Speaking on a panel at the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals’ annual conference in San Diego, Christopher also crossed swords with Assistant Attorney General Viet Dinh over releasing the names of detainees, as both drew from their unique experiences in framing a debate over the fate of civil liberties during tests of national security.

“The protection of the Constitution so often lies in the willingness of the lawyers to take unpopular stands,” Christopher said.

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