Background Briefing: January 26, 2022


Lessons Learned From RBG With Justice Breyer Retiring From the Supreme Court

We begin with news that Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer will retire soon and already Senate Majority Leader Schumer is promising a replacement “will be considered and confirmed by the full United States Senate with all deliberate speed.” Joining us is Aziz Huq, a Professor of Law at the University of Chicago. He is a former clerk for Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and is the co-author of Unchecked and Unbalanced: Presidential Power in a Time of Terror and How to Save a Constitutional Democracy, and his latest book is The Collapse of Constitutional Remedies. We discuss the extent to which Breyer’s retirement is influenced by Justice Ginsburg’s decision not to retire during the Obama’s administration in spite of her health problems and bouts with cancer which led to her death just weeks before Trump left office giving him his third appointment to the court which now has a 6-to-3 right wing majority.


What Biden Can Accomplish With Executive Orders

Then we look into what President Biden can accomplish via Executive Orders, given how his agenda has been stalled by senators from his own party and speak with David Dayen, the Executive Editor of the American Prospect. The winner of the Ida and Studs Terkel Prize, he is the author of Chain of Title: How Three Ordinary Americans Uncovered Wall Street’s Great Foreclosure Fraud and Fat Cat: The Steve Mnuchin Story, and his latest book is Monopolized: Life in the Age of Corporate Power. We discuss his article at the American Prospect, “The Democratic Pivot: There’s a path to gaining some needed successes on policy and legislation while waiting for a deal to emerge on Build Back Better.”


The Fed Signals Interest Rates Will Go Up in March

Then finally, with the Fed Chairman signaling today that interest rates are likely to be raised in March, we speak with Robert Hockett, who has first-hand experience working at the International Monetary Fund and the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, and continues to consult for a number of US federal, state and local legislators and regulators. He drafted Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s “Green New Deal” resolution for the House of Representatives and officially advises her on economic policy and is the Edward Cornell Professor of Law and a Professor of Public Policy at Cornell University. His latest books are Money from Nothing Or, Why We Should Stop Worrying About Debt and Learn to Love the Federal Reserve and Financing the Green New Deal: A Plan of Action and Renewal, and we discuss his contribution to a round table of 12 leading economists at the Washington Post, “Make America produce again: We can once again make the United States the world’s workshop for democracy.’”