- More than four decades after a post-Watergate Congress tried to put serious limits on campaign spending, the flood of money into politics has become a tsunami. A series of Supreme Court decisions has eroded many if not most attempts to restrict campaign spending. The growth of PACs and Super PACS has brought funds into the process from an ever-wider range of sources, especially from people of great means. With the 2020 money race in full stride, is there any realistic chance that an effective law limiting campaign spending can get through the Congress, or withstand constitutional scrutiny?
- This seminar explores the concept of privacy in the modern age, the significance of recent developments in Europe and California, and the prospects for federal legislation in the United States. Among the key concepts, we will discuss the General Data Protection Regulation, the California Consumer Privacy Act, the FTC consent orders concerning Facebook and Google, the need for a US data protection agency, and emerging challenges, including universal guidelines for Artificial Intelligence and limitations on facial recognition.
- This seminar considers the “voting wars” that have erupted between the right and left over access to the ballot and concerns about voter fraud, voter suppression, and electoral integrity. It explores whether and how changes in voting rules, election administrator incompetence, foreign interference and occasional domestic “dirty tricks,” and an escalation of the rhetoric surrounding “stolen” elections threaten the legitimacy and acceptance of election results in 2020 and beyond.
- The seminar provides a contextual overview of the legal, policy, and historical developments – including the persistent influence of gender and racial biases on cultural and workplace attitudes – that have shaped the existing framework of protections against sexual harassment in the workplace.
- The seminar outlines the dysfunctional policy decisions that gave rise to an undocumented population that peaked at 12 million persons in 2008. It reviews what has happened to that population in subsequent years, focusing on the changing circumstances in Mexico and Central America and policy decisions taken during the Obama Administration.
- Preview Screening of A Towering Task: A Peace Corps Documentary followed by a conversation with director, Alana DeJoseph, who previously served as associate producer of the award-winning PBS documentaries The Greatest Good (about the U.S. Forest Service) and Green Fire (about conservationist Aldo Leopold).
- The Internet was once seen as a democratizing force, but today social media platforms have become exploitable intermediaries of political discourse. How should governments, institutions, tech companies, communities, and individuals respond? How do we repair polarization created by the Internet?
- What does it take for the most venerable, stable, and free government in the world to undergo a genuine Constitutional crisis? Are there signs that we are moving toward such an atmosphere? If so, what can be done to alter that course?
- James Madison and the Framers of the Constitution designed not a direct democracy but a representative republic that would filter public passions to promote thoughtful deliberation and the public good. Jeffrey Rosen asks what Madison and the framers would think of our current Congress, presidency, courts, and media, asking how we can resurrect Madisonian values of thoughtful deliberation and reasoned public discourse today.