Turley To Give The 2018 Thomas M. Kerr, Jr. Lecture At Carnegie Mellon University

Turley-600x287I have the honor today of giving the 2018 Thomas M. Kerr, Jr. Lecture on Law and American Society at Carnegie Mellon University.  My lecture will be on The Rise and Fall of Free Speech in the West and will be held in Gregg Hall (Porter Hall 100) on Thursday, April 26th from 5:00 to 6:00 p.m.

It is particularly an honor for me to give the Kerr lecture because of the extraordinary man the lecture is named after. Thomas M. Kerr, Jr. was a renowned graduate from the George Washington University Law School.  He became a leading advocate for civil liberties and civil rights, including work with the American Civil Liberties Union.  He was called “Mr. Civil Liberties” and spent two decades as the President of the state ACLU.

300px-Carnegie_Mellon_University_seal.svgKerr taught antitrust law and business ethics at the Tepper School of Business.  He retired in 2001 and passed in 2006.  He left a deep and inspiring legacy for lawyers and lay persons alike. I could not think of anyone who would be a better model for students in contemplating their own careers.

My favorite Kerr story occurred when he was a young Marine recruit.  On his way to boot camp at Parris Island, S.C.  He sat next to a black friend and, when they arrived in Washington, he was told by the conductor that his friends had to ride in another car due to racial segregation.  Kerr protested and was forced off the train.  It may have been his first civil liberties battle — fought with the passion and honesty that marked his entire illustrious career.

The lecture is sponsored by The Carnegie Mellon University Lecture Series, the Carnegie Mellon University Pre-Law Program, and the Dietrich College Dean’s Office.

15 thoughts on “Turley To Give The 2018 Thomas M. Kerr, Jr. Lecture At Carnegie Mellon University”

  1. When you say that someone is a military “recruit”, not everyone may recognize that he was a draftee. There is a huge difference between draftees and those who volunteer to kill maim, destroy, and plunder.

    1. Chrispy:

      There’s also a name for those who directly benefit from those who “kill, maim, destroy and plunder” yet set fit to cast these heroes in the most negative light possible. Three guesses!

    2. Someone once said of the character Harold Skimpole in DIckens’ Bleak House that his mind was such that he could not conceive of bread being a consequence of the farming, milling, and baking of many. Farming, milling, and baking incorporate labor. He thought of bread as coming from the bread delivery truck. You are Skimpole’s brudda from another muddah.

  2. There is a new free speech documentary coming out this Fall, No Safe Spaces, that looks good.

  3. It’s a lecture I’d like to hear. Any chance of posting a transcript?

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