June 13, 2015

The Courts, the Constitution, and the Disappearing American Dream

2015 National Convention, ACS 2015 National Convention, economic inequality

Peter Edelman

Georgetown University Law Center
Begin: 0:00

Robert Borosage

Institute for America's Future
Begin: 3:55

David Bernstein

George Mason University School of Law
Begin: 43:08

Heather Boushey

Washington Center of Equitable Growth
Begin: 8:53

William Forbath

University of Texas School of Law
Begin: 50:10

Sophia Lee

University of Pennsylvania Law School
Begin: 25:09

Ted Shaw

University of North Carolina School of Law
Begin: 35:19

Ganesh Sitaraman

Center for American Progress
Begin: 17:10
The Great Recession of 2008 highlighted a decades-long trend of increased wealth stratification that some say echoes back to America's Gilded Age. The richest 3 percent of families now control more than half the nation's wealth, while the bottom 90 percent control less than a quarter. The Pew Research Center has found that 27 percent of Americans "say the growing gap between the rich and the poor is the greatest threat to the world today." Further, many charge that the Supreme Court has become a defender of business interests at the expense of the individual. What does the Constitution have to say about economic power and inequality and what role can courts play in this debate? How has the ongoing assault on unions impacted wealth distribution, and how can collective bargaining be strengthened? What other policies and legal means can help shore up the American dream of equal opportunity? 
  • Robert Borosage, Founder and President, Institute for America's Future
  • David Bernstein, George Mason University Foundation Professor, George Mason University School of Law
  • Heather Boushey, Executive Director and Chief Economist, Washington Center of Equitable Growth
  • William Forbath, Associate Dean for Research, Lloyd M Bentsen Chair in Law, University of Texas School of Law
  • Sophia Lee, Professor of Law and History, University of Pennsylvania Law School 
  • Ted Shaw, Julius L. Chambers Distinguished Professor of Law; Director, Center for Civil Rights, University of North Carolina School of Law
  • Ganesh Sitaraman, Assistant Professor of Law, Vanderbilt Law School, Senior Fellow, Center for American Progress