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Rule of Law? The State of the U.S. Federal Judiciary

Politics & Public Policy

Rule of Law? The State of the U.S. Federal Judiciary

Friday, March 31, 2023
11:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
Doors at 11:15am / Lunch at 11:30am / Forum begins 12:00pm

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"Vulnerable populations have always in this country lived on that seam where the law is the both instrument of our oppression of horrific violence against us and it is also the instrument of our salvation and redemption." – Dahlia Lithwick

One of the enduring legacies of the Trump administration was a remaking of the Supreme Court and the rest of the federal judiciary. In four years, Trump appointed three Supreme Court justices and more than 220 federal judges, shifting the balance not only on the nation's highest court but also on a significant number of appellate courts, as well. Appointments to the federal bench are lifetime, and many of these appointees are relatively young, ensuring decades of influence. From their distinct vantage points, Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) and Slate writer and podcast host Dahlia Lithwick see these shifts as presenting significant challenges for American society.

First elected in 2006, Senator Whitehouse serves on the judiciary committee. He's also the author of The Scheme: How the Right Wing Used Dark Money to Capture the Supreme Court, which chronicles the efforts of major corporations and organizations to fill the bench with hard-line conservative judges. Whitehouse traces this movement from the Reagan administration to the landmark Supreme Court decision Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission to the present. Kirkus Reviews called the book “a maddening indictment of a corrupt and corrupted judiciary.”

Lithwick is Slate's senior legal correspondent and host of the Slate podcast "Ámicus." She is also the author of Lady Justice: Women, the Law, and the Battle to Save America, highlighting the women who, in the wake of Donald Trump’s election, worked to protect the country’s most marginalized groups and safeguard the rights of Americans.

Senator Whitehouse and Lithwick will join one another in conversation at the City Club to discuss their books and the state of the judiciary.


The livestream will be available beginning at 12:00pm. Have questions? Tweet them at @TheCityClub or send a text to 330.541.5794.

For more information on City Club's health and safety protocols, click here. Email with any questions.

Production and distribution of City Club forums in partnership with Ideastream Public Media is generously provided by PNC and the United Black Fund.

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