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Cornell University School of Continuing Education and Summer Sessions


Joseph Margulies

Joseph Margulies is a professor of law and visiting professor of government at Cornell. He holds a BA from Cornell and a JD from Northwestern University Law School. He is the author of several books, including, most recently, What Changed When Everything Changed: 9/11 and the Making of National Identity (Yale University Press, 2013).

In the area of civil rights, Joe was counsel of record in Rasul v. Bush (2004), involving detentions at the Guantánamo Bay Naval Station, and in Geren v. Omar and Munaf v. Geren (2008), involving detentions at Camp Cropper in Iraq. He currently represents Abu Zubaydah, whose interrogation by the CIA in 2002 and 2003 prompted the Bush Administration to draft the infamous "torture memos." In June 2005, at the invitation of Senator Arlen Specter (R-PA), Joe testified at the first Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on detainee issues.

"Like most people," writes Joe, "I have diverse interests that are not well captured by the content of my business card. Sometimes, I am a student of American political culture. I study the way Americans construct and deploy magic words like 'liberty,' 'equality,' and especially, 'the rule of law' to defend different social arrangements. Other times, I am a criminal defense and civil rights attorney. For many years, I have defended people caught up in the excesses of the national security state and the criminal justice system."