Civil Liberties Litigator
Chris Hansen joined the American Civil Liberties Union in 1973. He spent 10 years at the NYCLU specializing in complex litigation seeking reform of the mental retardation and mental health systems. He then spent 10 years as the Associate Director of the Children’s Rights Project of the ACLU specializing in complex litigation seeking reform of child welfare systems and in school desegregation. Beginning in the mid-1990’s, Mr. Hansen was a staff attorney at the ACLU and worked on a wide variety of cases. He led the ACLU’s decade-long, successful battle to ensure that speech on the Internet receive the highest First Amendment protection. Most recently, he led the ACLU’s effort to invalidate patents granted on human genes. Mr. Hansen has argued cases in the US Supreme Court, and many of the federal courts of appeals, federal district courts, and state trial and appellate courts. Mr. Hansen retired from the ACLU in 2013.