Greetings

Greetings

Greetings

Slate's blog on legal issues.
March 16 2008 9:38 PM

Greetings

By way of brief introduction : I am a professor of law, teaching constitutional law at Indiana University-Bloomington School of Law, so will be writing from the Heartland, as they say. I am a New Yorker by birth, but now have a Hoosier husband and two Hoosier sons (who, like Deborah Pearlstein , are Colts fans, but inherited from my family a deep love of the Yankees). I have happily called Bloomington my home for almost 10 years now, and for the previous 10 lived and worked in D.C. (also happily). Currently of note here in Indiana: People are quite excited that their votes in the Democratic presidential primary likely will matter for the first time in memory. 

I am new to blogging but grateful to Dahlia Lithwick and Emily Bazelon for prior opportunities to publish for Slate , here and here . Many thanks to Dahlia, Emily, and Phil Carter for the invitation to be part of this project. Anyone who may have interest in my more academic work can check out some articles posted here . Of most current relevance is Faithfully Executing the Laws , a piece from a 2007 UCLA symposium that examines the failure of President Bush and his lawyers to live up to this constitutional command, particularly regarding the use of torture and other extreme interrogation practices. 

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My scholarship and interests reflect my two principal areas of legal experience before teaching. Most recently, during the Clinton administration, I advised the president and the executive branch on legal matters for five years, including as the acting assistant attorney general heading the Office of Legal Counsel. For the six years before that (1987-1993), I worked to safeguard reproductive rights at a time when they seemed gravely in danger (as they do again today) as legal director of NARAL Pro-Choice America and at the ACLU

I serve on the board of directors of a wonderfully vital organization, the American Constitution Society for Law and Policy , which seeks to promote progressive legal values through a network of more than a hundred law school chapters and lawyer chapters around the country. ACS sponsors a terrific annual convention, this year June 12 to 14 in Washington, D.C.  

Dawn Johnsen is the Walter W. Foskett professor of law at Indiana University Maurer School of Law. She headed the Office of Legal Counsel from 1997–98 and was the legal director of NARAL from 1988–93.