David F Forte

Professor of Law

Office: LB 214

p. 216-687-2342
f. 216-687-6881




B.A., Harvard College
M.A., University of Manchester
Ph.D., University of Toronto
J.D., Columbia University


David F. Forte is Professor of Law at Cleveland State University, where he was the inaugural holder of the Charles R. Emrick, Jr. - Calfee Halter & Griswold Endowed Chair. He holds degrees from Harvard College, Manchester University, England, the University of Toronto and Columbia University.

During the Reagan administration, Professor Forte served as chief counsel to the United States delegation to the United Nations and alternate delegate to the Security Council. He has authored a number of briefs before the United States Supreme Court, and has frequently testified before the United States Congress and consulted with the Department of State on human rights and international affairs issues. His advice was specifically sought on the approval of the Genocide Convention, on world-wide religious persecution, and Islamic extremism. He has appeared and spoken frequently on radio and television, both nationally and internationally. In 2002, the Department of State sponsored a speaking tour for Professor Forte in Amman, Jordan, and he was also a featured speaker to the Meeting of Peoples in Rimini, Italy, a meeting which gathers over 500,000 people from all over Europe. He has also been called to testify before the state legislatures of Ohio, Idaho as well as the New York City Council. He has assisted in drafting a number of pieces of legislation for the Ohio General Assembly dealing with abortion, international trade, and federalism. He has sat as acting judge on the municipal court of Lakewood Ohio and was chairman of Professional Ethics Committee of the Cleveland Bar Association. He has received a number of awards for his public service, including the Cleveland Bar Association’s President’s Award, the Cleveland State University Distinguished Faculty Award for Service, the Cleveland State University Distinguished Faculty Award for Teaching, the Cleveland State Distinguished Faculty Award for Research, and the Cleveland-Marshall College of Law Alumni Award for Faculty Excellence. He is co-editor of the Cleveland-Marshall faculty Forum, Your Witness. He served as Consultor to the Pontifical Council for the Family under Pope St. John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI. In 2003, Dr. Forte was a Distinguished Fulbright Chair at the University of Trento and returned there in 2004 as a Visiting Professor. In 2019, he held the Distinguished Fulbright Chair at the University of Warsaw. For the academic year, 2008-2009, Professor Forte was Senior Visiting Scholar at the Center for the Study of Religion and the Constitution in at the Witherspoon Institute in Princeton, New Jersey, and has held the Garwood Visiting Professorship in the Department of Politics at Princeton University. He has given over 300 invited addresses and papers at more than 100 academic institutions.

Professor Forte was a Bradley Scholar at the Heritage Foundation, and Visiting Scholar at the Liberty Fund. He has been President of the Ohio Association of Scholars, served on the Board of Directors of the Philadelphia Society, and is also adjunct Scholar at the Ashbrook Institute. He Vice-Chair of the Ohio State Advisory Committee to the United States Commission on Civil Rights. He has also been a Civil War re-enactor and a Merit Badge Counselor for the Boy Scouts.

He writes and speaks nationally on topics such as constitutional law, natural law, constitutional history, religious liberty, Islamic law, the rights of families, and international affairs. He served as book review editor for the American Journal of
Jurisprudence and has edited a volume entitled, Natural Law and Contemporary Public Policy, published by Georgetown University Press. His book, Islamic Law Studies: Classical and Contemporary Applications, has been published by Austin
& Winfield. He is Senior Editor of The Heritage Guide to the Constitution (2006) 2d., ed (2013) published by Regnery & Co, a clause by clause analysis of the Constitution of the United States.

His teaching competencies include Constitutional Law, the First Amendment, Islamic Law, Jurisprudence, Natural Law, Constitutional Theory, International Human Rights, and Constitutional History.

Teaching areas: 

Constitutional Law, the First Amendment, Islamic Law, Jurisprudence, American Politics, Natural Law, International Law, International Human Rights, and Constitutional History. 


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