Staff Contact:

Andrea J. Burney, APR

Director of  Public Relations



John Whitehead

John W. Whitehead

DANVILLE, VA, September 5, 2013 – John W. Whitehead, an attorney, author and president of The Rutherford Institute, will be the speaker for Danville Community College’s annual commemoration of U.S. Constitution Day on Tuesday, Sept. 17 at 11 a.m. in Oliver Hall. The U.S. Constitution was actually signed on September 17, 1787 by 39 signers, but the day became a national observance in 2004, when Senator Robert Byrd passed a bill designating September 17 as the day for citizens to commemorate the signing.

Whitehead has written, debated and practiced widely in the area of constitutional law and human rights. In fact, his concern for the persecuted and oppressed led him, in 1982, to establish The Rutherford Institute, a nonprofit civil liberties and human rights organization with international headquarters in Charlottesville. In addition to serving as the Institute’s president and spokesperson, Whitehead writes a weekly commentary that is posted on The Rutherford Institute’s website (, as well being distributed to several hundred newspapers, and hosting a national public service radio campaign. Whitehead's aggressive, pioneering approach to civil liberties issues has earned him numerous accolades, including the Hungarian Medal of Freedom.

He gained international renown as a result of his role as co-counsel in Paula Jones' sexual harassment lawsuit against President Bill Clinton. Whitehead continues to speak out in defense of a woman's right to be free from sexual harassment and frequently comments on a variety of legal issues in the national media. In addition, he has filed numerous amicus briefs before the U.S. Supreme Court and has been co-counsel in several landmark Supreme Court cases.

The author of numerous books on a variety of legal and social issues, as well as pamphlets and brochures providing legal information to the general public, Whitehead has also written numerous magazine and journal articles. He also wrote and directed the documentary video series Grasping for the Wind, as well as its companion book, which focus on key cultural events of the 20th Century. The series received two Silver World Medals at the New York Film and Video Festival and is now available on DVD.

His most recent book, “A Government of Wolves: The Emerging American Police State,? paints a portrait of a nation in the final stages of transformation into a police state, complete with surveillance cameras, drug-sniffing dogs, SWAT team raids, roadside strip searches, blood draws at DUI checkpoints, mosquito drones, tasers, privatized prisons, GPS-tracking devices, zero tolerance policies, over criminalization and free speech zones. Whitehead’s book also reveals the inner workings of an increasingly pervasive surveillance state, including the NSA’s program to track the communications of all Americans and map the daily activities of all people in the United States. Following his presentation, Whitehead will be available for a book signing. Copies of his latest book are available in the DCC Bookstore.

Born in 1946 in Tennessee, John W. Whitehead earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Arkansas in 1969 and a Juris Doctorate degree from the University Of Arkansas School Of Law in 1974. He served as an officer in the United States Army from 1969 to 1971.

The event is offered free of charge and is open to the public. For more information, contact John Wilt, Associate Professor of Administration of Justice and Coordinator of Constitution Day at DCC, at 434.797.8468, or click here.


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