Thursday, December 13, 2012

GWorks Interviews: Akhil Reed Amar


“It turns out that a lot in our constitutional experience isn't written down in so many words.”
In GWorks Interviews: Akhil Reed Amar, Professor Amar discusses his latest book, America’s Unwritten Constitution: The Precedents & Principles We Live By (Basic Books, 2012), and how the text of the Constitution is "supplemented—not supplanted" by an unwritten constitution.

Akhil Reed Amar is Sterling Professor of Law and Political Science at Yale University. He teaches Constitutional Law at Yale College and Yale Law School.

Part One: (Un)written Describing the book, why Professor Amar wrote it and his idea that we can all do Constitutional interpretation.

Part Two: Invitation The Constitution's invitation to understand it and how this relates to issues like privacy and the Supreme Court's review of same-sex marriage.

Part Three: Extent What makes up the unwritten Constitution and how far does it reach.

Part Four: Limit How the unwritten Constitution supplements—but not supplants—the written Constitution.

Part Five: Meaning What the unwritten Constitution means to forming “a more perfect Union.”

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

GWorks Interviews: Thomas E. Mann & Norman Ornstein



"It's easy to throw up your hands and say, 'This is horrible.'
Or, 'The end of the world is coming.' It's harder to look at what you can do about it."

In GWorks Interviews: Thomas E. Mann & Norman J. Ornstein, the noted Congressional scholars and political observers for over 40 years discuss their latest book, It's Even Worse Than It Looks: How the American Constitutional System Collided With the New Politics of Extremism, the acid state of current political affairs and what to do about it.

Part One: We Are Not Hegelians Their latest book, the Republican party as "insurgent outlier" and that value is found in shared faith in government and problem-solving—not in the synthesis of any contrasting view they might have.

Part Two: Ideology Or Bust The destructive power ideology has over politicians and the political process.

Part Three: End Games Race political opportunity, the debt|deficit and what Republicans are playing for.

Part Four: Inflections Whether this is a make-or-break moment and there is cause for hope.

Mr Mann is Senior Fellow in Governance Studies at The Brookings Institution and Resident Scholar, Institute of Governmental Studies, University of California, Berkeley. He held the W. Averell Harriman Chair at Brookings between 1991 and 2014 and was Director of Governmental Studies between 1987 and 1999. Before that, Mann was executive director of the American Political Science Association.

Mr Ornstein is a Resident Scholar at the American Enterprise Institute. He is a contributing editor and columnist for National Journal and The Atlantic and is an election eve analyst for BBC News. He served as co-director of the AEI-Brookings Election Reform Project and participates in AEI’s Election Watch series. He also served as a senior counselor to the Continuity of Government Commission. Mr. Ornstein led a working group of scholars and practitioners that helped shape the law, known as McCain-Feingold, that reformed the campaign financing system. He was elected as a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2004.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

GWorks Interviews: Frank Partnoy



“There’s been a lot of thinking and writing about how we make decisions, about how why we make certain kinds of decisions, about what we should decide. There hasn’t been as much writing or thinking about when.”
In GWorks Interviews: Frank Partnoy, Professor Partnoy discusses his latest book, Wait: The Art and Science of Delay, a study of the relation of time, timing, decisions and how understanding the value of procrastination makes for better decisions.

Frank Partnoy is George E. Barrett Professor of Law and Finance and the founding director of the Center for Corporate and Securities Law at the University of San Diego School of Law. In addition to Wait, Professor Partnoy has written The Match King: Ivar Kreuger, the Financial Genius Behind a Century of Wall Street Scandals; Infectious Greed: How Deceit and Risk Corrupted the Financial Markets; and F.I.A.S.C.O.: Blood in the Water on Wall Street.

Part One: The Two-Step Wait: The Art & Science of Delay and decision-making as a two-step process.

Part Two: On Second Thought Decisions that take milliseconds.

Part Three: Traders Speed trading, the flash crash, algorithms & procrastinating at the speed of light.

Part Four: Regulating How the ideas in Wait apply to longer-term problems, like market regulation.

Part Five: Waiting Thinking about and changing values.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

GWorks Interviews: Tom Goldstein


"As I've been doing [Supreme Court litigation] now for 15 years...
it gets actually more and more complicated, not simpler and simpler, 
as you realize all the different layers to the onion that you're peeling back."


In GWorks Interviews: Tom Goldstein, Thomas C. Goldstein discusses his start in law practice, the creation of SCOTUSblog, the challenges of covering the Supreme Court and understanding the Court through media and this Term's decision in the health care case.

Mr Goldstein is a founding partner of Goldstein & Russell, a Washington, DC law firm that focuses on Supreme Court litigation. He is also Publisher of SCOTUSblog, the Web site he founded with Amy Howe, Mr Goldstein's wife, law partner and SCOTUSblog Editor.

Part One: That Guy With the Web Site Becoming a Supreme Court litigator.

Part Two: SCOTUSblog, Without Papers Founding SCOTUSbog, a Web site dedicated to the Supreme Court of the United States, the site's evolution and the challenge of covering the Court without a press pass.

Part Three: Courting Media Media coverage of the Supreme Court and what the Court does and might do in a changing media environment.

Part Four: To Your Health The Supreme Court decision in the last Term's health care case (NFIB v. Sebelius)—understanding the Court through a case.

Part Five: Airing|Erring How media (mis)understood the health care decision.

Part Six: Limits Whether the Supreme Court's last Term is a sign of a new willingness to limit Federal Power, what role will the Court play in the coming election and how can we best understand the Court.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

GWorks Interviews: Steve Coll



"I wanted to write about oil in an age of limits and change." 
In GWorks Interviews: Steve Coll, Mr Coll discusses his latest book, Private Empire: ExxonMobil & American Power, an exploration of oil's place in the world by looking at ExxonMobil, the largest company headquartered in the United States, and its place in the United States and abroad as it produces a singular resource and epitomizes American political and economic authority.

Mr Coll is Dean and Henry R. Luce Professor of Journalism at the Columbia Journalism School. He was  President and CEO of New America Foundation. Twice a Pulitzer Prize winning author—once for explanatory journalism; once for "Ghost Wars: The Secret History of the CIA, Afghanistan & bin Laden, From the Soviet Invasion to September 10, 2001"—, Mr Coll is the author of eight books on the oil industry; the telecommunications industry; financial regulation; South East Asia; Osama bin Laden; the Central Intelligence Agency; and Afghanistan. He covered foreign affairs for and was Senior Editor and Managing Editor at The Washington Post. He is a Staff Writer for The New Yorker.

Part One: An Age of Limits & Change How to write about a crucial resource, a reticent corporation and what they say about America's place in the world.

Part Two: Chad: A Basic Dilemma ExxonMobil's search for oil in increasingly unstable environments and the challenges this poses to the way ExxonMobil does business.

Part Three: Standard Bearers How ExxonMobil's roots in Standard Oil and the Rockefeller family affect its present and future.

Part Four: Coherence Regulation and the institutional and political counterweights to ExxonMobil.

Part Five: Valdez|Exxon The impact of the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill and the future of energy, energy companies and American power.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

GWorks Interviews: Benjamin Wittes



In GWorks Interviews: Benjamin Wittes, Mr Wittes discusses his vision for the book and the relationships among technological development, National Security and Constitutional values.

Benjamin Wittes is Senior Fellow in Governance Studies at The Brookings Institution and, together with Jeffrey Rosen, co-Editor of Constitution 3.0: Freedom & Technological Change.

Part One: Imagine That Constitution 3.0 & imagining what and how technology affects Constitutional values.

[Please Note: Due to a technical error, the first five minutes of Part One are audio only.]

Part Two: A Different Day The relationship among technological development, National Security and Constitutional values.

Part Three: Convergence How technological development and the War on Terror affect thinking about military force, law enforcement and the Constitution.

Part Four: Limiting Principle The extent of our ability to gather and analyze data, whether a recent Supreme Court case is a sign we may have reached a Constitutional limit and who should decide.

Part Five: Conclusions Making biological weapons in basements and what readers should take away from Constitution 3.0.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

GWorks Interviews: Lawrence Lessig



Is Congress corrupted? For Lawrence Lessig, Professor of Law at Harvard Law School and author of "Republic, Lost: How Money Corrupts Congress—and a Plan to Stop It," the answer is an obvious and urgent 'yes.' The question is how to understand that corruption and what to do about it. For Professor Lessig, re-directing Congress, now turned from the Republic by the consuming (corrupting) need to raise money to run campaigns, is the necessary first step toward the democratic reforms we need and can achieve to return the Republic to the "People alone."

Part One: Bended Like Beckoned How to understand and undo the corruption he sees infecting Congress

Part Two: Defining Corruption What is "corruption."

Part Three: Street Legal: Regulating Wall Street Corruption and regulating Wall Street.

Part Four: Solving for X What needs reform and how.

Part Five: Conclusions What it says about our Republic that it is awash in money and our Congress is distracted. And, is there hope for us, still?

Thursday, March 1, 2012

GWorks Interviews: Jeffrey Rosen



In GWorks Interviews: Jeffrey Rosen, the George Washington University Law Professor and co-editor of the new book, Constitution 3.0: Freedom and Technological Change, discusses how technology affects our understanding of Constitutional values, what values to protect and how.

Part One: Presenting the Future Constitution 3.0 and Professor Rosen's contribution to it, including a discussion of "Open Planet"—24/7, world-wide video surveillance that may come to a computer near you sooner than you think.

Part Two: Public Private Law Constitutional law, the growing role private corporations play in affecting speech and privacy and how we might best protect our rights in a changing world. 

Part Three: Reasonable Tech-spectations The effect technology is having on established legal understanding of the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution's prohibition of "unreasonable searches and seizures," crime and punishment and whether established Constitutional assumptions may not be in the Constitution after all. 

Part Four: Controlling Authority New ways to think about the government's ability to collect and use data and what the recent US v. Jones case may tell us about Supreme Court thinking. 

Part Five: Conclusions Whether younger generations of technology users will answer questions of Constitutional value differently and how these questions have been resolved over time.