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Debate slated

“Civil Liberties, National Security Policy, and Targeted Killing in the War on Terror: Change versus Continuity from Bush to Obama” will be the topic for a debate on April 6, hosted by the Phi Beta Delta International Forum.

The debate will feature ONU Associate Professor of Law Michael W. Lewis and Ben Wizner, the litigation director of the ACLU's National Security Project, and will take place from 7 to 8:15 p.m. in the Moot Court Room of the Pettit College of Law. The debate is open to the public. Moderator will be Law Professor Howard Fenton, director of the LL.M. Program. There will be introductory remarks by Phi Beta Delta Coordinator Michael B. Loughlin, professor of history.

Lewis served in the U.S. Navy from 1987-95. He flew F-14's in Operation Desert Shield, conducted strike planning for Desert Storm and was deployed to the Persian Gulf to enforce the no-fly zone over Iraq. He graduated from Topgun in 1992 and was featured in a NOVA documentary on Topgun and aircraft carriers. After his naval service Lewis graduated from Harvard Law School, cum laude, and practiced law for several years before coming to Ohio Northern. He teaches international law and a Law of War Seminar and has written several articles and book chapters on the law of war and the war on terror. He has testified before Congress on the legality of drone strikes in Pakistan and Yemen and on the civil liberties tradeoffs associated with trying some Al Qaeda members or terrorist suspects before military commissions. Lewis has just published a volume with the Oxford University Press entitled “The War on Terror and the Laws of War: A Military Perspective.” Most recently he has been invited by the U.S. Pacific Command to give a presentation on drones and targeted killings to the 24th annual International Military Operations and Law conference in Melbourne, Australia, April  11-14.

As the litigation director of the ACLU's National Security Project, Wizner has litigated numerous cases involving post-9/11 civil liberties violations, including lawsuits on behalf of torture victims, lawsuits challenging unlawful airport security policies, and a suit challenging the government's authority to use lethal force against U.S. citizens without due process. He has written widely on issues relating to detention, military commissions, and accountability for torture. He has also appeared regularly in the media, testified before Congress, and traveled several times to Guantánamo Bay to monitor military commission trials. Wizner is a graduate of Harvard College and New York University School of Law. Prior to working at the ACLU, he served as a law clerk to the Hon. Stephen Reinhardt of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit.