Talk to focus on the president, his tweets, and the First Amendment

Jameel Jaffer, with Poynter Fellowship logo.
Jameel Jaffer, founding director of the Knight First Amendment Institute, will speak as a Poynter fellow on Monday, Feb. 12 at 12:00 p.m.

Jameel Jaffer, founding director of the Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University, will speak on the topic “@realDonaldTrump: The President, His Twitter Account, and the First Amendment,” on Monday, Feb. 12.

His talk, sponsored by the Poynter Fellowship in Journalism, will take place from noon to 1:45 p.m. in Rm. 208 of the Whitney Humanities Center, 53 Wall St.

Under Jaffer’s leadership, the Knight First Amendment Institute — created in late 2016 — works to defend and strengthen the freedoms of speech and the press in the digital age. Jaffer came to the Knight Institute from the ACLU, where he served as deputy legal director for nearly 15 years. He also served as director of the ACLU’s Center for Democracy.

During his time at the ACLU, he argued civil liberties cases in front of the Supreme Court and several appeals courts, and he has testified before Congress many times. He litigated a landmark Freedom of Information Act case that resulted in the release of the Bush administration’s “torture memos,” hundreds of documents relating to the Bush administration’s torture program.   

Jaffer’s writing has appeared in numerous publications, including The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, the Guardian, and the Yale Law Journal Forum. He is an executive editor of “Just Security,” a national security blog, and his most recent book, “The Drone Memos”, was published in 2016.

Jaffer graduated from Williams College, Cambridge University, and Harvard Law School, after which he served as a law clerk for Judge Amalya L. Kearse of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit, and Rt. Hon. Beverley McLachlin, chief justice of Canada.

The Poynter Fellowship in Journalism was established by Nelson Poynter, who received his master’s degree in 1927 from Yale. The fellowship brings to campus journalists from a wide variety of outlets who have made significant contributions to their field. Among recent Poynter fellows are John Brennan, Susan Glasser, and Scott Anderson. 

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