Brennan Center Live









October 2018
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In his new book The Parties Versus the People: How to Turn Republicans and Democrats into Americans, Mickey Edwards exposes the detrimental effects of partisanship on democracy in the United States. Reaching back to his own experience as an eight-term member of the United States House of Representatives, Edwards shows how the existing political system allows parties to control the ballot, resulting in an increasingly unrepresentative democracy.

In the midst of the 2016 election, Mickey Edwards discussed solutions to fix this broken system that our Founders warned us against, and allow the people to reclaim political power.

Direct download: mickey_edwards.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 3:57pm EDT

The Brennan Center hosted an engaging discussion with Richard L. Revesz and Jack Lienke, authors of Struggling for Air: Power Plants and the "War on Coal." Their new book chronicles the Environmental Protection Agency's five-decade struggle to clean up the nation's dirtiest coal-fired power plants.

Direct download: richard_revesz.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 3:17pm EDT

In response to the growing influence of money in politics in recent elections, the Brennan Center hosted a workshop to discuss Professor Rick Hasen’s most recent contribution to the debate – his new book Plutocrats United: Campaign Money, the Supreme Court, and the Distortion of American Elections. He was joined by several other leading academics in the field.

Direct download: plutocrats_united.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:06pm EDT

In We Too Sing America: South Asian, Arab, Muslim and Sikh Immigrants Shape Our Multiracial Future, Deepa Iyer draws on her work as a lawyer, civil rights advocate and academic to shed light on the post-9/11 climate in the United States, focusing on the experiences of Muslim, South Asian, Arab and  Sikh communities. She writes with great insight and feeling about the young activists from these communities who are working across racial and religious lines to participate in emerging movements for racial justice such as Black Lives Matter and the undocumented youth movement. 

Direct download: Deepa_Iyer_Podcast.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 2:27pm EDT

In conversation with Brennan Center fellow Mike German, John Mueller and Mark Stewart examine and evaluate the costs of the massive counterterrorism enterprise put in place since 2001, focusing on the efforts by police and intelligence agencies to follow up on over 5,000 tips flooding in each day. Mueller and Steward dive into the important questions rasied in the book: is this massive counterterroism effort necessary or effective? Or does this "ghost" chasing harm our society in ways we don't always consider when examining the impact of the terrorist threat? 


Direct download: Chasing_Ghosts.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 2:24pm EDT

The U.S. Supreme Court recently heard oral arguments in a case that could radically change how legislative lines are drawn in America. In Evenwel v. Abbott, the Supreme Court might order states to draw boundaries using voters instead of total people. This change in the rule could have a significant impact on the future representation of America’s fast-growing urban and suburban communities, and of Latinos in particular.

In this candid discussion, experts and practitioners explore the implications of the Evenwel case, the tremendous impact it could have on the Latino community, and how other recent Supreme Court cases could fundamentally reshape the redistricting landscape.

Direct download: Evenwel.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:47pm EDT

Despite representing a significant political constituency and large consumer base, Black women remain one of the most underrepresented groups in elected office today. The Status of American Women in Politics, a forthcoming report update from Higher Heights, reiterates this discrepancy, focusing on Black women’s candidacies at the state and federal level, analyzing state/regional differences, candidate status, and electoral outcomes.
The Brennan Center for Justice and Higher Heights discussed the state of representation for and by Black women in American politics today. Experts and insiders examined how underrepresented voices can make themselves heard through grassroots movements, political action, and civic engagement, ensuring that our democracy is truly and cohesively representative of the people being governed.
Direct download: Higher_Heights.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 1:01pm EDT

Political parties are a core ingredient of representative democracy, but in the age of super PACs there are serious questions about whether organized parties can still provide the many democratic benefits they have traditionally furnished to our political system. Today’s climate calls for new thinking about ways campaign finance law can be used to divert money back to the parties, without exacerbating the risk of corruption or further stratifying our already unequal politics. A new Brennan Center Paper, “Stronger Parties, Stronger Democracy: Rethinking Reform,” offers a set of proposals for doing so. 

This candid discussion explores how strengthening the parties can boost electoral participation and in turn, produce a more transparent and inclusive democracy. Speakers include:

Matea Gold
National Political Reporter, The Washington Post

Lee Goodman
Commissioner, Federal Election Commission

Spencer Overton
President, Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies

Daniel Weiner
Senior Counsel, Brennan Center for Justice

Direct download: Stronger_Parties_Stronger_Democracy_Podcast.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 5:49pm EDT

How did reducing mass incarceration become such a potent national political issue? Can recent controversies from Ferguson to Baltimore translate into broader policy goals? Why are presidential candidates calling for reform? How will the issue play out in lead up to the 2016 election? And – most importantly – can our leaders turn words into action? The Brennan Center’s  Michael Waldman and Inimai Chettiar and the Heritage Foundation’s John Malcolm discuss.

Direct download: Justice_Briefing.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 2:07pm EDT

Documents disclosed by Edward Snowden and published by multiple news organizations have brought new focus to some age-old questions: what role should journalism play in the balance between the public’s right to know and the government’s need to keep secrets in the name of national security? In the so-called “information age,” how have the tools of government secrecy affected journalism – and how are journalists responding? And what is the future of the delicate relationship between those American institutions that are in the business of keeping secrets and those that are in the business of exposing them?

This candid discussion about the relationship between secrecy and the fourth estate explores those questions and more. 

Direct download: Government_Secrecy.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 5:38pm EDT