David Rudenstine served as Dean of the Cardozo School of Law from 2001-09, and is currently the Sheldon H. Solow Professor of Law at Cardozo, where he has taught constitutional law since 1979. The first dean appointed from the ranks of the Cardozo faculty, Rudenstine is an American legal scholar respected for his work on free press, free speech, and national security issues. He is the author of The Day the Presses Stopped: A History of the Pentagon Papers Case, which was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, and he is currently writing a book on the role of courts in national security cases. In recent years, he has organized and participated in legal panels on subjects such as the disclosures made by Edward Snowden and Wikileaks, the NSA Surveillance Programs, and the ACLU in American Life. In 2000-01, he was an inaugural fellow in Princeton University’s Program in Law and Public Affairs.
Prior to his teaching career, Rudenstine served as Acting Executive Director of the New York Civil Liberties Union, Counsel to the National News Council, a staff attorney in the New York City legal services program, and Director of the Citizen’s Inquiry on Parole and Criminal Justice, Inc. He was the primary author of Prison Without Walls: Report on New York Parole, written in the wake of the 1971 Attica prison riots, and the author of Rights of Ex-Offenders. During the 1970s, Rudenstine litigated extensively in federal and state courts in the 1970s, and throughout the 1990s, he frequently served as a labor arbitrator and a court-appointed mediator and referee. For three years he served as Chair of the Labor and Employment Law Committee of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York.
In the summer of 1962, Rudenstine taught African American children in Prince Edward County, Virginia, the only county in the United States to close its public schools rather than comply with a judicial order requiring integration. From 1964-1966, he was a Peace Corps Volunteer teaching in Uganda. He was a Field Fellow in the Arthur Garfield Hays Civil Liberties, while attending New York University School of Law.
While he was the Cardozo Dean, The Kathryn O. and Alan C. Greenberg Center for Student Life was given in his honor, and in 2012, Susan Halpern funded the establishment of the David Rudenstine Fellowship Program in Public Service.