Among the speakers at this week's NAPABA Convention in Scottsdale will be journalist and filmmaker Jose Antonio Vargas

Among the speakers at this week’s NAPABA Convention in Scottsdale will be journalist and filmmaker Jose Antonio Vargas

In the November Arizona Attorney Magazine, I shared news about the upcoming convention of NAPABA—the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association. As I mentioned, we’re fortunate that the annual event is being held in Arizona.

The convention will be held this week, November 6 to 9 at the Westin Kierland Resort & Spa in Scottsdale. The keynote speaker on Saturday will be Jose Antonio Vargas, “a journalist, filmmaker, and the founder of Define American, a campaign that seeks to elevate the immigration conversation.” AAABA President Jared Leung says, “Mr. Vargas will share his amazing journey from the Philippines to the U.S., who will inspire and perhaps even challenge our thinking of the current immigration debate and the definition of Americans.”

More information and registration are here.

Meanwhile, I also alert you to a Convention-related event. But note its location!

The free event is titled “Civil Liberties vs. National Security: Policy and Reality of Judicial Review.” (Note: Aside from this free lecture, there are registration fees for the rest of the convention.)

This lecture will not be held at the Convention site. Instead, this compelling presentation will be at the ASU Cronkite journalism school in downtown Phoenix (555 N. Central Ave. Phoenix, AZ, 85004). The presentation will be on November 6, from 8:00 to 9:30 am.

Shayana Kadidal, Senior Managing Attorney at the Center for Constitutional Rights

Shayana Kadidal, Senior Managing Attorney at the Center for Constitutional Rights

The speaker is Shayana Kadidal, Senior Managing Attorney at the Center for Constitutional Rights in New York.

Here is more background from the organizers:

“We are told that the history of civil liberties involves a constant tug of war between two irreconcilable demands: collective security vs. individual rights. Following 9/11, almost all discussions of the excesses of the federal government—detention without charge, torture, and mass surveillance—start from the premise that safety and liberty are in conflict with each other, and must always be ‘balanced’; if we insist on rigorously enforcing Constitutional rights for all, we must also accept becoming marginally less safe. But does eliminating the right of judicial review of detentions, or the right to privacy against government surveillance, really make us safer? Join us for a wide-ranging discussion of these issues with attorney Shayana Kadidal, managing attorney of the Center for Constitutional Rights’ Guantanamo project.

Center for Constitutional Rights CCR logo“Shayana Kadidal is senior managing attorney of the Guantánamo Global Justice Initiative at the Center for Constitutional Rights in New York City. He is a 1994 graduate of Yale Law School and a former law clerk to Judge Kermit Lipez of the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit. In his twelve years at the Center, he has worked on a number of significant cases arising in the wake of 9/11, including the Center’s challenges to the detention of prisoners at Guantánamo Bay (among them torture victim Mohammed al Qahtani and former CIA ghost detainee Majid Khan), which have twice reached the Supreme Court, and several cases arising out of the post-9/11 domestic immigration sweeps.

“He was also counsel in CCR’s legal challenges to the ‘material support’ statute (Holder v. Humanitarian Law Project, decided by the Supreme Court in 2010), to the low rates of black firefighter hiring in New York City, and to the NSA’s warrantless surveillance program. Along with others at the Center, he currently serves as U.S. counsel to WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange. On behalf of plaintiffs including Assange, Glenn Greenwald, and other journalists, he led litigation that ultimately resulted in public release of over 550 previously withheld documents during the court-martial of Pvt. Bradley (now Chelsea) Manning.”

An intriguing program is slated for this evening that will examine Islamic American relations. It is sponsored by the St. Thomas More Society as part of its Civil Discourse Series.

I covered a previous panel in that series back in April 2011; that covered the death penalty.

Tonight’s event will be held in the Great Hall at ASU Law School. Here is how the evening is described:

Imam Ahmad Shqeirat

“The Civil Discourse Series sponsored by the St. Thomas More Society seeks to provide a public forum to discuss issues of legal, cultural, and moral concern. The title of the event this spring is “Islamic/American Relations: Getting Along in the 21st Century.” The event’s main speaker is Imam Ahmad Shqeirat from the Tempe Islamic Community Center located near ASU’s campus. Imam Shqeirat was one of the six “Flying Imams” removed from a commercial airplane for praying. He will discuss his views on the current state of Islamic American relations. The program will be moderated by the Honorable Patrick Irvine, a former Judge of the Arizona Court of Appeals. Commentary will be provided by Chris Lowney, a best-selling author on the topic of history and comparative religions. One of his best-selling books is titled A Vanished World: Muslims, Christians & Jews in Medieval Spain. There will also be time given for questions from audience members for our main speakers.”

Organizer and lawyer Chris Pattock described the event further:

“Basically it’s the history of why Americans and Muslims don’t get along and what we can do to fix that. The subject is being approached from an individual or ‘micro’ standpoint, rather than a political/macro perspective. This subject would seem to be especially timely in view of the current Iran situation and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.”

Chris Lowney

In the past year, we’ve heard ample comments from Americans about Islam. Tonight will be an opportunity to learn something about it.

More information is here.