Skip to Gallatin Navigation Skip to Gallatin Main Content
26 Oct
Oct 26, 2020 | 12:30 PM-1:30 PM


Democracy in Crisis: the Election and the Law

This forum addresses a moment of crisis in American politics. While the nation undergoes another surge of COVID-19 infections and deaths, President Trump has questioned the legitimacy of this year’s election, and refused to promise that he would cede power if he loses, even as the Republican Party engages in tactics of voter suppression unprecedented since Jim Crow. After the death of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg, the Senate's Republican majority overturned historic procedures of advice and consent to secure a 6-3 conservative majority that would annul the ACA and overturn Roe v Wade. As ongoing police violence against Black people has generated months of organized protest, Trump’s campaign demonizes protesters as threats to “law and order.” The fundamental legitimacy of elections, the role of the Supreme Court in American political life, the racialized practice of  so-called criminal justice, and the meaning of rights to assemble and protest, are in question now in ways that put basic democratic principles at risk. How shall we understand the entanglement of politics, law, and race in this fateful moment?

This engaging forum will be primarily conversational and feature brief remarks from Tony Thompson, NYU Law professor and Director of the Center on Race, Inequality, and the Law, as well as Gallatin professors George Shulman and Kimberly Phillips-Fein.