Friday, October 16, 2015
9:45 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
The symposium was followed by a wine and cheese reception
New York Law School
185 West Broadway
New York, New York 10013
Follow the conversation on Twitter at #StormingTheCourt
Photos of the event are available here
In the early 1990s, well before the War on Terror, Guantanamo Bay served as a detention camp for three hundred HIV-positive refugees who had fled a military coup in Haiti. In a remarkable human rights case chronicled in the book Storming the Court (Scribner) by Brandt Goldstein, law students at Yale and their professor, Harold Koh, sued the U.S. government for the Haitians’ freedom. The case, which ultimately involved Kenneth Starr, the Justice Department, the Pentagon, and Presidents George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton, went to trial in federal court in Brooklyn, resulting in the Haitians’ release – and the first ruling in history that aliens held at Guantanamo are entitled to constitutional due process.
Almost 25 years later, with Guantanamo still looming large in the legal and foreign policy landscape, this symposium brought together the judge in the case, the Honorable Sterling Johnson, Jr. (E.D.N.Y.), Senator Christopher Coons (D-DE), Professor Harold Koh (former Legal Adviser at the State Department), government attorneys, human rights lawyers and advocates, private practitioners, and a number of the most prominent former students (now all human rights advocates, lawyers and/or academics themselves) to explore the enduring impact of this extraordinary litigation.