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

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.