Brennan Center Live










June 2020
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One year after the election of Donald Trump as president, this special program looks forward and asks: What can we do now? Trump has broken countless unwritten norms of democratic conduct meant to protect against corruption and abuse. In the past, reform often followed abuse, frequently in the form of new laws: the limit of presidential terms, anti-nepotism laws, the special prosecutor law, the War Powers Act, and many others. This panel asks what has been different about this presidency, and what should be the agendas going forward to check presidential power and curb oval office misconduct.

We mark the one year anniversary of Trump’s electoral victory with Emily Bazelon, staff writer for New York Times Magazine, Preet Bharara, former US Attorney, Southern District of NY, John Podhoretz, editor of Commentary, and ABC's George Stephanopoulos for a public discussion of how to fortify our democracy in the Trump years and beyond.

Direct download: 2017_11_OneYearUnderTrump_FinalAudio.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:37pm EDT

Fact: More than 100,000 individuals in the US are held in private prisons and private immigration detention centers. These institutions are criticized for making money off mass incarceration―$5 billion every year―and have become a focus of the anti-mass incarceration movement. The Department of Justice under President Obama attempted to cut off private prisons, while DOJ under Trump has embraced these institutions.

Few journalists or scholars have seen these prisons firsthand―until now. Join Lauren-Brooke Eisen―senior counsel at the Brennan Center for Justice―for the launch of her new book, Inside Private Prisons, as she reflects on her unprecedented access to our nation’s private penal system and what she’s uncovered about these corporate prisons. She will be joined by criminal justice journalist Eli Hager from The Marshall Project, investigate journalist Eric Schlosser (Fast Food Nation), Khalil Cumberbatch from The Fortune Society, and NPR correspondent Ailsa Chang.

Direct download: 2017_11_InsidePrivatePrisons_Audio_Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:35pm EDT

In an otherwise treacherous political era for women’s bodies and health, activists and lawmakers are advancing a new, affirmative agenda – for the very first time, one that meshes menstruation and public policy. From tax reform to public benefits to corrections policy, periods have become the surprising force fueling a high-profile, bipartisan movement.

Join Congresswoman Grace Meng, (NY-6), sponsor of the Menstrual Equity for All Act of 2017 (H.R. 972); the Brennan Center’s Jennifer Weiss-Wolf, author of Periods Gone Public, and Newsweek senior reporter Abigail Jones to learn more about how this campaign emerged, why the issue resonates across party lines, and what is next for “menstrual equity.”

Direct download: PeriodsGonePublic_final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:33pm EDT

Dive in to this lively dialogue about economics, history, philosophy, law, and politics with Ganesh Sitaraman, author of The Crisis of the Middle-Class Constitution. He makes a compelling case that inequality is more than just a moral or economic problem; it threatens the very core of our American constitutional system.

Direct download: Ganesh_Full_Final.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 4:57pm EDT

Join the Brennan Center and New York Immigration Coalition for a discussion on extreme vetting, the Muslim ban, and the implications for American democracy and society.

Direct download: ExtremeVetting_Full_Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:44pm EDT

A deeply personal memoir that critiques the American prison system, Danielle Allen’s Cuz: The Life and Times of Michael A.tells a coming-of-age story born of the tragedy of mass incarceration. Her fifteen-year old cousin Michael was arrested and tried as an adult for attempted carjacking. Dropped into the Los Angeles prison system as a teenager, he served eleven years before returning to South Central—a region racked by gang warfare—and eventually lost his life to violence just three years later. How did we lose an entire generation to the American prison system following the War on Drugs, and how can we reduce mass incarceration moving forward? 

Danielle Allen is a University Professor at Harvard University and the Director for the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics. A political theorist, she is widely known for her work on justice and citizenship in ancient Athens and modern America. Join Allen and the Brennan Center for a discussion on the “new American story”—narcotics, gangs, the War on Drugs—and the impact of the criminal justice system on the African American community in the late twentieth century.

Direct download: DanielleAllen_Final_Full.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 3:26pm EDT

The Watergate scandal revealed a trail of crimes and cover-ups that ultimately changed the course of American politics. Forty-three years after President Nixon’s resignation, many have drawn parallels between the Watergate era and our own. What lessons can we learn that apply to today? The Brennan Center is bringing together some of the key figures from the Watergate drama.

John Dean served as White House Counsel. His riveting testimony helped bring down the president. Elizabeth Holtzman, then the youngest woman ever elected to Congress, was a member of the House Judiciary Committee, which voted to impeach. Unpack what happened during Watergate and how it changed American politics with two of the main players from the era, and discuss what lessons we can draw for addressing abuse in politics today.

Direct download: Watergate_Audio_Final_02.mp3
Category:politics -- posted at: 2:11pm EDT

President Trump has incited open racism, xenophobia, and hostility to Latinos and immigrants. From his attacks on Judge Curiel during his campaign to his claims that 3-5 million noncitizens voted to his pardon of Sheriff Joe Arpaio, to his recent vow to end DACA, there has never been any question that this is an era where Latinos face acute threats in many different arenas. The attacks seem to keep coming, and the Trump administration appears undeterred by Latinos’ growing percentage of the country’s population.

Direct download: LatinoLeaders_AudioFinal.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:59pm EDT

Technology moves like lightning—so how will innovation affect our democracy and economy? Will it eliminate privacy? What tools will the military and police have, and who will control them? What are the big ideas, fantastic inventions and potentially sinister trends that will shape our future? Are we prepared for the opportunities, as well as the dangers, that await?

Direct download: DanielFranklin_Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:58pm EDT

Brennan Center contributor, Victoria Bassetti's podcast series, "The Line," examines the Electoral College.

Direct download: THE_LINE_-_ELECTORAL_COLLEGE_-_2619.m4a
Category:general -- posted at: 5:34pm EDT