Staff member to address National Press Club

April 30, 2010
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A UCCS educator whose background includes providing legal counsel to senior military authorities will address the National Press Club on legal issues impacting U.S. national security.

Kurt Johnson, currently the interim director of the Center for Homeland Security at UCCS, is one of nine nationally recognized legal experts selected to introduce the new manuscript, Legal Issues in the Struggle Against Terror, edited by University of Virginia School of Law professors John Norton Moore and Robert F. Turner.

He will speak at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., at 11:30 a.m. May 6.

This new volume, published by Carolina Academic Press, is designed to provide legal scholars, policy makers, and the general public with a serious look at critical legal issues in this unusual armed conflict. The manuscript contains 19 chapters that address various aspects of the ongoing struggle against terror including threats of nuclear and biological terrorism,  cyber terrorism, protecting privacy while sharing information with allies and within the U.S. government, and the use of the state secrets privilege to terminate litigation.

Johnson’s chapter, “The Relations Between Military and Civilian Authorities within the United States,” provides insights on the challenges that the U.S. military faces with the homeland defense mission.  Johnson co-authored the chapter with Kevin Cieply, associate professor, John Marshall Law School, Atlanta, and Lt. Col. Jeanne Meyer, U.S. Air Force, legal adviser to U.S. forces in Iraq.

“I’m humbled to be a fellow author with some of the most respected national security legal experts in the United States,” said Johnson.

“I often heard the phrase ‘everything has changed’ after the 9/11 attacks,” Johnson said.  “Yet our Constitution, and most domestic and international law concerning the conduct of war, remain intact and unchanged.  This book tackles how to meet our new and unconventional enemies within the bounds of that conventional law.”

This landmark volume is recommended both for classroom use and for general reading by anyone interested in understanding the most important legal controversies in the struggle against terror.  “In a sense, this work represents the culmination of a lifetime of striving to protect both our national security and the priceless individual liberties we enjoy,” Johnson said.

Before joining the UCCS staff, Johnson was the senior legal advisor for North American Aerospace Defense Command and U.S. Northern Command. He is a retired U.S. Navy captain.

- Michael Perini

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