tv ACLU Membership Conference - Panel on the Rule of Law CSPAN June 11, 2018 11:59pm-1:14am EDT
check the program out. if you believe in journalism is making change and not forgetting that there is a verifiable data and evidence, but the belve there's a larger role for journalism over time, there's a passion to it. you can make a living, better living in other arenas if you wish to. >> this is been a wonderful discussion today, thank you. [applause] >> thank you so much. [applause] >> we will wrap up now. as i understand senator warren is the next speaker. [applause] thank you for joining us. thank you, it has been great.
♪ ♪ >> good morning i want to welcome you to this panel. i welcome the listeners who are listening and i want to say how honored and thrilled i am to be moderate in this panel at this moment. i would like to start with a lightning round. i want to ask a question that has been on my mind for the last couple of days. the rule of law has almost entirely lost meaning to me in the last year. the phrase that made sense throughout law school and rule of law is now a notion.
it can mean everything from respect to the constitution to logical truth, language and word. it can mean belief in an independent judiciary, i do not know what rule of law means. it would help this conversation for folks to have a sense, when you think about this is an erosion of the rule of law, what does that mean? >> i guess i think the rule of law is about the concept that power must be constrained. and it must be constrained to protect those who do not have power. for me it's the notion of checks and balances which come at the end of the day they are there to protect liberty and to protect
those who cannot protect themselves through the political process. >> one of the core concepts of the rule of law is the notion that no individual person is above the law. we don't make it up as we go along, we have rules that are defined and everyone knows what kind of conduct they can engage in and what is prohibited. we don't move that for one person. like say the president of the united states. [applae] >> david and joyce have set up a it's important to remember for so much of the nation's history the rule of law has been a source of oppression. to get back to david's point, marginalized communities have depended on institutions in
order to change what those rules have been. right now with the corrosion of every democtic institution which determines political and economic power to the attacks on the free press on the federal judiciary, these core institutions that are fundamental to being able to have a robust conversation about what the rule of law means for the least among us, they are being fundamentally transformed in ways that will make justice that much more difficult for people to achieve and reach. that's where were in an unprecedented moment in the country. >> richard, what does the rule of law mean to you? >> the rule of law is essentially about not becoming
absolute power. that using governments to push the agenda of one's own particular secretary and group or racial group on others. to live with other people in a democracy in every public in form of government. what we are going through now is a very worrisome challenge to the rule of law. we have the republican form of government in this country for well over 200 years, but we could visit. germany lost a republican form of government in the 1930s, after only about 15 years because of the same pressures. people focused on racial identity.
and they obsessed on their differences rather than coming together to support a democracy with a rule of law. our constitution is something we need to value and defend. that is not what's going on in washington. >> i think i want to start with you richard. chronologically you made the word emoluments cool before anybody knew what that was. i think i choked last week when scott pruitt there is some question about him sending security staff out to get extensive hand lotion. i joked that they put the emollients into the emollient club. i have been waiting to make that joke for a year and a half. >> and, we are done. richard, i think the lens that
you have offered into this conversation about all, norms in the rule of law is that of corruption. i wonder if as the lawsuits progress if you have a sense that people understand that there is a foreign and domestic emollients clause. that there are long-standing norms around investment and openness. this has been something front and center a year and, to have a sense that folks are registering that this is urgently important as a rule of law constitutional issue? or is it way too complicated. >> the word emoluments is strange to people, it has a latin root.
is something the founders understood, it would be easy for foreign governments to correct american officials to allow them to be doing business with a foreign government. this is a topic i wrote about before donald trump came along. i was worried or campaign-finance system after citizens united will allow foreign governments to infiltrate our democracy. i wrote a book on this in early 2016 and didn't mention trump because i didn't think he would be elected president. we anticipated this thread so foreign governments using their money to infiltrate and taking back money they cannot win through arms and american
revolution. it is quite clear what's going on with donald trump. that's why i pointed that out. i used to live in new york when i was a lawyer and younger. donald trump are a lot of money for people around new york and never paid it back. we know he's borrowing money, i don't know who it is because he won't poster tax return. we need to take it very seriously what's going on with for government. so white dessert president start tweeting about jobs in china after he gets a good business deal in china? >> do other folks on the panel have thoughts if as a rule of law issue this has traction? do folks out there thinks this is an incandescent crime of
corruption or is this something just not tracking or resonating with the american people? >> i think initially it did, when trump had been elected and the question was what would he do with his assets and would he divest them and put them in a blind trust or deal from his office in the interest of his business. he has done so much since then that deserves outrage, and this could be said of almost every -- he is done so much that is the last thing that we lose sight of it. it is critical. one aspects of the rule of law separating out public office in public servi from private
interests. donald trump does not understand those are two different things. the rule of law is designed to reinforce that. essentially impose impulse control. ag donald trump doesn't seem to understand the concept of impulse control. i think it deserves our continued attention. i am grateful that richard's crew has been litigating this issue. there could be in there may be a tipping point in which these things come together and people really stand up together. >> another piece of this is important, this notion of self-dealing and corruption does resonate. their people were confused about the things the president is getting away with.
scott pruitt cannot imagine another administration. everything has come out about this man. what i think is so dangerous about the moment were in with all these things coming out, it's like the first big thing that came out and now there's 1500 scary democracy. what i worry about is that we begin to legitimize. it's relentless absurdity that the administration is getting away with. it is amazing to be in this room at the aclu. and to see you organizing at the leadership conference, it's a big deal. the main thing is this becomes
legitimized. we can barely keep up with the pace of what is happening. when you think about he stopped to focus on scott pruitt anyone of these would have been a massive scandal in another administration. that's on us to figure out how to keep this focus. how do we refuse to let this become normal. >> there's a very practical lesson. we have norms that seem like they could never be broken. the idea that presidents -- that ivanka trump would get trademarks in exchange for government policy. but we'll have to do at the end of this administration is put new laws in place to make sure that presidents release their tax returns.
that things are made more explicitly it a federal crime so that things like richard and normal have better laws to litigate against. he's unthinkable to become thinkable. because there have been so many corruption issues, are institutions and rule of law does not have the peace it needs to deal with it. that's a challenge, making sure we bring new teeth to the law. [applause] lemanski this question, we do have constitutional remedies. we have impeachment as a remedy, the 25th amendment, these have been floated. there's a conversation going on now some have written a book suggesting impeachment may or may not be required legally and
constitutionally but tactically it's not smart right now. wyers, what is theare good constitutional offramp. is there one or is it that we vote? >> i think it is that we vote. that each of us acceptshe obligation to share with their friends and neighbors but the truth and objective truth this. then we go into our duty as americans and vote. were in washington i know many live in cities that may not seem like a huge metropolitan neighborhood but it is larger than the other cities in birmingham. we have an obligation to help our fellow citizens understand
what'spening and where their self-interest lies. we have struggled to do that for many reasons. this administration has successf p o a counter narrative not granted in the truth. a challenge will be defeating that narrative. >> anybody else ever thought about if the constitution is the solution? >> i think the constitution is a solution in this sense. it envisions an autocratic leader. it created checks and balances designed to check autocratic leaders. did not envision one party control. when one controls the presidency congress, the supreme court, two thirds of the legislature, those formal checks and balances are not as effective as they are in mes o divided government.
they also vision civil society as a checking function, the citizenry coming together in organizations like the aclu to stand up for the rights and values under attack. the press which can stand up to power and disclose wrongdoing. one of the most encouraging things is how many people have stood up. and they have joined organizations like ours, increase their support of organizations like planned parenthood or the leadership conference, they started new organizations like indivisible in various democracies.
that is where the salvation lies. it ultimately up to us and protected by the constitution. it's the right to speak, the right to associate rig to assembly. that is a check on government. if we use it. >> david is right. whether doing this work with the last months what is happened is there no checks and balances are insufficient once. congress is asleep at the switch supporting everything the president has done. fundamentally this can't continue. comes down to voting in
november. everything we care about is at stake. there is a moment in november where people have to vote their values. we seen this in virginia, alabama and other places where a narrative that was deeply polarizing and racist led by candidates first rejected. if we don't, we have the courts at stake, trump is changing the course and terrifying ways. the citizen ship question is added. that was in a clear black and white documents that the justice department had to submit. they will set the rules of the debate. unless we turn it around, everything else in all of these, we will continue to fight. but we have to translate it into
people coming out to the polls and shifting the dynamics. i know that is what you are doing in the communities. [applause] i want to reflect on the fact that wer a few moments in a nobody has said robert mueller. then, sometimes i get nervous because i think robert mueller is the corrective that they're talking about where everybody says, it's okay because robert mueller is going to save us. almost thinking there's another reality show that were watching. even though it's happening in the dark, every leak, whisper it swells to fill the entirety of the evening news. when asked whether we all agreed
that putting stuff in impeachment is not healthy. is putting too much stock in the magic of the mueller probe of the consequences it might be another version of putting too much faith in impeachment? every two magical and are thinking that the lawyer on the white horse will save us all? >> robert mueller's charge is a focus on crime there were committed in connection with russia. he's not getting into other stuff. he's not going to stray from his core focus. which is russia. inriminal activity with russia. there may have been collaboration with the russians th was not criminal but it's extremely worrisome.
he's not going to be able to file an indictment of that. furthermore serious crimes that have absolutely nothing to do with russia and not w robert muell purview. do all of thetaa here in robert mueller on fox or whatever. from so-called experts. his doing the job and is focused on a narrow set of issues. surrounding that the number of indictments. beyond that the constitution and the executive branch does not have limited power. congress has the power to investigate into impeachment circumstances warrant.
we are past where we were and 73 when theouse had hearings. i remember salmon the summit on those hearings it's about time they get down to business. we'll figure if the evidence justified impeachment. [applause] there are no single saviors that will get us out of this mess. that's why keep returning. we are the power that we need to be. the attack on mueller's investigation are so concerning and we need to be in the streets of trump fire smaller. but, how many of us are afraid of president pence? this is not right. let's be clear about what it is
in the change that were seeking to make. thoncern about mueller being fired is it's a clear statement that trump believes he is the king. he does not understand the very basic functions of the democracy and he is not above the law. the justice department only survives with the notion that nobody is above the law. it is fundamental and inherent toward democracy. that is why i am deeply concerned about the mueller investigation. frankly, whatever the outcome is, we still have to deal with more fundamental set of issues because losing trump could bring in pence and then where are we? we have to fundamentally think about our values.
we have got to have a much broader view of the change that we need to see in this country. >> i'm interested in the comment that you make that mueller's magical. we have seen that idea. it's almost like he's a savior that will riding on a white horse. like richard says, that will not happen. that is not his role under the rule of law. if we respect te o law, we respect it when it helps us and when we wish it could do more. but, mueller's job and the job of his team of investigators and prosecutors is to determine if the criminal law of the united states has been violated. they will not indict unless they believe they can prove it in a court in front of a jury. beyond a reasonable doubt pretty
it's an incredibly high standard. i know they like to say you can indict a ham sandwich but was the point if you can't convicted at trial. that leaves a big job for all of us to do. what happens if there's proof that there's something beyond a reasonable doubt and those of you who pay attention to the news now increasingly evidence of the public to me that let's us know something happen that was not right. whether mueller indicts hernan will have the obligation to make sure his work. fulfill. as if bipartisan hearings are long overdue. whether it's indivisible and how we vote in november. but, we cannot let mueller be
the end-all and be-all. >> want to make an observation and it's outstanding that i city with four lyers. like the solutions mueller's fire people are going to have to take to the streets, i keep reflecting on the day after the travel ban. every nerd lawyer with a laptop at the arrival gate trying to teach themselves immigration law. really they were real estate lawyers. they really show that. i suspect i speak for a lot of lawyers when i say, i want to know what 2.0 that looks like when lawyers get activated. i worry a bit and want to push
back on the notion that it's when mueller's fire. you can fire rod rosenstein or scuttle this investigation in ways that will not trigger tha i think what i'm asking and certainly the question i get, what is that break the glass moment for lawyers, and what if we missed it, how are we going to know? so there's a good question. >> david. >> i think it takes a lot. i tell my law student students f you go to law school you are accepting the notion of incremental change. you are not a revolutionary. on revolution don't really go together.
i think it takes a lot for lawyers to rake the glass. there's a lot that lawyers can do and we have seen muslimands two-point oh in terms of the activities that lawyers have engaged in to stand up with the support of the citizenry against the things that donald trump is done. two days after president trump was elected is said if you do the things he said he will do, we will see you in court. we have seen it in court. the muslim ban was the first case we sued them over separating immigrant families and over.a into nine young woman
immigration custody the right to have an abortion and over sanctuaries to these. we sued him over detaining a u.s. citizen. time and time again we have prevailed in court. what i have on my twitter feed is we will see you in court episode number. i think i'm on episode number 121. i think it's a critical part of this notion of the rule of law. we can fight back against someone who is revolutionary by reinforcing the values of law that this country stands for, not by some sort of revolutionary means.
i'll say one thing about we will see you in court. the change in the aclu since trump has been elected has been remarkable. we went up to 1.8 million members. we have celebrities and all kinds of celebrities who want to support us. for me, the moment i realized the aclu had arrived was the week after the muslim ban. my wife was during the new york times crossword puzzle. there was a clue, group that told president trump, we will see you in court. [laughter] i told her the answer was aclu. . .
>> and that is when people are called to do right now. but e to organize and change the makeup of things because we just are and political power will be determined state legislatures around the country and organizing fundamentally right now it is about getting out there but at the end of the day we have to be organizing
for those values we believe in. >> go-ahead. [applause] but it is such an important point i would like to hear what you think but first we have to get good judges on the court for those kinds of judges who are not get to the senate judiciary committee have to have overtly was rewritten horrifying racist things or not know what the basic rules of evidence are in then everybody else get through but part of what you say is so important because the courts don't tweet back or respond to attacks and when the president d legitimizes an entire branch of government to
go after a so-called judge, if we don't. the idea of the judiciary with the whole notion that the court are not in a posture to defend themselves, that is a place where we have not always stepped up because i think there is magical thinking about court protecting. >> i totally agree. that is one of the guest parts for me right now that progresses just have not understood that the court the infrastructure of the court will not protect itself. where i was running% in your great state of alabama there were voters who say we don't like it so we have to make sure the supreme court you just don't have that volume on the progressive side when they are 25 years ahead of us in
terms of funding we are playing the asymmetrical war for the independent judiciary and everything that we care about. everything that you talk about plays itself out in the courts right now. i just think that we as a community and the movement have really understood what we have to do and frankly the racist nominees are making it through the only one, there was one that said transgender children that we have a lot of nominees making it through like brown versus board of education thing that was correctly decided and and the swift feed at which this is happening it is like the boiling of the product we
watch the process we will live with the consequences of this regeneration. >> does anybody else have thought for the full don't necessarily have a great idea how to protect the independent additional branch? we know the fbi and the justice department and everybody who is delegitimized at the same concern about the asymmetry with respect to the court does writing me viscerally. have you thought about the message particularly when every judge including republican appointees is tagged as a judge of the resistance? how do you continue to message that the courts are different? >> there has been a lot of talk left and right how it is
just a political act. so there political or biased behind these decisions and yes there is some of that. judges are not entirely neutral in everything but if you describe judges somehow be just another politically motivated branch, that is very dangerous. judges have an obligation as best they can to uphold the law not to further the interests of their own particular religious group or whatever it might be. and we need to stand firm for the independent judiciary. there is right and wrong there is a constitution and one of
the great fears that i have from the right that discovered identity politics. so you have people who say we should move the embassy to jerusalem. i don't agree with that is no justification to go on cnn to violate our constitutional right that is identity politics run amok on the right wing. some people say they are christian but that everything he does is okay now from the book of genesis while he destroys zero but because he is a christian type of person. but his abuse of power and is the payoff from a lobbyist working for the energy industry with the type of
mindset that is extremely dangerous and that is what could destroy us. when you view your identity with the ethnic group to be remportahan a democracy. but that is going on with those who are defending whether cnn or fox news or anywhere else we need to an up against it becae it is flat out wrong. [applause] >> you have a lock on protecting the independent judiar >> going back to what vanita gupta said we are so far behind the conservative favorite for those that believe things that we believe with value on the importance of the judiciary because i
have the same conversations with so many republican friends last few months and it goes something like this. how do you to support the president doing xyz and then they will tell you over and over i don't like the fact that they tear children away from their moms at the border but i'm willing to put up with that to get great federal george's in the supreme court. one -- federal judges. we don't fully appreciate the sacrifice the other side is willing to make in order to get this approved court pics. we need to take that issue head on to make sure people understand our values are a part of the court and we will continue to lose if we have an entire generation of judges that will not stand up for the basic principles we fought for over the years like brown
versus board of education. this is slipping away from a model -- a. [applause] and judge corsets went on the record at his confirmation hearing to say unequivocally brown was correctly found so one year later it is possible to take the posture that is because it may come before me again? because of racial segregation bubbling up? that is in a sounding seachange in around what judges do and you are right we barely trust it. outrage number 974 that day. but now to say discussed. [laughter] and we can start if you want
me just have a tiny little breakdown. [laughter] we can start with the aca in the career lawyers with the new mitigation maybe we will start with that but let's talk about what policies on incarceration or drugs or prison or century city that they are happily changing side. do you want to start? some type of non- breakdown assessment of what has happened in the justice department? >> sure. i started at the aclu january 9, 2017 and on january 11 i testified in the just session
domination. we don't take positions to endorse nominees but i made it very clear we are not in that position but here are the questions that you ought to ask before you vote in favor of this nominend i concluded by saying we don't endorse or oppose the nominee but if you have an intern applying for one of your senatorial staff physician with as many unanswered questions or badly answered question in his record as jeff sessions you would not hire that person. they didn't listen to me or anyone out who testified in the hearing and they confirmed him and now he is acting true to form reversing so much of the great work done by t2 and
c-17 with criminal justice and the administration going from smart justice back to that tough on crime rhetoric and policy of the latter part of the 20th century that is what created mass incarceration reversing policy reversing deposition and many lawsuits that we are involved in the supreme court the ohio case while they are purging voters from voter registration if they don't vote assuming the only reason you would not vote is you must have moved out of the state when in fact we know 50% in general don't vote in every election. so the justice department for 20 years took the position you can't remove people for this kind of conduct now they join
on our side in that case and we won in the six circuit then the ohio to get up in the justicepartment reversed its position it had taken for 20 years on republican and democratic administration. in the case which was a challenge justice department enforces nondiscrimination laws never before in the history as it supported an argument there is a constitutional right to discriminate. and here this justice department supported that men most recent event last week with the affordable care act is the icing on the cake so chalk has been trying to reverse obamacare he came into
office and has failed because he stood up and people went to town called and said that we want the protection on pre-existing condition we want insurance companies not to charge more if you get back. and he was unable to return that site could take away the enforcement may consent behind the individual mandate that tax that you pay if you don't buy insurance and not covered by your employer the only piece of legislation he can enact now he argues in court they cannot defend the constitutionality of the affordable care act because since congress repealed that one provision, they must have wanted to appeal the rest of that so the court should appeal that in get rid of those protection and the
requirement that they cannot charge you more if you are sick. do you defend a federal statute it is your job to defend the federal statute, there is no reasonable argument that you can advance. your there are boatloa of reasons why and they told congress we will not defendant. this is the justice department who really has turned on its head the notion of justice. >> it's terrible and it's awful and a worse possible attorney general that i could have imagined with his nomination compared to the other candidate and it is all born out to be true.
on every level the man has been advancing a white supremacist view of america. i don't know he saw the interview last week a conservative tal sw radio host where hugh hewitt went after him rather relentlessly and i appreciated it about i was that just session and stand for separating children from their mothers at their border and to hear his response i don't know how he sleeps at night. i don't know how can take this position and i would urge all of you to listen to the interview it was an important moment i think that session has turned the mandates of the justice department on their head as the abandoned civil right and completely stopped
in its tracks embolden law enforcement against everything and then they began to promote after fergusono when trump is celebrated and i give credit because they highlight life without parole with incarceration that kudos for that and meanwhile he has put in place in attorney general that notnly has stopped all criminal justice reform underway that had begun reduce for the first time in decades the federal population but now massively increase the federal prison population and reintroduce solitary confinement every piece of
work that attorney general holder tried to put in place finally beginning to address e of the most shameful crisis of massive restoration. see you cannot speak out of one side of your mouth and then watch with the attorney general is doing. for lgbt hugh rice criminal justice reform issue have to on the issue calls the voting rights act intrusive makes a lot of the work that we care about jeff sessions knows the levers of power he was u.s. attorney knows which to push him on those funng extremes. so while i think in washington have to do everything we can to resist that agenda, no
tion that work in the mantle that has been started and criminal justice reform it is that much more important that the work you're doing in your community with that tremendous power is justice department has to set the agenda across the country at the same time we have to be able to fight back in our state for wyatt is out of the norm even with his own party. frankly i think if something doesn't change in november it will only get worse. but what is important to step right out that many of us have with attorney general session
with violations of the rule of law. but to emphasize the objective and to focus on the law. we may have a disagreement over one set of problems the second set is when you happen attorney general violating the will of law and by the second measure of objective truth to this atty. is one of the worst we have had under president nixon and in the will and administration remember the palmer raids. this attorney general lied under oath. about his contact with the russians. he lied under oath.
i will and op-ed in the new york times calling for his resignation. and then to ask myself should atty. general session one of the worst we have ever had? the answer to that is no. because if he goes robert mueller goes. lying under oath and has nothing to do with those other issues that we are in a very troubling situation to keep this man were he is for the time being. and from subverting the rule
of law. [applause] would that change at the justice department? >> but then imagine if barack obama had done whatever. >> and to avoid that with the justice department if eric holder had lied under oath during his confirmation? these are troubling concepts isn't quite that public into with the attorney general session and the prosecutors across the country through the
93 u.s. attorneys offices nationwide. and what does that mean? he will have a greater capacity to carry out his priority is attorney general. and priority numbers. and loretta lynch made those decisions about those priorities and prosecutors should think about doing fewer but more significant cases. go after public corruption or white-collar crime. cartel or civil rights or immigration cases. under the obama administration
and then to prosecute those those human beings. but this justice department is very different. for those two illegally reenter the united states without doing more. and now we are prosecuting people simply for being illegally present. and that is the rationale separating parents from their children. with the new prosecutorial resources. and the return to the war on crime is that movement forward through the 1950s based on the ideology of fear and if there is one thing i learned
at the doj and then the career employee and then to continue their work forward. then to move forward on a linear track. and then to take us back to that ideology that indicates that approach on criminal justice that there are so man deplorable's we cannot focus on all of them. >> but then in some form or another to talk about
that if democrats ever and troll that we will reinstate the filibuster and go back to all the things of the norms in the that make the institutions great. so what does it mean when words have meaning and institution matter? the others not have a lot of compunction? maybe that isn't a fair characterization but i think it is exhausting trying to advance your interest with those institutions that really do matter. >> does anybody want to take a crack? >> in the playbook with
respect to have 50 votes with the supreme court of the united states but with that filibuster that is the end run around and you have to have 50 votes. with the united states the cream court. but the way it has been handled you can filibuster it is a big problem because judging on ideology in the law school for decades and now the ultra right wing take this message to say put in the right judges and justices and that christian message or whatevit religious identity through our
constitution and it is a very dangerous trap. but it is important to honor our traditions and constitution where the balance of power is an to confirm judges and justices and by the waanswer the question if they cannot they will be weighed which is 45 years old as a physician or at least that you uphold that you have to be for abortion to uphold but to be in favor of 45 years of case law that says during the first trimester says government say off and those justices that are appointed by president and so this is not a progressive or conservative issue. to have somebody sitting there that is supposed to answer
questions tuesday i cannot say on a pending case well will be weighed is not a pending case no more than brown versus board of education. i want to hear under oh citizens united. [applause] to talk about judicial activism nine justices i don't think any of them are elected office they don't know and they say we will pages of first amendment rights. i want to answer question vanita gupta. >> anyone else want to take a crack? >> i think the aclu has been fighting virtually 100 years. what do the defense? the situation of the bill of
rights. equal protection we protect you process. with the institution that needs the defense of the pele of committed citizens. they are not self enforcing. and that is much of what we do. in part why so many people have come to the aclu in the wake of president from selection because they realize the need for a very strong defense. but it is not consistenthito ad. the institution of free speech we fought for years to protect that right in a defensive posture when the government was targeting anarchist and
communist and civil rights activists. and ultimately the one by achieving very strong first amendment protection in this country in a series of decisi b it came from 50 years of organized engage battles to protect jeanette within the constitution to begin with but what it needed to mean. so that was part and parcel the same thing like i would just add back to my first point which is for people of color with you should you don't want to just romanticize those institutions they hold communities over time but it
is a struggle we find yourself right now which is there is a project to make institutions more acceptable so you can unpack that just like rule of law could mean a lot of different thing but you have the ideals of what they are supposed to be in the constant struggle to make them accountable to everyone and not just the status quo and powerful but we find yourself in a situationiv rights lawyers we have relied on the court to vindicate those to vote people into office to change the tenor of the conversation and those vehicles right now are under threat. it isn't to say we can do one without the other but be on,
the gloves are off rules on the immigration process now they areorms and traditions so what happens if and when a different party comes into power? it isn't to say that they have all the answers but just to return back to say these are the norms and traditions we abide by thon wven we were screwed by the other side that we have to play a little tougher. [applause] we need to understand the long-term consequences of our actions to the institution from when somebody else is in power i'm a firm believer have to protect those things but
also what we rely on those that play by johnson traditions to be people but think outside of the box and to figure out how to we protect our institutions or continue to engage and also how do you win? that is part of the messy calculus but that is where we've got to be. >> we will wrap up with the lightning round. looking at activated passionate people they are not known. they are burned out please tell them the one thing they can do to take home and message and fight a war with respect to the rule of law? i can't change the senate judiciary committee rule but what what is one piece of
advice several can do to protect loblaw and america? >> about. [ause] market is critically important the constitution set forth the possibility and the right is everybody's society the citizens have an obligation to vote every two years and then one third of the senate every two years that is your responsibility to get the word out. expect congress to do his job. respect the constitution. the first amendment to the monument cause. [laughter] and the first amendment i first became disgusted with donald trump as a presidential candidate talking about banning people from emigrating
to our country based on religion. religion is one thing they got right. people come to this country for free exercise of religion. taing that way i've never seen that rhetoric in a political campaign and i don't know of any in the history i do know about 1932 in germany. we don't tolerate that we defend our constitution. that is what i will do in november. [applause] connect one action that will take to defend the loss? >> about. [laughter] not just in november but every election local prosecutors and state board officials. boat downstream also key organizing. every fight you're fighting
there is a target figure out the targets and get organized and take action. that is all we can do to take action wherever we can to be smart and strategic and boat to make a connection. so i don't have any doubt anyone in this room will go out to vote in november. but the issue is who will you take with you? you live in alabama make sure your neighbors have identification we have the worst act in the country it is hard for people to vote people and rural areas having rotation and most importantly that numbness that we have because everything we have when there are those the portables that happen every day a lot of people just try to go to work take care of their parents and their kids become numb.
it is difficult to engage on these issues so help your friends and neighbors and taken with you in november. [applause] >> sounding like a broken record but over 2018 and 2020 so like your civil liberties depend on. [applause] and that is absolutely critical donald trump did not win the election by getting more votes by john mccain he won because those who care about civil liberties did not come out and vote on the other side and hillary got essentially fewer votes than president obama had gotten. if those who believe in liberty come forward, we can prevail and i went with with a quote that is the inspiration for my most recent bookt tha
comes from a judge in u.s. court of appeals second circuit in new york and was giving a speech to 150,000 immigrants taking the oath for the first time this was an actual ceremony of 150,000 in 1,942,000 in 1942 so many people they held in central park and they asked the judge to speak to them. he talked about the period of liberty and said liberty lies in the hearts of men and women. when it dies there no court order no constitutiona no locking. while it lies there, it needs no court of constitutional law to save it. i think like many great quotes thk we need the courts in you
the constitution they remind us of our better self and hold us to a dealut absolutely true that liberty lies in the hearts of men and women. in addition, go out and encourage your fellows be as as active as you are enjoying the feel you and the power of organizing and engage in the struggle for liberty at the end of the day the citizenry will save us talking to shannon and not the courts. thank you. [applause] >> thinks to the aclu for the extraordinary honor to to moderate this fantastic discussion thank you for being here today and all of you for the amazing work that you do