David D. Cole

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For other people named David Cole, see David Cole (disambiguation).

David D. Cole is the Hon. George J. Mitchell Professor in Law and Public Policy at the Georgetown University Law Center.[1] He has published in various legal fields including civil rights, criminal justice, constitutional law and law and literature. He has litigated First Amendment and other constitutional issues and contributes regularly to the media on topical legal issues.

Legal career[edit]

Cole studied at Yale College and Yale Law School. After graduating from law school, Cole served as a law clerk to Judge Arlin M. Adams of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. He then became a staff attorney for the Center for Constitutional Rights,[2] where he litigated a number of major First Amendment cases, including:

He continues to litigate First Amendment and other constitutional issues as a volunteer staff attorney at the Center where he is also a member of the Board of Directors.[citation needed] He is also co-chairman of the Constitution Project's Liberty and Security Committee.[2]

Academic career[edit]

He is now a member of the Georgetown University Law faculty. His main areas of expertise are constitutional law, in particular First Amendment law, criminal procedure and law relating to United States federal courts.

He has lectured and contributed academic articles on related topics including U.S. drugs policy, the U.S. War on Terror, capital punishment, and Judicial Review.[citation needed]

Media commentary[edit]

Cole has been the legal affairs correspondent for The Nation since 2000.[3] He is also a commentator on the National Public Radio program All Things Considered,[2] and a contributor to the New York Review of Books.[4] He was interviewed in the 2004 BBC documentary The Power of Nightmares - The Rise Of The Politics Of Fear.


Cole has received awards from professional bodies and campaigning groups for his civil rights and civil liberties work, including from the American Bar Association's Individual Rights and Responsibilities Section, the National Lawyers Guild, the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, and the American Muslim Council.[2] In 2004 he received the William J. Brennan Award from the Thomas Jefferson Center for the Protection of Free Expression citing him as "one of the nation’s most accomplished advocates for freedom of expression and an outstanding scholar of the First Amendment". [5]

In 2013 David Cole also was the first recipient of the ACLU's Norman Dorsen Presidential Prize for academic contributions to civil liberties.[6][7]


Personal life[edit]

Cole is married to former Georgetown Law professor and current D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals judge Nina Pillard and has two kids, Sarah and Aidan Pillard.[8]


External links[edit]