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America Undecided: When audacious hope gives way to even greater faith. Paperback – October 21, 2012


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About the Author

Ed Gaffney is professor of law at Valparaiso University, concentrating on religious freedom and a course on war and peace. He also taught at Notre Dame, Loyola (LA), Pepperdine, and Pennsylvania. He received the S.T.L. from the Gregorian University. With Judge John T. Noonan, Jr., author of Religious Freedom: History, Cases, and Other Materials (New York: Foundation Press, 3rd ed. 2010). He has filed numerous amicus briefs in cases relating to protection of religious freedom in many appellate courts, including the U.S. Supreme Court. He was a founder and long-time editor of the Journal of Law & Religion. He has written for America, Commonweal, Cross Currents, and U.S. Catholic, and has produced, directed, and written two documentaries, Empty Boxcars (2012) and Holy Land: Common Ground (2010). U.S. Ambassador (ret.) Douglas W. Kmiec is Caruso Family Chair and Professor of Constitutional Law & Human Rights, Pepperdine University. Author and syndicated columnist, he has been privileged to serve Democratic and Republican presidents alike. Until recently, upon nomination by President Obama and confirmation by the Senate, he was U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Malta, where he completed the construction of a $125.5 million embassy compound and upgraded the security and economic ties between the Mediterranean and the U.S. When Qaddafi met the call for political reform with violence threatening civilian populations, the Ambassador successfully organized a rescue of the staff of Embassy-Tripoli and hundreds of other foreign nationals from Libya with a catamaran. Amb. Kmiec had assisted the envoy mission of his colleague, the late Amb. Chris Stevens. Amb. Kmiec previously served as head of the Office of Legal Counsel for President Ronald Reagan. Patrick Whelan MD PhD is on the pediatrics faculty at Harvard Medical School and is a pediatric rheumatology specialist at the MassGeneral Hospital for Children in Boston. He is also Clinical Assistant Professor at the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California. He has written & lectured widely on medical ethics. Whelan is a former co-director of Pax Christi Massachusetts and a founding member of the Dominican Lay Scholars in Boston. He spoke at the prayer service that opened the 2008 Democratic National Convention. Board member, Institute for Advanced Catholic Studies at USC. Dr. Whelan is a graduate of Harvard, with graduate degrees from Baylor College of Medicine in Houston.

More About the Author

Ambassador Kmiec is an American Legal Scholar, Diplomat and Author. Son of Walter Kmiec (1922-2010), a Daley stalwart and regular Democratic campaign captain in Chicago who helped secure the election of U.S. President John F. Kennedy in 1960, Douglas Kmiec was introduced at a young age to big city politics. While he retains the friendly approachability characteristic of the Polish and Irish- American emigrants of the era of his father and grandfather (Jan Kmiec, 1890-1947, a university-educated historian and dissenter of the Holocaust, the Kmiec name is said to have been declared blessed for valiant efforts to secret Jews in agricultural setting even after Kmiec family members were murdered by the Nazi Gestapo). Ambassador Kmiec is a respected voice of civility in a contentious world. Known for his honest appraisal of constitutional and foreign policy issues, he served Republican (Reagan) and Democratic (Obama) presidents during a long career in legal education. Ambassador Kmiec was practicing with a venerable Chicago law firm in 1978, when he was invited to join first the faculty of law at Valparaiso University (IN) and then the faculty at University of Notre Dame Law School from 1980 to 1999. Kmiec completed a term as the Dean & St. Thomas More Professor at The Catholic University of America, and since 2003, has held the Caruso Family Chair in Constitutional law and Human Rights at Pepperdine University (CA).

Selected as a White House Fellow (1982-83), Kmiec later served in the Office of Legal Counsel (OLC). Having served as Deputy Assistant Attorney General in OLC from 1985-88, he was nominated by President Ronald Reagan and confirmed by the Senate in 1988 as head of OLC. He returned to Notre Dame in 1989, where he directed the Thomas White Center on Law & Government and founded the Notre Dame Journal of Law, Ethics & Public Policy. In 2009, President Obama named (and the Senate again confirmed) Kmiec to be U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Malta.

A Distinguished Fulbright Scholar on the Constitution in Asia, Ambassador Kmiec's published works include The Attorney General's Lawyer (1992), Can a Catholic Support Him? (2008), three books on the American Constitution, a two-volume legal treatise, related books, and hundreds of published articles and essays. As head of OLC, he authored the opinion underlying the extension of the U.S. territorial sea from 3 to 12 miles and an opinion that brought AIDS victims within the protection of federal laws. His comparative analysis of EU-U.S. market integration was the subject of a recent seminar for members of the ECJ and U.S. Supreme Court in Brussels.

As the U.S. Ambassador to Malta, Kmiec was very warmly received and nationally beloved by the Maltese government and its people. With the Jesuit community he compassionately addressed the plight of north African irregular migrants, visiting them in detention centers, hosting them in his home, and working to resettle many in the United States.

When the Arab Spring uprisings took place in February 2011, it fell to Ambassador Kmiec to figure out a rescue of close to 100 US personnel caught behind the lines of the shooting in Tripoli. His friendship with the Maltese people led to the temporary acquisition of a catamaran, and drawing on the excellent morale he maintained among all elements of his embassy, Ambassador Kmiec successfully directed the rescue of not only the Americans but also several hundred foreign nationals as well. Before leaving his post, Ambassador Kmiec completed a substantial expansion of the embassy in Malta to a 10 acre compound Capable of undertaking regional operations In efforts to stem human trafficking, illicit drug and weapons transport, and the opening of markets into North Africa that can be of advantage to the United States and Populations much in need.

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