Skip to main content

About David F. Forte

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 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 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 served as Consultor to the Pontifical Council for the Family under Pope 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. For the academic year 2008-2009, Professor Forte was Senior Visiting Scholar at the Center for the Study of Religion and the Constitution at the Witherspoon Institute in Princeton, New Jersey. He has given over 300 invited addresses and papers at more than 100 academic institutions.

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, is on the Board of Directors of the Philadelphia Society, and is also adjunct Scholar at the Ashbrook Institute. He has been appointed to the Ohio State Advisory Committee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. He is a member of the Board of Directors of the Bishop Gassis Relief Fund, dedicated to relieving the war-induced famine in the Sudan. He is also 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 edited a volume titled 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), published by Regnery, which is 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, and Constitutional History.


Present Faculty Member, Cleveland State University

Curriculum Vitae

Enter a valid date range.

Enter a valid date range.

Honors and Awards

  • Inaugural holder of the Charles R. Emrick, Jr.- Calfee Halter & Griswold Endowed Chair
  • Cleveland Bar Association President's Award
  • Cleveland State University Award for Distinguished Service
  • Cleveland State University Distinguished Teaching Award
  • Cleveland-Marshall College of Law Alumni Award for Faculty Excellence
  • Distinguished Fulbright Chair at the University of Trento


  • First Amendment
  • Constitutional Law
  • Theories of Justice

Contact Information

Cleveland-Marshall College of Law
2121 Euclid Avenue, LB 214
Cleveland, Ohio 44115

Articles (92)