Democracy Forum 9/16/22: Checks and Balances: What are They? Are They Working?

Host: Ann Luther, League of Women Voters of Maine
The mostly volunteer team at the League of Women Voters – Downeast who plan and coordinate this series includes: Martha Dickinson, Starr Gilmartin, Maggie Harling, Ann Luther, Judith Lyles, Wendilee O’Brien, Maryann Ogonowski, Pam Person, Lane Sturtevant, Leah Taylor, Linda Washburn

Democracy Forum: Participatory Democracy, encouraging citizens to take an active role in government and politics

This month:
Checks and Balances: What are They? Are They Working?
How the three branches of government check each other: executive, judicial, legislative. \
Why did it matter to the Framers, and why does it matter to us?
Of what importance is mutual and self-regard among the branches: each branch protecting its own institution and backing up the other branches?
Is the public one of the checks — with political consequences creating a limit on extremism?
Does it seem to be working right now? Why or why not?

Guest/s:
Andrew Rudalevige, Chair of the Department of Government and Legal Studies, Thomas Brackett Reed Professor of Government, Bowdoin College
Kim Lane Scheppele, Laurance S. Rockefeller Professor of Sociology and International Affairs in the Princeton School of Public and International Affairs and the University Center for Human Values

To learn more about this topic:
Post-ROE, the Supreme Court is on a collision course with Democracy | Vanity Fair August 25, 2022
Opinion | The Supreme Court Has Too Much Power and Liberals Are to Blame – POLITICO, July 27, 2022
Most in new poll say US government needs major reforms, complete overhaul | The Hill, July 13, 2022
The Supreme Court’s Role in the Degradation of U.S. Democracy | CLC, July 13, 2022
Opinion | How the Founders Intended to Check the Supreme Court’s Power – POLITICO, July 3, 2022
How Viktor Orbán Wins | Journal of Democracy, July 2022
Abuses of executive privilege reveal our system of checks and balances is on life support | The Hill October 24, 2021
Executive privilege is killing checks and balances | MichaelLeppert.com October 15, 2021
Checks and balances on war powers — Defense Priorities, April 2, 2021
By Executive Order | Princeton University Press, April 2021
Checks and Balances in a Trump-Era Supreme Court | Brennan Center for Justice, July 10, 2020
Congress Has Lost Its Power Over Trump | The Atlantic, February 4, 2020
The Unconstrained Presidency: Checks and Balances Eroded Long Before Trump | Council on Foreign Relations, August 14, 2018
Congress’s Power over Courts: Jurisdiction Stripping and the Rule of Klein | CSR, August 9, 2018

About the host:
Ann currently serves as Treasurer of the League of Women Voters of Maine and leads the LWVME Advocacy Team. She served as President of LWVME from 2003 to 2007 and as co-president from 2007-2009. In her work for the League, Ann has worked for greater public understanding of public policy issues and for the League’s priority issues in Clean Elections & Campaign Finance Reform, Voting Rights, Ethics in Government, Ranked Choice Voting, and Repeal of Term Limits. Representing LWVME at Maine Citizens for Clean Elections, she served that coalition as co-president from 2006 to 2011. She remains on the board of MCCE and serves as Treasurer. She is active in the LWV-Downeast and hosts their monthly radio show, The Democracy Forum, on WERU FM Community Radio -which started out in 2004 as an recurring special, and became a regular monthly program in 2012. She was the 2013 recipient of the Baldwin Award from the ACLU of Maine for her work on voting rights and elections. She joined the League in 1998 when she retired as Senior Vice President at SEI Investments. Ann was a founder of the MDI Restorative Justice Program, 1999 – 2000, and served on its Executive Board.

Democracy Forum 8/19/22: Libraries: Defenders of Democracy (Originally aired April 15 2022)

Host: Ann Luther, League of Women Voters of Maine
The mostly volunteer team at the League of Women Voters – Downeast who plan and coordinate this series includes: Martha Dickinson, Starr Gilmartin, Maggie Harling, Ann Luther, Judith Lyles, Wendilee O’Brien, Maryann Ogonowski, Pam Person, Lane Sturtevant, Leah Taylor, Linda Washburn

Democracy Forum: Participatory Democracy, encouraging citizens to take an active role in government and politics

Description, guests and links FMI can be found here

About the host:
Ann currently serves as Treasurer of the League of Women Voters of Maine and leads the LWVME Advocacy Team. She served as President of LWVME from 2003 to 2007 and as co-president from 2007-2009. In her work for the League, Ann has worked for greater public understanding of public policy issues and for the League’s priority issues in Clean Elections & Campaign Finance Reform, Voting Rights, Ethics in Government, Ranked Choice Voting, and Repeal of Term Limits. Representing LWVME at Maine Citizens for Clean Elections, she served that coalition as co-president from 2006 to 2011. She remains on the board of MCCE and serves as Treasurer. She is active in the LWV-Downeast and hosts their monthly radio show, The Democracy Forum, on WERU FM Community Radio -which started out in 2004 as an recurring special, and became a regular monthly program in 2012. She was the 2013 recipient of the Baldwin Award from the ACLU of Maine for her work on voting rights and elections. She joined the League in 1998 when she retired as Senior Vice President at SEI Investments. Ann was a founder of the MDI Restorative Justice Program, 1999 – 2000, and served on its Executive Board.

Democracy Forum 7/15/22: Taxation without Representation: Should DC be a State?

Host: Ann Luther, League of Women Voters of Maine

Democracy Forum: Participatory Democracy, encouraging citizens to take an active role in government and politics

Taxation without Representation: Should DC be a State?

What rights of self-determination do DC residents now enjoy?
How are their rights now constrained?
What are the obstacles to DC statehood?
What is the history?
What is the racial justice aspect to this issue?
Against the backdrop of Maine’s own struggle for statehood and the Missouri Compromise, why should Maine people care?

Anne Anderson, Chair of the League of Women Voters DC Full Rights Committee
Chris Myers Asch, Visiting Instructor of History, Colby College, and co-author of the book, Chocolate City, A History of Race and Democracy in the Nation’s Capital

To learn more about this topic:

League of Women Voters of the District of Columbia – YouTube
With Liberty and Justice for All (Except DC) | League of Women Voters, May 2022
The Case for Statehood – DC History Center, with links to other great resources
DC Statehood Explained | Brennan Center for Justice, March, 2022
epublicans Used to Back DC Statehood. What Changed? – The Atlantic, David Graham, June, 2021
The Long Fight for DC Statehood – JSTOR Daily, Livia Gershon, February, 2021
When Adding New States Helped the Republicans – The Atlantic, Heather Cox Richardson, September, 2019
Chocolate City: A History of Race and Democracy in the Nation’s Capital by Chris Myers Asch and George Derek Musgrove, 2019
On the Road with the DC Statehood Toolkit, League of Women Voters of DC, November 2017

The mostly volunteer team at the League of Women Voters – Downeast who plan and coordinate this series includes: Martha Dickinson, Starr Gilmartin, Maggie Harling, Ann Luther, Judith Lyles, Wendilee O’Brien, Maryann Ogonowski, Pam Person, Lane Sturtevant, Leah Taylor, Linda Washburn

About the host:
Ann currently serves as Treasurer of the League of Women Voters of Maine and leads the LWVME Advocacy Team. She served as President of LWVME from 2003 to 2007 and as co-president from 2007-2009. In her work for the League, Ann has worked for greater public understanding of public policy issues and for the League’s priority issues in Clean Elections & Campaign Finance Reform, Voting Rights, Ethics in Government, Ranked Choice Voting, and Repeal of Term Limits. Representing LWVME at Maine Citizens for Clean Elections, she served that coalition as co-president from 2006 to 2011. She remains on the board of MCCE and serves as Treasurer. She is active in the LWV-Downeast and hosts their monthly radio show, The Democracy Forum, on WERU FM Community Radio -which started out in 2004 as an recurring special, and became a regular monthly program in 2012. She was the 2013 recipient of the Baldwin Award from the ACLU of Maine for her work on voting rights and elections. She joined the League in 1998 when she retired as Senior Vice President at SEI Investments. Ann was a founder of the MDI Restorative Justice Program, 1999 – 2000, and served on its Executive Board.

Democracy Forum 6/17/22: The Supreme Court and Democracy

Host: Ann Luther, League of Women Voters of Maine

Democracy Forum: Participatory Democracy, encouraging citizens to take an active role in government and politics

Issue: Participatory Democracy, encouraging citizens to take an active role in government and politics

Key Discussion Points:
The courts as protectors of democracy
Judicial philosophy and constitutional interpretation
The authority and power of the court
The peril of the court being political or even perceived as such

Guests:
Richard H. Pildes, Sudler Family Professor of Constitutional Law, New York University School of Law
Maron Sorenson, Assistant Professor of Government, Dept. Government and Legal Studies, Bowdoin College

To learn more about this topic:

Decade-long study shows Supreme Court is now further to the ideological right than most Americans | Ash Center, June, 2022
The Supreme Court Is on the Verge of Expanding Second Amendment Gun Rights | Brennan Center for Justice May, 2022
5 justices, all confirmed by senators representing a minority of voters, appear willing to overturn Roe v. Wade | The Conversation, May 2022
The Court and Its Procedures – Supreme Court of the United States
The Supreme Court (2020) : Throughline : NPR, September, 2021
The Authority of the Court and the Peril of Politics, Stephen Breyer, 2021
Nine Reasons that “Originalism” Isn’t Really a Thing for Supreme Court Justices, October, 2020
The Law of Democracy: Legal Structure of the Political Process. Samuel Issacharoff, Pamela S. Karlan, Richard H. Pildes, Nathaniel Persily. ” 5th Edition, 2016.
Is the Supreme Court a ‘Majoritarian’ Institution?, Richard Pildes, December, 2010

The mostly volunteer team at the League of Women Voters – Downeast who plan and coordinate this series includes: Martha Dickinson, Laurie Fogleman, Starr Gilmartin, Maggie Harling, Ann Luther, Judith Lyles, Wendilee O’Brien, Maryann Ogonowski, Pam Person, Lane Sturtevant, Leah Taylor, Linda Washburn

About the host:
Ann currently serves as Treasurer of the League of Women Voters of Maine and leads the LWVME Advocacy Team. She served as President of LWVME from 2003 to 2007 and as co-president from 2007-2009. In her work for the League, Ann has worked for greater public understanding of public policy issues and for the League’s priority issues in Clean Elections & Campaign Finance Reform, Voting Rights, Ethics in Government, Ranked Choice Voting, and Repeal of Term Limits. Representing LWVME at Maine Citizens for Clean Elections, she served that coalition as co-president from 2006 to 2011. She remains on the board of MCCE and serves as Treasurer. She is active in the LWV-Downeast and hosts their monthly radio show, The Democracy Forum, on WERU FM Community Radio -which started out in 2004 as an recurring special, and became a regular monthly program in 2012. She was the 2013 recipient of the Baldwin Award from the ACLU of Maine for her work on voting rights and elections. She joined the League in 1998 when she retired as Senior Vice President at SEI Investments. Ann was a founder of the MDI Restorative Justice Program, 1999 – 2000, and served on its Executive Board.

Democracy Forum 5/20/22: The Demise of Local News: What Are We Losing?

Host: Ann Luther, League of Women Voters of Maine

Democracy Forum: Participatory Democracy, encouraging citizens to take an active role in government and politics

Key Discussion Points:
Local news and local democracy.
What is a “news desert”? Does Maine have them?
What happens in towns that have no institutional news coverage? Does it affect self-governance at the local level?
Can citizen or grass-roots journalism fill the gap?
Even if we have plenty of citizen journalists, do we lose cohesion without an institutional resource that provides a collective understanding?

Guests:
Penelope Abernathy, visiting professor at the Northwestern University Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University
Dan MacLeod, Managing Editor, Bangor Daily News
Lincoln Millstein, blogs local news at The Quietside Journal

To learn more about this topic:

Survival of the Fittest: Can Independent News Media Endure in These Times? | Global Engagement at Georgetown University, April, 2022
New Report On The State Of Our Democracy | League of Women Voters 2021
Local news deserts are expanding: Here’s what we’ll lose | Washington Post, November, 2021
Exploiting the local news desert | Editor and Publisher, November 2021
Islander celebrates 20 years of community journalism – Mount Desert Islander, Faith D’Ambroise, November, 2021
Trends and Facts on Newspapers | State of the News Media | Pew Research Center. June, 2021

The mostly volunteer team at the League of Women Voters – Downeast who plan and coordinate this series includes: Martha Dickinson, Laurie Fogleman, Starr Gilmartin, Maggie Harling, Ann Luther, Judith Lyles, Wendilee O’Brien, Maryann Ogonowski, Pam Person, Lane Sturtevant, Leah Taylor, Linda Washburn

FMI re League of Women Voters of Maine: www.lwvme.org

About the host:
Ann currently serves as Treasurer of the League of Women Voters of Maine and leads the LWVME Advocacy Team. She served as President of LWVME from 2003 to 2007 and as co-president from 2007-2009. In her work for the League, Ann has worked for greater public understanding of public policy issues and for the League’s priority issues in Clean Elections & Campaign Finance Reform, Voting Rights, Ethics in Government, Ranked Choice Voting, and Repeal of Term Limits. Representing LWVME at Maine Citizens for Clean Elections, she served that coalition as co-president from 2006 to 2011. She remains on the board of MCCE and serves as Treasurer. She is active in the LWV-Downeast and hosts their monthly radio show, The Democracy Forum, on WERU FM Community Radio -which started out in 2004 as an recurring special, and became a regular monthly program in 2012. She was the 2013 recipient of the Baldwin Award from the ACLU of Maine for her work on voting rights and elections. She joined the League in 1998 when she retired as Senior Vice President at SEI Investments. Ann was a founder of the MDI Restorative Justice Program, 1999 – 2000, and served on its Executive Board.

Democracy Forum 4/15/22: Libraries: Defenders of Democracy

Host: Ann Luther, League of Women Voters of Maine

Key Discussion Points:
libraries and democracy
privacy protection
intellectual freedom and censorship
informed citizenry,
challenges and threats from book bans to funding

Guests:

Rich Boulet, Director, Blue Hill Public Library
Alexandra Hinrichs, Children’s Author and Middle School Librarian at Leonard Middle School in Old Town
Alison Macrina, Founder and Director of the Library Freedom Project
Jamie Ritter, Maine State Librarian

To learn more about this topic:

Book Banning Efforts Surged in 2021. These Titles Were the Most Targeted | New York Times, April 4, 2022
World librarians, archivists rush to save Ukraine’s digital history | The Washington Post, April 8, 2022
Tired of years of budget woes, Ellsworth library director leaving for MDI | BDN, April 5, 2022
Schools nationwide are quietly removing books from their libraries | Washington Post, March 22, 2022
Book bans and the threat of censorship rev up political activism in the suburbs | NPR, March 21, 2022
How this Old Town school handled a request to ban a book on sexual assault | BDN, March 18 2022

Prerecorded on 4/12/2022 using Zoom technology.

The mostly volunteer team at the League of Women Voters – Downeast who plan and coordinate this series includes: Hannah Cyrus, consulting librarian, Martha Dickinson, Laurie Fogleman, Starr Gilmartin, Maggie Harling, Ann Luther, Judith Lyles, Wendilee O’Brien, Maryann Ogonowski, Pam Person, Lane Sturtevant, Leah Taylor, Linda Washburn

FMI re League of Women Voters of Maine: www.lwvme.org

About the host:
Ann currently serves as Treasurer of the League of Women Voters of Maine and leads the LWVME Advocacy Team. She served as President of LWVME from 2003 to 2007 and as co-president from 2007-2009. In her work for the League, Ann has worked for greater public understanding of public policy issues and for the League’s priority issues in Clean Elections & Campaign Finance Reform, Voting Rights, Ethics in Government, Ranked Choice Voting, and Repeal of Term Limits. Representing LWVME at Maine Citizens for Clean Elections, she served that coalition as co-president from 2006 to 2011. She remains on the board of MCCE and serves as Treasurer. She is active in the LWV-Downeast and hosts their monthly radio show, The Democracy Forum, on WERU FM Community Radio -which started out in 2004 as an recurring special, and became a regular monthly program in 2012. She was the 2013 recipient of the Baldwin Award from the ACLU of Maine for her work on voting rights and elections. She joined the League in 1998 when she retired as Senior Vice President at SEI Investments. Ann was a founder of the MDI Restorative Justice Program, 1999 – 2000, and served on its Executive Board.

Democracy Forum 3/18/22: Communities on Edge: Threats and Intimidation in the Public Sphere

Host: Ann Luther, League of Women Voters of Maine

We’ll talk about anger and intimidation in the public sphere, especially in local politics.
Where is this coming from?
What is it that puts schools and elections in the bull’s eye?
What measures should officials take?
What can ordinary people do?
Can we still have deliberative democracy?

Guests:
Patti Dubois, Waterville City Clerk and the Legislative Policy Chair for the Maine Town and City Clerks Association.
Jordan LaBouff, Associate Professor of Psychology and Honors at the University of Maine. umaine.edu/psychology/jordan-labouff/
Paul Markosian, an Ellsworth business owner and member of the Ellsworth School board.

To learn more about this topic:

Eloquent Rage: A Black Feminist Discovers Her Superpower, Brittney Cooper, 2018.
Local election officials are exhausted, under threat and thinking about quitting, Politico, March 2022
Whitmer plot underlines growing abuse of women officials | AP News, March 2022
Bill to make interfering with election workers a crime OK’d | AP News, February 2022
Maine teachers and school board members seek legal protection as they face harassment, February 2022
The Role of Racial Resentment in Our Politics | Brennan Center for Justice, February 2022
The Five Minute Fix, Washington Post, January 2022
City School Board threatened with lawsuits over masking policies, January, 2022

Prerecorded on 3/10/2022 using Zoom technology.

The mostly volunteer team at the League of Women Voters – Downeast who plan and coordinate this series includes: Martha Dickinson, Laurie Fogleman, Starr Gilmartin, Maggie Harling, Ann Luther, Judith Lyles, Wendilee O’Brien, Maryann Ogonowski, Pam Person, Lane Sturtevant, Leah Taylor, Linda Washburn

FMI re League of Women Voters of Maine: www.lwvme.org

About the host:
Ann currently serves as Treasurer of the League of Women Voters of Maine and leads the LWVME Advocacy Team. She served as President of LWVME from 2003 to 2007 and as co-president from 2007-2009. In her work for the League, Ann has worked for greater public understanding of public policy issues and for the League’s priority issues in Clean Elections & Campaign Finance Reform, Voting Rights, Ethics in Government, Ranked Choice Voting, and Repeal of Term Limits. Representing LWVME at Maine Citizens for Clean Elections, she served that coalition as co-president from 2006 to 2011. She remains on the board of MCCE and serves as Treasurer. She is active in the LWV-Downeast and hosts their monthly radio show, The Democracy Forum, on WERU FM Community Radio -which started out in 2004 as an recurring special, and became a regular monthly program in 2012. She was the 2013 recipient of the Baldwin Award from the ACLU of Maine for her work on voting rights and elections. She joined the League in 1998 when she retired as Senior Vice President at SEI Investments. Ann was a founder of the MDI Restorative Justice Program, 1999 – 2000, and served on its Executive Board.

Democracy Forum 2/18/22: Facebook and Democracy: Can They Live Together?

Host: Ann Luther, League of Women Voters of Maine

-How Facebook has transformed our political life. It’s not just Facebook, is it?
-How has it polarized our political identities?
-How has it become so central to our community and political life?
-What threats does it pose to democracy?
-What did the Facebook Papers tell us?
-What are the possible solutions?

Guests:

Jessica Brandt, policy director for the Artificial Intelligence and Emerging Technology Initiative at the Brookings Institution and a fellow in the Foreign Policy program’s Center for Security, Strategy, and Technology.

Judith Rosenbaum, Associate Professor and Chair, Department of Communication and Journalism at the University of Maine.

To learn more about this topic:

www.lwvme.org/democracyforum

Facebook Has a Superuser-Supremacy Problem – The Atlantic, February, 2022

Opinion | The Platform Accountability and Transparency Act is a small step toward solving our social media woes – The Washington Post Editorial January 2022

Autocracy Is Winning – The Atlantic. Anne Applebaum, December 2021

How to fix social media? Start with independent research, Brookings, December 1, 2021

The internet is a battleground. Will democracies win?, Brookings, December 1, 2021

The Facebook Papers, explained – The Washington Post, October, 2021

Facebook Is an Authoritarian State – The Atlantic, September 2021

How to Put Out Democracy’s Dumpster Fire – The Atlantic, April 2021

The Internet Doesn’t Have to Be Awful – Anne Applebaum, March, 2021

The Age of Surveillance Capitalism: The Fight for a Human Future at the New Frontier of Power, by Shoshana Zuboff, January. 2019

Political polarization on Facebook, Brookings, May 2015

Prerecorded on 2/15/2022 using Zoom technology.

The mostly volunteer team at the League of Women Voters – Downeast who plan and coordinate this series includes:

Martha Dickinson
Starr Gilmartin
Maggie Harling
Ann Luther
Judith Lyles
Wendilee O’Brien
Maryann Ogonowski
Pam Person
Lane Sturtevant
Leah Taylor
Linda Washburn

About the host:
Ann currently serves as Treasurer of the League of Women Voters of Maine and leads the LWVME Advocacy Team. She served as President of LWVME from 2003 to 2007 and as co-president from 2007-2009. In her work for the League, Ann has worked for greater public understanding of public policy issues and for the League’s priority issues in Clean Elections & Campaign Finance Reform, Voting Rights, Ethics in Government, Ranked Choice Voting, and Repeal of Term Limits. Representing LWVME at Maine Citizens for Clean Elections, she served that coalition as co-president from 2006 to 2011. She remains on the board of MCCE and serves as Treasurer. She is active in the LWV-Downeast and hosts their monthly radio show, The Democracy Forum, on WERU FM Community Radio -which started out in 2004 as an recurring special, and became a regular monthly program in 2012. She was the 2013 recipient of the Baldwin Award from the ACLU of Maine for her work on voting rights and elections. She joined the League in 1998 when she retired as Senior Vice President at SEI Investments. Ann was a founder of the MDI Restorative Justice Program, 1999 – 2000, and served on its Executive Board.