About John W. Whitehead

Photo by Jen Fariello

John W. Whitehead is an attorney and author who has written, debated and practiced widely in the area of constitutional law and human rights. Whitehead’s concern for the persecuted and oppressed led him, in 1982, to establish The Rutherford Institute, a nonprofit civil liberties and human rights organization whose international headquarters are located in Charlottesville, Virginia. Deeply committed to protecting the constitutional freedoms of every American and the integral human rights of all people, The Rutherford Institute has emerged as a prominent leader in the national dialogue on civil liberties and human rights and a formidable champion of the Constitution. Whitehead serves as the Institute’s president and spokesperson.

Battlefield_Cover_300Whitehead’s new book, Battlefield America: The War on the American People (SelectBooks, 2015), is a follow-up to his award-winning book A Government of Wolves: The Emerging American Police State.

Widely recognized as one of the nation’s most vocal and involved civil liberties attorneys, Whitehead’s approach to civil liberties issues has earned him numerous accolades and accomplishments, including the Hungarian Medal of Freedom and the 2010 Milner S. Ball Lifetime Achievement Award for “[his] decades of difficult and important work, as well as [his] impeccable integrity in defending civil liberties for all.”

As nationally syndicated columnist Nat Hentoff observed about Whitehead: “John Whitehead is not only one of the nation’s most consistent and persistent civil libertarians. He is also a remarkably perceptive illustrator of our popular culture, its insights and dangers. I often believe that John Whitehead is channeling the principles of James Madison, who would be very proud of him.”

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. He lives in Charlottesville, Virginia.

  1. l fitton says:

    dear mr whitehead
    who signs up for war who doesn’t wanna kill or isn’t prepared to kill? does that a hero make? we have an army of hooligans & thugs. are they heroes too? sadly, none in the military know what america’s agenda of war-making is about. they are pawns, cannon fodder, abroad. they come home corrupted from the experience. all america pays and pays and pays in myriad, manifest ways. the government demonizes the demons it has made. sweet.
    remember, ya caint fight a war without warm bodies. the heroes are those who refuse the dishonor.
    salute them. they are just as deserving of praise.

  2. […] our personal airspace … do we have any reasonable expectation of privacy anymore? In “A Government of Wolves: The Emerging American Police State“, John Whitehead, President of The Rutherford Institute, argues that the American people are […]

  3. Tony Kay says:

    Mr. Whitehead, your Radio Interview on http://www.artistfirst.com with the Crime Beat Hosts was absolutely illuminating and a call for all Americans to take back “we the people”. This book is a national treasure! Your Interview is available Free on Demand, and would make an excellant compliment to this website! Many thanks, Tony K.

  4. l fitton says:

    dear mr whitehead
    my generation – and i presume yours – was vilified as dope-smoking, free-love seeking, anti-everything-virtuous, disrespectful to convention, lewd & tasteless, and a whole lot more. miley cyprus is continuing an on-going opening of cultural norms. old folk have been bemoaning the disintegration of youth for as long as there have been young & old. culture changes. what you find acceptable was an abomination to the inhabitants of the 16th century. dumping on 20-somethings as decadent after your generation received the same slurs those many years ago doesn’t seem fair. living in the past is claustrophobic. best to keep an open mind. remember this about miley cyprus’s performance: nobody got hurt. nobody died. bad taste is in the eye of the beholder, not etched in stone.

  5. l fitton says:

    dear mr whitehead
    re: the post on schools & testing & authoritarianism – question: how do all mammals other than humans raise and educate their young? answer: play and play learning. moreover, other mammals do not use violence in the pursuit. schools must promote activities, curiosity, imagination and social cohesion within the provision of an enriched environment. the denial of a childhood filled with play – which is what schools do – is a form of child abuse. play & play-learning inculcates security rather than the stress of sit down, shut up, and pay attention – test on friday. dictation then testing facilitates learning through the fight or flight response. very draining. remember: well-adjusted adults aren’t grown from abused children.

  6. l fitton says:

    dear mr whitehead
    re: free speech under attack. the of government of the united states is of, by, and for the people. i haven’t heard of any challenge to that precept. the people own the public roads; the people own public buildings; the people own public parks; the people own public schools; the people own, and are the military. the people fund all of the above. government takes; the people give. sometimes with their lives.

  7. drrimadmin says:

    Dear Mr. Whitehead,
    As the Medical Director of the Natural Solutions Foundation, http://www.DrRimaTruthReports.com, I would like to congratulate you on your continuing and vigorous defense of freedom and exposure of tyrannical insanity, creeping and leaping!
    I would also like to invite you to appear on my 2 hour radio show, the Dr.Rima Truth Reports which can be aired live or as a pre-recorded show at your convenience.
    My co-host and co Trustee of he Foundation, Ralph Fucetola, JD, is with me for each show.
    Please contact me at the email below or by calling me at +1 973-241-4386 to discuss your availability.
    I would also like the opportunity to speak with you about a case against the FDA and FTC which I think you would be quite interested in since they are demanding that we not inform people about the profoundly important research showing that there is, in fact, a nutrient which inactivates the Ebola virus.
    Nothing in either the Constitution or Congressional legislative powers given to these agencies gives them the right to restrict either truthful speech or the use of such words as “treatment”, “cure”, “therapy”, “prevent”.
    Yours in health and freedom,
    Dr. Rima
    Rima E. Laibow, MD
    Medical Director
    Natural Solutions Foundation


    Dr Rima Truth Reports every Thursday 10 PM to Midnight on Revolution Radio, http://www.FreedomsLips.com, Studio B

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