Conversations host Harry Kreisler welcomes David Cole, National Legal Director of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) for a discussion of two of his ten books-- his first book, No Equal Justice and his most recent book Engines of Liberty. The conversation begins with his reflections on his formative years and the skill set and temperament appropriate for a constitutional lawyer. It then turns to the work of the ACLU and his role as national legal director. On the issue of criminal justice, Cole emphasizes how the structure of the criminal justice system reinforces inequality and sacrifices justice. On the issue of the evolution of the meaning of the Bill of Rights, Cole analyzes the role of political activism in shaping constitutional law with specific reference to the establishment of gun rights and gay marriage rights. The conversation concludes with a discussion of the implications of the changing political landscape-- with its emphasis on libertarian ideology, nationalism, and the importance of social media-- for affecting constitutional law.
Key Words: Constitutional Law, Political Activism, Law, Gay Rights, Gun Rights, Inequality, Law and Inequality, Supreme Court
February 22, 2018
Conversations with History