R. Ben StoneOf Counsel
After nearly two decades of public advocacy and civil rights leadership as the executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Iowa, Ben Stone has returned to the Parrish Law Firm, where he began his legal career.
Mr. Stone grew up in West Des Moines, where he graduated from Valley High School. After receiving his B.S. degree in history from Iowa State University, he taught middle school in Illinois before returning to ISU to earn his M.A. in history, with a minor in philosophy. He then led a statewide student association for several years before entering law school at Drake University. After earning his J.D. with honors in 1995, he became an associate at Parrish Kruidenier before assuming the helm of the Iowa ACLU in June of 1996. He has returned to the firm in an “Of Counsel” relationship.
Mr. Stone has also regularly taught college part-time for nearly 25 years. He has served as an adjunct instructor in Constitutional Law, Moral Philosophy and Logic at Des Moines Area Community College, American History at Drake University, and Communications Law at Simpson College.
As a volunteer activist, he has served on the state board of directors of One Iowa, Iowans Against the Death Penalty, and was the Chair of the Board of Christian Social Action at Plymouth Church in Des Moines.
Mr. Stone lives in West Des Moines with his wife and three children.
“The Legislative Struggle For Civil Rights In Iowa: 1947-1965” (M.A. Thesis – 1990)
“The U.S. Supreme Court on Religious Liberty, Birth Control and Corporate Personhood,” Panelist for Constitution Week event sponsored by ISU Lectures Committee, Ames, September 17, 2014. (as former exec. dir. of ACLU-IA.)
Guest, Three-Minutes-in-the-Chair, WHO TV13, January 2014.
Closing Address – Conference on Racial Justice, an event sponsored by the Iowa City Human rights Commission, Oct. 17, 2013.
“The U.S. Supreme Court and the Constitution,” Panelist for Constitution Week event sponsored by ISU Committee on Lectures, Ames, September 12, 2013.
Keynote Address, Commemoration of the 50th Anniversary of the 1963 March on Washington, sponsored by the Cedar Rapids Civil Rights Commission and the African American Museum of Iowa, August 22, 2013.
“Current Threats to Voting Rights in Iowa,” Presentation and Workshop at the Des Moines Human Rights Symposium, March 20, 2013.
“Voter ID Laws: A Debate,” engaged with a national senior fellow from The Heritage Foundation at an event sponsored by the Federalist Society of Drake Law School, Iowa State Bar Association Headquarters, Des Moines, February 12, 2012.
“Defending Iowa’s Courts – An Anniversary Event,” Panelist at event sponsored by Lambda Legal, Des Moines, October 26, 2011.
“What’s the Bill If We Don’t Get it Right? Individual Rights and the Constitution,” Keynote speech as part of lecture series on the Constitution sponsored by the League of Women Voters and the Iowa City Public Library, October 11, 2011.
“Judicial Independence and the Iowa Constitution,” Lecture/workshop at Des Moines Human Rights Symposium, March 23, 2011.
“Tinker v. DM Independent Schools: Its impact and legacy,” Panelist, Iowa State Historical Society, prior to performance of Thursday’s Children, Des Moines, October 23, 2010.
“Privacy in the Digital Age,” Lecture for Constitution Day, Des Moines Area Community College – West Campus, September 2010.
“Torture, Detention and the Rule of Law,” Panelist, Iowa State University, September 2009.
“The Right to Bear Arms and the Constitution,” Lecture for Constitution Day, Des Moines Area Community College – West Campus, September 2008.
“Human Rights, America and Guantanamo Bay,” Panelist, University of Iowa Center for Human Rights, Iowa City, October 2007.
“Stopping the Abuse of Power.” Lectures at both Des Moines Area Community College and Simpson College in recognition of Constitution Day, September 20 & 21, 2006.
“God & Government: Where is the Line?” Panelist, Des Moines Area Community College, Urban Campus, November 9, 2005.
“The Reauthorization of the Patriot Act” – Televised Debate with Charles Larson, Sr., United States Attorney for the Northern District of Iowa. Women for Peace forum, Cedar Rapids, November 3, 2005.
First Amendment Fest and Constitution Day Panelist, DMACC Urban Campus, September 21, 2005.
“The Place of the Ten Commandments,” Televised Debate, “Ethical Perspectives in the News” series, Cedar Rapids, Channel 9, broadcast August 14, 2005.
“The Battle Within the ‘War’: Executive Authority in the so-called ‘War on Terror,’” Presentation and CLE, Criminal Law Section Annual Meeting, Iowa State Bar Association, Des Moines, April 15, 2005.
“Institute on National Affairs – Is the Bill of Rights in Jeopardy? The Patriot Act in Iowa” Panelist debating both United States Attorneys in Iowa, Charles Larson, Sr. of the Northern District, and Stephen O’Meara of the Southern District, Iowa State University, Ames, February 4, 2004
“Securing American Democracy in the Age of Terrorism.” Evening Featured Lecture at Iowa State University, September 19, 2002. Sponsored by the ISU Committee on Lectures.
“Outrageous Trespass on Privacy,” guest column co-authored with Professor Gregory Sisk of Drake Law School, Des Moines Register, December 11, 2002.
Criminal Law Update – Continuing Legal Education Presentation – Johnson County Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers – Iowa City. September 2001 & April 2002.
“‘Chumps’ are society’s conscience”- guest op-ed column, Des Moines Register, December 27, 2001.
Guest appearance on Insight Iowa, Iowa Public Television, statewide broadcast, November, 2001. Topic: The so-called USA-PATRIOT Act and the state of civil liberties in America since 9/11.
Central Iowa Hate Crimes Forum – Panelist, Drake University, September 12, 2001.
Guest appearance on Iowa Press, Iowa Public Television, statewide broadcast, August 5, 2001. Topic: Bush’s Faith Based Initiative. Chuck Hurley of the Iowa Family Policy Center also on show.
“Charitable Choice: The White House Office of Faith Based and Community Initiatives, and the Constitutional Issue of Separation of Church and State” – Panelist, Plymouth Congregational Church, Des Moines, May 13, 2001.
“Workshop on Civil Rights -Racial Profiling – Fact or Fiction?” Presentation, Fourth Iowa Conference on the Americas: “Immigration: Our Bridge to the Future” – Simpson College, March 31, 2001.
“Workshop on Racial Profiling” – Panelist, Second Annual Conference on ‘Strengthening and Valuing Latino Communities in Iowa’ – Iowa City, November 4, 2000.
“The Boy Scouts, Free Speech, and Public Accommodation” – Panelist, Iowa State University Committee on Lectures, Ames, October 30, 2000.
“Rights at the Schoolhouse Gate: Students and Privacy” – Panelist, Iowa State Bar Association Series, Iowa Communications Network (ICN) – Do Students Have a Right to Privacy? Knapsacks, Lockers & Metal Detectors (April 13, 2000); Student Drug Testing (April 19) Technology and the Future of Student Privacy: Pagers, Email, Internet Services and the School Setting (May 1).
“Driving While Black – Racial Profiling In Law Enforcement” – Presentation to Immigrant Rights Coalition Statewide Meeting, Muscatine – August 1999.
Criminal Law Update – Continuing Legal Education Presentation – Linn County Bar Association Summer Outing – Cedar Rapids, July 1999.
Criminal Law Update – Continuing Legal Education Presentation – Johnson County Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers – Iowa City, April 1999.
“Church-State Relations in America” -Panelist, The American Council of Young Political Leaders, Israeli Delegation Visit, Drake University, September 1998.
“Pray, but don’t ask city to endorse it” – guest column, Des Moines Register, June 10, 1998.
“Random Drug Testing of Student Athletes”- Panelist, Law Day Debate Iowa Communications Network (ICN), Iowa Western Community College, May 1998.
“ICLU stands on principle, not ideology”- guest op-ed column, Des Moines Register, June 26, 1997.
“Procedural Changes In Federal Habeas Corpus Proceedings For Death Row Inmates: The Anti-Terrorism And Effective Death Penalty Act Of 1996” Continuing Legal Education Presentation: National Lawyers Guild Midwest Conference, Iowa City, February 1997; Iowans Against the Death Penalty Annual Meeting, Little Amana, Sept. 1997.
“Pornography and Censorship” – Campus Debate; Buena Vista University, Storm Lake – Nov. 1996.
“Forum on Prosecutions of Substance Abusing Mothers” – Panelist, in opposition to Attorney General of South Carolina, Iowa Department Of Public Health, Des Moines, November 1996.