson—who in 1954 were called to testify before the Congressional Committee on Un-American Activities. All invoked constitutional rights and refused to answer questions about their political associations. All three were suspended from the university. Markert was subsequently reinstated and Davis and Nickerson were dismissed.

PLACE: Honigman Auditorium, 100 Hutchins Hall, U-M Law School. Central Campus map:

SPONSORS: Academic Freedom Lecture Fund, American Association of University Professors University of Michigan-Ann Arbor Chapter and Michigan Conference; and at U-M, the Office of the President, Office of the Provost, Office of the Vice President for Global Communications, Law School, Penny W. Stamps School of Art and Design, Institute for the Humanities, Institute for Research on Women and Gender, Senate Advisory Committee on University Affairs and an anonymous donor.