ACLU national legal director selected as Inouye chair

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Robert Perkinson, (808) 351-8076
Associate Professor, American Studies
Posted: Feb 19, 2019

David Cole
David Cole

The national legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), has been named the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa Dan and Maggie Inouye Distinguished Chair in Democratic Ideals. David Cole will present a keynote lecture on Liberty’s Defense: Lessons from the Legal Resistance at 7 p.m. on Thursday, February 28, in the UH Mānoa Orvis Auditorium. Admission is free and open to the public.

Cole supervises a network of nearly 2,000 attorneys and oversees more than 1,400 state and federal lawsuits. He has litigated extensively before the U.S. Supreme Court and has won important cases on immigration, free speech, education and extrajudicial detentions.

He is the George J. Mitchell Professor in Law and Public Policy at Georgetown University, an influential essayist and the author of several award-winning books: Less Safe, Less Free, Enemy Aliens and No Equal Justice.

As the Dan and Maggie Inouye Distinguished Chair in Democratic Ideals, Cole will speak on assaults on civil liberties in Washington, from immigrant rights to LGBT equality, as well as his views on necessary steps to preserve the vitality of American democracy. He follows in a long line of illustrious visitors to Hawai‘i, including: John Hope Franklin, dean of African American history, civil rights icon Angela Davis, business executive Richard Parsons, and esteemed economist Christina Romer.

Doors to the February 28 lecture at Orvis Auditorium will open at 6:30 p.m. for the 7 p.m. event. Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis. On-campus parking is available for $6. An ASL interpreter will be present at the event. The event will also be live streamed at:

The keynote lecture is co-sponsored by the Department of American Studies and the William S. Richardson School of Law with support from the ACLU of Hawaiʻi.

Other events being planned include talks at the UH Mānoa Law School, UH Maui College, UH West Oʻahu and with the ACLU of Hawaiʻi.

More about the Dan and Maggie Inouye Distinguished Chair in Democratic Ideals

Established in 2005 by the UH Board of Regents, the Dan and Maggie Inouye Distinguished Chair in Democratic Ideals brings significant public figures to Hawaiʻi to foster public discourse regarding democratic ideals and civic engagement. The program honors U.S. Senator Daniel Inouye and his wife, Maggie, for their lifetime of public service. The chair is housed in the UH Mānoa Department of American Studies in the College of Arts and Humanities and the William S. Richardson School of Law.

Media interviews:
Cole makes regular appearances on national television. He is available for on-air or advance interviews in Honolulu from February 25 to 28 and can discuss Hawai‘i’s leadership in national immigration court battles and transgender rights, as well as controversies over the state’s approach to homelessness and policing. Contact: Robert Perkinson, 808-351-8076