The Next Democracy | White Oak Interviews

May 5, 2009

The Next Democracy | White Oak Interviews

White Oak Interviews: Barbara Arnwine, Dahlia Lithwick, Goodwin Liu, and Matt YglesiasIn early spring, the Brennan Center hosted The Next Democracy—a conference at the White Oak Conservation Center that brought together a distinguished group from law, academia, advocacy, philanthropy, government and media for two days of conversation and reflection. The aim was to spark fresh thinking from across communities and disciplines, with hopes of crafting a new vision of democracy and a strategy for realizing it.

Participants included Hendrik Hertzberg of The New Yorker, Sean Wilentz of Princeton University, Elaine Kamarck of the Kennedy School of Government, Ann Beeson of Open Society Institute, Barbara Arnwine of Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, and Chris Edley of UC Berkeley School of Law, amongst others.

The Brennan Center conducted the following four interviews between sessions. These are the first videos in a series of three to be posted to the Brennan Center site. Click on a name below to skip to that interview.

Barbara Arnwine | Matt Yglesias | Dahlia Lithwick | Prof. Goodwin Liu

Anna Burger | Hendrik Hertzberg | Elaine Kamarck | Christopher Edley, Jr. | Judith Browne


Barbara Arnwine

Barbara Arnwine, a prominent leader in the civil rights community, is the Executive Director of the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. She is internationally renowned for contributions on critical justice issues including the passage of the landmark Civil Rights Act of 1991. Arnwine discusses the economic divide, the new president, as well as the Progressive agenda in the following segment.

Click on the video to watch it here or click here to be directed to YouTube.


Matt Yglesias

Matt Yglesias is a Fellow at the Center for American Progress and blogger at Think Progress. Yglesias has previously worked as an Associate Editor at The Atlantic, a Staff Writer at The American Prospect, and an Associate Editor at Talking Points Memo.Yglesias discusses campaign finance, the Bush legacy and new media in the following interview.

Click on the video to watch it here or click here to be directed to YouTube.


Dahlia Lithwick

Dahlia Lithwick is a senior editor at Slate, and in that capacity, writes the "Supreme Court Dispatches" and "Jurisprudence" columns. She is a biweekly columnist for Newsweek. Her work has appeared in the New York Times, Harper's, The Washington Post, and Commentary, among other places. Lithwick discusses judicial selection, judicial elections, Caperton, as well as progressive jurisprudence in the following segment.

Click on the video to watch it here or click here to be directed to YouTube.


Prof. Goodwin Liu

Goodwin Liu is an Associate Dean and Professor of Law at the UC Berkeley School of Law. His primary areas of expertise are constitutional law, education law and policy, civil rights, and the Supreme Court. His forthcoming book, Keeping Faith with the Constitution (with Pamela Karlan and Christopher Schroeder), offers an account of constitutional interpretation that explains and defends the most important constitutional achievements of the American people while exposing the shortcomings of originalism and strict construction. Prof. Liu discusses the idea of deliberative democracy as well as progressive jurisprudence in this interview.

Click on the video to watch it here or click here to be directed to YouTube.

Anna Burger

Hailed by Fortune Magazine as "the most powerful woman in the labor movement" and named as one of Washingtonian's 100 Most Powerful Women in 2006, Anna Burger is both a top ranking officer at SEIU, the nation's largest and fastest growing union, and the first chair of America's newest labor federation, Change to Win. She discusses organized labor's role in democracy as well as the Bush legacy.

Click on the video to watch it here or click here to be directed to YouTube.


Hendrik Hertzberg

Hendrik Hertzberg is a Senior Editor at The New Yorker, where he blogs and contributes the opening "Comment" column in "The Talk of the Town." He has been an officer in the Navy, editor of The New Republic, and President Jimmy Carter’s chief speech writer. Hertzberg discusses the current political moment as well as Nation Popular Vote in his segment.

Click on the video to watch it here or click here to be directed to YouTube.


Elaine Kamarck

Elaine Kamarck is a Lecturer in Public Policy who came to the Kennedy School in 1997 after a career in politics and government. In the 1980s, she was one of the founders of the New Democrat movement that helped elect Bill Clinton president. She served in the White House from 1993 to 1997, where she created and managed the Clinton Administration's National Performance Review, also known as reinventing government. She discusses campaign finance reform as well as progressive jurisprudence in this segment.

Click on the video to watch it here or click here to be directed to YouTube.


Christopher Edley, Jr.

Christopher Edley, Jr. assumed the Deanship of U.C. Berkeley Law School in 2004 after 23 years as a Harvard Law professor, where he was founding Co-Director of The Harvard Civil Rights Project. From 1999–2005, he served as a congressional appointee on the bipartisan U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. He discusses the Bush legacy, progressive jurisprudence as well as organized labor in the following video clip.

Click on the video to watch it here or click here to be directed to YouTube.


Judith Browne

Judith Browne-Dianis, Co-Director of the Advancement Project, has an extensive background in civil rights litigation, which includes fighting to protect the rights of displaced Hurricane Katrina survivors. She was instrumental in securing a victory in Kirk v. City of New Orleans, which barred the city from bulldozing homes without first giving home owners opportunity to challenge the demolition. She discusses the right to vote as well as the Progressive movement in the following interview.

Click on the video to watch it here or click here to be directed to YouTube.