On Tuesday, March 16, experts on constitutional and military law, national security and criminal defense will participate in a panel discussion in Rochester to debate whether terrorism suspects should be tried in civilian courts or with military tribunals. Last November, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder announced plans to prosecute five men accused as co-conspirators in the 9/11 attacks in federal court, but recent press reports indicate that the Obama administration could reverse course and try the men before military commissions. The panel discussion is being cosponsored by the Genesee Valley Chapter of the New York Civil Liberties Union and Rochester Lawyers Chapter of the Federalist Society. It will be held at the Downtown Presbyterian Church. Panelists include:
  • Chad Boudreaux, a Washington, D.C. attorney who served as the deputy chief of staff of the Department of Homeland Security in the Bush administration, working directly with Secretary Michael Chertoff.
  • Vince Vitkowsky, a New York City attorney and an adjunct fellow at the Center for Law and Counterterrorism. His public policy focus is on international and domestic law relating to counterterrorism, and the relationship between international law and the U.S. Constitution.
  • Donald Rehkopf, a New York City attorney who concentrates on criminal defense and military law issues. He is a frequent lecturer on military justice, criminal law, criminal trial techniques and professional ethics and is the co-chair of the Military Law Committee of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.
  • James Harrington, a Buffalo attorney and lecturer at the State University of New York at Buffalo Law School in the area of death penalty defense and Buffalo State College in constitutional law.
Attorney William Clauss of Rochester, a faculty member of the Law/Criminal Justice Department at Monroe Community College, will moderate. What: Panel Discussion: Trying Terrorism Suspects in Civilian Courts When: 5 p.m. Tuesday, March 16 Where: Downtown Presbyterian Church, 121 N. Fitzhugh St. in Rochester