COLUMBUS, OH - Prominent civil liberties scholar, Supreme Court litigator, law professor, and ACLU veteran, David Goldberger has been selected as the 2017 Norman Dorsen Presidential Prize recipient. The American Civil Liberties Union will present the award to Goldberger at the national Biennial Leadership Conference in Denver, Colorado later this month.
“The award took me completely by surprise. It is impossible to say how delighted I am to receive it,” said Goldberger. “I have been a committed ACLU-er for 50 years, and to receive an ACLU award named in honor of Norman Dorsen, one of its great leaders, it’s truly humbling.”
Goldberger began his career at the ACLU of Illinois where he served as the Legal and Legislative Director. During his time there, Goldberger argued a high profile case at the Supreme Court, National Socialist Party v. Village of Skokie, where he famously defended unpopular speech and won. “I am proud to have been counsel in the Skokie case,” said Goldberger. “Skokie has become a mark of the ACLU’s dedication to defending the First Amendment rights of all speakers, no matter how much we disagree with their views. The Skokie case is emblematic of the duty of members of the bar to represent clients of all kinds, even in the face of scathing criticism,” concluded Goldberger.
After Skokie, Goldberger continued to take on critical First Amendment cases and achieved crucial victories in front of the Supreme Court of the United States, arguing four cases in total. In the 1980’s Goldberger accepted a job at the Ohio State University College of Law and also joined the board of directors for the ACLU of Ohio, serving as general counsel, where he took many cases as a volunteer attorney for the organization.
Most recently, Goldberger has been consulting as a leading expert on the freedom of assembly through his involvement with the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights, one of the world’s principal human rights bodies based in Warsaw, Poland. “Professor Goldberger has dedicated his life to protecting our fundamental freedoms, and no one is more deserving of this award,” said Jocelyn Rosnick, Assistant Policy Director at the ACLU of Ohio. “His impact on free speech in this country is felt stronger now than ever before,” concluded Rosnick.