The National Security Institute and the Center for Strategic & International Studies are excited to host Civics as a National Security Imperative: A Conversation with U.S. Supreme Court Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Neil M. Gorsuch.
This event includes a moderated discussion between Justice Sotomayor, Justice Gorsuch, Jamil N. Jaffer, Founder and Executive Director, NSI, and Suzanne Spaulding, Director of the Defending Democratic Institutions Project, CSIS. In a global environment where liberal democracies are facing a crisis of confidence and where authoritarian regimes work to threaten the foundational premise of the rule of law, it is essential that the American public understands why and how the justice system is fundamental to securing our democracy.
Event partners include iCivics, the Liberty and Law Center at George Mason University, and the American Bar Association Standing Committee on Law and National Security.
Sonia Sotomayor, Associate Justice, was born in Bronx, New York, on June 25, 1954. She earned a B.A. in 1976 from Princeton University, graduating summa cum laude and receiving the university’s highest academic honor. In 1979, she earned a J.D. from Yale Law School where she served as an editor of the Yale Law Journal. She thereafter served as Assistant District Attorney in the New York County District Attorney’s Office from 1979–1984. She then litigated international commercial matters in New York City at Pavia & Harcourt, where she was an associate and then partner from 1984–1992. In 1991, President George H.W. Bush nominated her to the U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, and she served in that role from 1992–1998. She then served as a judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit from 1998–2009. President Barack Obama nominated her as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court on May 26, 2009, and she assumed this role August 8, 2009.
Neil M. Gorsuch, Associate Justice, was born in Denver, Colorado, August 29, 1967. He and his wife Louise have two daughters. He received a B.A. from Columbia University, a J.D. from Harvard Law School, and a D.Phil. from Oxford University. He served as a law clerk to Judge David B. Sentelle of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, and as a law clerk to Justice Byron White and Justice Anthony M. Kennedy of the Supreme Court of the United States. From 1995-2005, he was in private practice, and from 2005-2006 he was Principal Deputy Associate Attorney General at the U.S. Department of Justice. He was appointed to the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit in 2006. He served on the Standing Committee on Rules for Practice and Procedure of the U.S. Judicial Conference, and as chairman of the Advisory Committee on Rules of Appellate Procedure. He taught at the University of Colorado Law School. President Donald J. Trump nominated him as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, and he took his seat on April 10, 2017.
Jamil N. Jaffer is the Founder and Executive Director of the National Security Institute, and an Assistant Professor of Law and Director of the National Security Law & Policy Program at the Antonin Scalia Law School at George Mason University. Jamil is also Senior Vice President for Strategy, Partnerships & Corporate Development at IronNet Cybersecurity, a technology products startup founded by Gen (ret.) Keith B. Alexander, the former Director of the National Security Agency and Founding Commander of U.S. Cyber Command. In addition, Jamil is an advisor to Beacon Global Strategies, a strategic advisory firm; 4iQ, a deep and dark web intelligence startup; Duco, a technology platform startup that connects corporations with geopolitical and international business experts; and Amber, a digital authentication and verification startup.
Suzanne Spaulding is senior adviser for homeland security and director of the Defending Democratic Institutions project at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). She also served as a member of the Cyberspace Solarium Commission. Previously, she served as under secretary for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), where she led the National Protection and Programs Directorate, now called the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency. Through her career, Ms. Spaulding has advised CEOs, boards, and government policymakers on how to manage complex security risks across all industry sectors. She is currently on the board of directors for Defending Digital Campaigns and for Girl Security, and advisory boards for Nozomi Networks, Splunk, MITRE, Harvard University’s Defending Digital Democracy project, Foundation for Defense of Democracies, and the Technology Law and Security Program at American University.