PublicSquare Seminars

The biggest challenge facing American democracy is the rise of political extremism since compromise enables our government to function effectively and is essential to enact most major legislation. This webinar explores whether political reforms involving such issues as the presidential nomination process, party primaries, gerrymandering, and campaign-finance can help minimize the role of extremist forces in our politics or whether certain “good government” measures might actually make the problem even worse.

Richard H. Pildes is the Sudler Family Professor of Constitutional Law at New York University School of Law. He is one of the nation’s leading scholars of constitutional law and a specialist in legal issues affecting democracy. His numerous articles and acclaimed casebook, The Law of Democracy, have helped to create an entirely new field of study in law schools. A former law clerk to Justice Thurgood Marshall, Pildes has successfully argued voting-rights and election-law cases before the United States Supreme Court and has just been appointed to the Presidential Commission on the Supreme Court of the United States. He writes frequently for The New York Times and The Washington Post and also served as CNN’s voting expert for the 2020 election. Pildes received a B.A. from Princeton University and a J.D. from Harvard Law School.

Seminar Readings

Richard T. Pildes, “Two Myths about the Unruly American Primary System,” The Washington Post (May 25, 2016)
Richard T. Pildes, “Small dollars, big changes,” The Washington Post (February 6, 2020)
Richard T. Pildes, “How to Keep Extremists Out of Power,” Op-Ed, The New York Times (Feb. 25, 2021)

View the Webinar

Video coming soon!