David F Forte

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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 served as the Garwood Visiting Professor at Princeton University in the Department of Politics and Visiting Fellow at the James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions. He also held the position of 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. He was the Senior Visiting Scholar at the Center for the Study of Religion and the Constitution in at the Witherspoon Institute in Princeton, New Jersey. 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, Kansas, and 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 Award for Distinguished Service, the Cleveland State University Distinguished Teaching Award, and the Cleveland-Marshall College of Law Alumni Award for Faculty Excellence. He was the Robert E. Henderson Constitution Day Lecturer at the Ashbrook Center at Ashland University, and he has given over 300 invited addresses and papers at more than 100 academic institutions. His work has been cited by the U.S. Supreme Court.

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, was on the Board of Directors of the Philadelphia Society, and is also adjunct Scholar at the Ashbrook Center. He has been appointed to the Ohio State Advisory Committee to the U.S. 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, 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 edition (2014), 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, International Law, International Human Rights, the Presidency, and Constitutional History.


Teaching Areas:

Constitutional Law, Theories of Justice, First Amendment Rights


Research Areas:

Constitutional Law, Religion, Islamic Law


University Service:

Academic Standards Committee, Chair, 1988-93, 1994-98, Member 2002-08
Adjunct Faculty Committee, 1989-92
Admissions Committee, 1977-79
Advisor, Niagara Moot Court Competition, 1980-81, 1982-83
Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, 1986-88
Baker-Hostetler Chair Committee, 1994-97
Building Committee, 199498; 1999-2004; 2006.
Centennial Committee, 1996
Committee on Style
Cleveland-Marshall Faculty Forum Co-ordinator, 2003
Cleveland-Marshall Fund Subcommittee on Summer Grants, 2002-03
Committee on Graduate Studies, Chair 198384, 198992, Member 1988-92; 1999-2000
Curriculum Committee, 197677, ex officio 1986-88
Faculty Adviser, Catholic Lawyers Guild, Federalist Society, Islamic Discussion Group, Cleveland-Marshall Republicans
Faculty Appointments Committee, Chair 1979-82, 2000-01, 2004-05; Member 1976-78, 1992-93, 1999-00, 2005-06
Faculty Council/Faculty Senate, 1978-82, 1988-92, 1994-98, 2000-06
Steering Committee, 1981-82, 1994-98, 2007
Faculty Honors Committee, Chair 1986-88
Faculty Jurisprudence Seminar, Director 1980-83, 198688
Faculty Reinspection and Review Committee, Chair 1984, Member 1991, 2004
Faculty Research Luncheon Series, Coordinator 197883, 198688
Foreign Exchange Committee, 199293
L860 Ad Hoc Committee
Law Student Academic Outcome Assessment Plan, Chair, l99698
Library Committee, 200203
Library Director Search Committee, Chair, 1994-95
Moot Court Ad Hoc Committee
Personal Action Committee, Chair subcommittee for Promotion to Full Professor, 1989, 2000, 2004; Chair Subcommittee for Tenure and Promotion to Associate Professor, 1994, 1999, 2004
Special Committee on Academic Misconduct, Chair 1979
Student Life Committee, 1998
Strategic Planning Committee,
Steering Committee, 199798
University ad hoc Committee on Program Review, 2002-03
University Appropriate Use Advisory Committee, 2000
University Assessment Committee, 199698
University Committee on Academic Space, 2004-2005
University Curricular Review Committee, 1979-81
University Employee Benefits Committee, 1995-97
University Faculty Affairs Committee, 2005-06
University Faculty Awards Committee, 2000
University Financial Aid Committee, Chair 197981, Member 1977-79
University Graduate Council, 2005-2008
University Provost Search Committee, 2000
Upper-Level Curriculum Review Committee, 1990
Values Task Force, 1990

Community Service:

Pontifical Council for the Family, Vatican, Consultor
Philadelphia Society, Board of Directors
Bishop Gassis Sudan Relief Fund, Board of Directors, Executive Committee
Salvatori Center on the American Founding, The Heritage Foundation, Board of Directors
Ashbrook Center for Public Affairs, Adjunct Scholar
Buckeye Institute for Public Policy Solutions, Board of Academic Advisers
National Lawyers Association, Board of Academic Advisers,
American Journal of Jurisprudence, Board of Editors, Book Review Editor, 1997-2003
The Federalist Society, Religious Liberties Practice Group, International Issues Subcommittee, Chairman

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