June 10, 2021

2021 National Convention: The Constitution in Exile


Progressives face a hostile federal judiciary hand-picked by Donald Trump for the next generation, and the Biden-Harris administration commission tasked with examining court reform options remains in formation. How should the progressive legal community respond to a judiciary stacked with judges that are potentially hostile to its view of the Constitution and law? Is now the time for progressives to assert our own version of the “Constitution in Exile”? Should progressives look to reduce the influence of the federal courts or identify targets of opportunity to achieve progressive gains through the courts where they exist? What other strategies are possible? This panel will address specific subject areas by way of example, such as anti-discrimination and reproductive rights, where recent changes to the Court’s composition are particularly worrisome.

David Cole, National Legal Director, American Civil Liberties Union; Hon. George J. Mitchell Professor in Law and Public Policy, Georgetown University Law Center, Moderator
Katie Eyer, Professor of Law, Rutgers Law School; Faculty Advisor, ACS Rutgers Law School Student Chapter
Jamal Greene, Dwight Professor of Law, Columbia Law School; ACS Board of Academic Advisors
Cindy Soohoo, Professor of Law, and Co-Director of the Human Rights and Gender Justice Clinic, CUNY School of Law
Franita Tolson, Vice Dean for Faculty and Academic Affairs, and Professor of Law, University of Southern California Gould School of Law; ACS Board of Directors; ACS Board of Academic Advisors