Franklin Siegel, Distinguished Lecturer, teaches courses including Constitution and Foreign Affairs, exploring the constitutional law of U.S. foreign relations and related civil liberties issues; Government Misconduct (with Floyd co- lead counsel Jonathan Moore) on litigation remedies under the 42 U.S.C. 1983 federal civil rights statute; Professional Responsibility, Federal Courts and a summer internship support class titled Public Interest/Public Service.
He was Director of the Part-Time Evening Program from 2016-2023. A longtime civil rights lawyer, he is one of five counsel representing the plaintiff class in Handschu v. Special Services Division, a federal court decree regulating New York City Police Department surveillance of First Amendment political expression, association and protest activity.
Franklin was a staff attorney at the Center for Constitutional Rights, served on its board for eighteen years and became its Treasurer at a time of fiscal stress. He was also a national board member and New York Chapter President of the National Lawyers Guild and was a founder and first coordinator of the Guild’s Puerto Rico Legal Project, later to become the island’s first public interest law firm.
Franklin’s litigation has included being co-lead counsel in the stolen assets case against Philippine dictator Ferdinand Marcos, and he helped manage the asset recovery effort against the former Shah of Iran. He represented journalists and media organizations challenging military restrictions on news gathering during the 1991 Gulf War; was on a legal team representing a civil rights class led by the Civic Association of the Deaf to preserve street alarm boxes used by hard of hearing New Yorkers to summon emergency assistance from the streets, which resulted in an influential Americans with Disabilities Act ruling defining government’s duties when altering public services; and was one of the attorneys who represented members of Congress who brought lawsuits when the first President Bush and President Clinton sought to use military force without Congressional authorization required by the Constitution and War Powers Resolution.
He has represented foreign governments, including the Presidential Commission on Good Government of the Republic of the Philippines and the Vietnam Mission to the United Nations. Franklin currently serves on the advisory board of the Southeast Asian Defense Project of Mekong, a nonprofit community organization in the Bronx. Franklin received his B.A. from New York University’s Washington Square College of Arts and Science, M.A. in Economics from the Graduate Faculty of the New School for Social Research, J.D. from Brooklyn Law School, and LL.M from Columbia Law School, where he was a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar.