June 25, 2018

The Supreme Court Enables Suppression of Minority Votes
Trump Calls for Even Harsher Treatment of Immigrants
Trump Deliberately Stokes Polarization to Trap Democrats into Lowering the Rhetoric to His Level
Program Notes

We begin with today’s ruling by the Supreme Court upholding Texas’ discriminatory election maps in another blow to the Voting Rights Act. Justin Levitt, a Professor of Law at Loyola University School of Law in Los Angeles joins us to discuss how the court’s newest Justice Neil Gorsuch appears intent on killing off the Voting Rights Act entirely, making a mockery of assurances given by Chief Justice Roberts five years ago that other parts of the act would still protect minority voters after he gutted Section 5 of the Act requiring pre-clearance by the Justice Department of changes to voting laws in states with a history of discrimination. But given today’s 5 to 4 ruling, the future of voting rights for minorities looks increasingly grim because without the only likely swing vote of Justice Kennedy who might retire soon, if Trump were to appoint another justice like Gorsuch to the Supreme Court, then suppression of minority voting rights in this country would get dramatically worse. And although Gorsuch tried to dress up his opinion in arcane legalese, the intention of the ruling appears to be grounded in raw partisan politics.

Then, after saying in a series of angry tweets between golf games on Sunday and President Trump’s day job at the White House today that “we cannot allow these people to invade our Country and that we must “bring them back from where they came”, we speak with Lindsay Nash who helped establish the nation’s first system of institutionally-provided counsel for detained non-citizens facing deportation. A Clinical Professor in the Immigration Justice Clinic at the Cardoza School of Law, she joins us to discuss how after appearing to show compassion for children separated from their parents, Trump is doubling down, blaming Democrats, vilifying immigrants and calling for even harsher treatment at the border by taking away immigrants’ constitutional rights to due process.

Then finally, following Erdogan’s victory in yesterday’s election helped by his control of the press and the state of emergency he has imposed, we examine how autocrats like Erdogan, Maduro and Putin are using the trappings of democracy to claim legitimacy while undermining democracy. Daniel Ziblatt,a Professor of Government at Harvard University whose latest book is “How Democracies Die”, joins us to discuss how our President appears more comfortable with autocrats and, as Trump deliberately stokes the partisan divide to further polarize the country, the Democrats are being drawn into the trap of lowering the rhetoric to Trump’s level.

Jason Levitt | Lindsay Nash | Daniel Ziblatt