Checks, Balances and Oversight – Preserving the Rule of Law in an Age of Disruption


This five-part series features panels of respected experts from across the political spectrum – including former government officials, judges and scholars – identifying current challenges and threats to the rule of law in America, discussing why they matter and proposing remedies. The goal is to create an ongoing and thought-provoking discussion among the legal profession, the academic community and the public about what can and should be done to assure that America remains a nation governed by law even in a time of crisis – or especially in a time of crisis – and to identify the actions necessary for our justice system to promote the impartial, equitable and effective enforcement of those laws.

This session focuses in depth on the rule of law challenges arising out of disruption of traditional “checks and balances” among the branches of the government, the ideas of “independence” and “oversight” among the agencies of government, and the ability of the Congress or Inspectors General and “whistleblowers” to perform their functions in the face of Executive secrecy, limits on Congressional subpoena power, governmental job insecurity, and public statements critical of the bureaucratic levers of government.   

Keynote Speaker:
Donald Ayer, Professor of Law, Geogetown University Law School; former United States Attorney, Deputy Attorney General of the United States, and Principal Deputy Solicitor General

Errol Louis
, Political Anchor, NY-1

Mitchell Bernard, Executive Director, National Resources Defense Council
Preet Bharara, former U .S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York
Daniel Goldman, Former Counsel to the House Intelligence Committee 
Barbara McQuade, Professor of Law, University of Michigan Law School; former United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan

Sponsoring  Committee:  
Task Force on the Rule of Law, Stephen L. Kass, Chair

Rule of Law Forum:
Session 1: Threats to the Rule of Law in America: A Survey – Video available here
Session 3: Interference with Judicial Independence and Local Law Enforcement
Session 4: Threats to Individual and Societal Rights
Session 5: Rebuilding the Rule of Law in America: What Can and Should the Legal Profession, Individual Lawyers and Citizens Do?