Threats to Individual and Societal Rights – 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 surveys recent trends that question the role of law and courts in the pursuit of a just and democratic society. Is adherence to the rule of law deteriorating and, if so, is that because of limitations on the ability (or inclination) of citizens and courts to prevent violations of individual rights or, more broadly, the rules governing a functioning democracy? Speakers discuss the most salient of the deteriorations of voting rights, asylum rights and incarceration policies, the militarization of policing and the disparate treatment of minorities by police and prosecutors, and the use of libel litigation to inflict costs on individuals and media outlets who challenge or criticize officeholders.

Keynote Speaker:
Anthony Romero
, Executive Director, American Civil Liberties Union

Nicole Austin-Hillary, Executive Director, Human Rights Watch U.S. Program
David McCraw, Senior Vice-President and Deputy General Counsel, New York Times
Myrna Perez, Director, Voting Rights and Elections Program, Brennan Center
Hon. Mimi Tsankov, Vice President, Eastern Region, National Association of Immigration Judges
Cecillia Wang, Deputy Legal Director and Director of the Center for Democracy, American Civil Liberties Union

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