Background Briefing: April 3, 2023
The GOP Embraces Lawlessness Placing Trump Above the Law While Denigrating the Rule of Law
We begin with the law closing in on Donald Trump as he made his way to New York today for tomorrow’s arraignment in which he faces 34 counts in charges brought by the Manhattan DA following extensive grand jury testimony from witnesses. We discuss the embrace of lawlessness by the Republican Party who are placing Trump above the law while denigrating the rule of law. Joining us is Lawrence Douglas, the James Grosfeld Chair in Law, Jurisprudence and Social Thought at Amherst College. He is a contributing opinion writer to The Guardian and hIs latest book is Will He Go? Trump and the Looming Electoral Meltdown in 2020. We discuss his article at The Guardian, “Is the long arm of the law finally catching up to Trump and Putin?”
The Republican Strategy of Weaponizing the Judiciary by Forum-Shopping in an End-run Around the Executive and Legislative Branches
Then we examine the Republican strategy of weaponizing the judiciary in an end-run around the executive and legislative branches by forum shopping to far-right ideology-driven judges who strike down laws that are appealed to higher courts stacked with Trump-appointed ideologues. Joining us is Jonathan Zasloff, a professor of law at UCLA school of law where he teaches legal history and public policy. His recent work examines the influence of lawyers and legalism in U.S. international relations, the response of public institutions to social problems, and the role of ideology in framing policy responses. We discuss his article at The American Prospect, “How Biden Can Fight Back Against Lawless Judges” and what can be done to stop deliberately chosen Texas federal judges, one who just struck down parts of the Affordable Care Act and another about to outlaw nationwide a medical abortion drug approved by the FDA 22 years ago.
The Youngest Female World Leader Loses to Older Men as Finland is Poised to Enter NATO
Then finally we look into the results of the elections in Finland that dealt a blow to the youngest world leader who was considered an attractive fresh face in a club dominated by older men. Joining us to discuss the elections and Finland’s entry into NATO on Tuesday is Derek Shearer, who served in the Clinton administration as an economics official in the Commerce Department, and then as Ambassador to Finland. He is currently a Professor of Diplomacy and World Affairs at Occidental College and the Director of the McKinnon Center for Global Affairs at Occidental College.