Maine ACLU Legal Director Zach Heiden ’95 Gives Talk on The Roberts Court

Zach Heiden, class of 1995 and the legal director of the ACLU in Maine, visited Bowdoin recently to speak about the first nine years of the Supreme Court under Chief John Roberts.

Heiden received his A.B. from Bowdoin College in 1995, where he majored in English. He has litigated cases to defend the civil rights and civil liberties of artists, immigrants, journalists, pregnant women, prisoners, protesters, religious minorities, students, and whistleblowers. Heiden has been recognized as “rising star” in New England Super Lawyer magazine, which called him “a hero to beer drinkers everywhere” for his challenge to censorship of alcoholic beverage label illustrations.

In addition to litigation, Heiden frequently testifies before committees of the Maine Legislature. In 2008, he served as a member of the Maine Judicial Branch Indigent Legal Services Commission, which helped restructure the delivery of constitutionally-mandated legal representation to indigent individuals. Heiden has also served on the Judicial Branch Taskforce on Electronic Court Records Access and the Judicial Branch Advisory Committee on Fees. In 2012, Heiden served on the Executive Committee of Mainers United for Marriage, the statewide campaign to win marriage equality. Heiden has served as an adjunct professor at the University of Maine School of Law, where he taught constitutional law.

Heiden joined the ACLU of Maine in February 2004 as the organization’s first staff attorney, and he was promoted to Legal Director in March 2007. Prior to that, he was an associate in the litigation department of Testa, Hurwitz & Thibeault in Boston, where he worked on white-collar defense and securities litigation. Heiden received his M.A. in Modern Irish and British Literature from the University of Florida (1998). He earned his J.D. from Boston College Law School (2002), and he was awarded the Law School Alumni Association Award at graduation. During law school, Heiden served as managing editor of the BCLS International and Comparative Law Review, and he founded BC Law’s first chapter of the American Constitution Society. Following law school, Heiden clerked for the Honorable Susan Calkins on the Maine Supreme Judicial Court. He is the author of Fences and Neighbors, 17 Law and Literature 225 (2005) and Too Low a Price: Waiver and the Right to Counsel, 62 Maine L. Rev. 488 (2010).

Andrew Rudalevige: Syria and the Presidential Process

Syria and the Presidential Process from Andrew Rudalevige to talk about about President Obama’s handling of the Syria crisis. Because Obama had neither international backing nor a direct case for protecting American interests through a military strike on Syria, Rudalevige says, the president had little choice but to eventually seek congressional approval. Rudalevige continues: “The next time something comes up, members of Congress – I hope – will be more aggressive in asserting their own constitutional duties, and saying ‘we need to be involved in this.’”

Jean Yarbrough: Theodore Roosevelt


Gary M. Pendy, Sr. Professor of Social Sciences and Professor of Government and Legal Studies at Bowdoin College Jean Yarbrough speaks with Professor of Government Paul Franco about her new book, “Theordore Roosevelt and the American Political Tradition.” In the book, Yarbrough provides a searching examination of TR’s political thought, especially in relation to the ideas of Washington, Hamilton, and Lincoln—the statesmen TR claimed most to admire, according to the University Press of Kansas.
Yarbrough teaches political philosophy and American Political Thought, and has twice received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities. She is the author of “American Virtues: Thomas Jefferson on the Character of a Free People” and has edited “The Essential Jefferson.”

Sen. G. Mitchell ’54 on Washington Gridlock

Sen. G. Mitchell ’54 on Washington Gridlock from Bowdoin College on Vimeo.

During a recent visit to campus, U.S. Senator and Senate Majority Leader George J. Mitchell ’54 (D-ME) sat down with Bowdoin’s Director of News and Media Relations, Doug Cook, to discuss the current state of Congress, what it takes to make real progress in government, and how the lessons of peacemaking in Northern Ireland and diplomacy in the Middle East can help break ideological gridlock in Washington.

Dirty Nasty Politics: Joann B. Freeman



Joanne B. Freeman is a professor of history at Yale. She specializes in the politics and political culture of the revolutionary and early national periods of American History. She earned her Ph.D. at the University of Virginia.

Her most recent book, Affairs of Honor: National Politics in the New Republic (Yale University Press), won the Best Book award from the Society of Historians of the Early American Republic, and her edited volume, Alexander Hamilton: Writings (Library of America) was one of the Atlantic Monthly’s “best books” of 2001.

Her current project, The Field of Blood: Congressional Violence in Antebellum America, explores physical violence in the U.S. Congress between 1830 and the Civil War, and what it suggests about the institution of Congress, the nature of American sectionalism, the challenges of a young nation’s developing democracy, and the longstanding roots of the Civil War.

Common Hour: George Mitchell



Senator George J. Mitchell was born and raised in Waterville, Maine, and graduated from Bowdoin College and Georgetown University Law Center. He entered the U.S. Senate in 1980 and went on to an illustrious career in the Senate that spanned fourteen years. In January 1989 he became Senate majority leader. He held that position until he left the Senate in 1995. During his tenure, Senator Mitchell earned enormous bipartisan respect. It has been said “there is not a man, woman, or child in the Capitol who does not trust George Mitchell.”

You Can’t Say That! Keeping Terrorists, War Crimes and Gay Marriage off TV: Henry Laurence



“You Can’t Say That! Keeping Terrorists, War Crimes and Gay Marriage off TV.” Henry Laurence is an associate professor of government with a joint appointment in Asian studies at Bowdoin. He teaches courses in Japanese and comparative politics, media and politics, and international political economy. In 2007–2008 he was a research associate at the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism at Oxford University. He is currently writing a book on broadcasting politics that compares the BBC, PBS, and Japan’s NHK. He has also written on financial politics, the “Comfort Women,” Japanese gangsters, the Asian currency crisis, and satellite television.