Event sponsored by (partial list): Law School Admission Council, American College of Trial Lawyers, Flaschner Judicial Institute, Allstate Insurance, Roman Silberfeld, JAMS, Munger, Tolles & Olson LLP, Quarles & Brady LLP, Susman Godfrey LLP, Edward Blumberg, Esq., Cliff Edwards, Esq., Keller Rohrback Law Offices L.L.P., Signature Resolution and Cotchett, Pitre & McCarthy, LLP.
Equal Justice Society President Eva Paterson is among nearly 40 major figures from the legal, judicial, political, academic and media worlds that will gather in Chicago on May 26 to discuss growing threats to the independence and impartiality of courts in the United States and other democracies, and how to fight back. Eva will speak on a panel about race and the courts.
Democracy’s Last Line of Defense: A Symposium on Why and How to Preserve the Rule of Law and an Independent, Impartial Judiciary will take place Thursday, May 26, at The Old Post Office in Chicago. Full details, including a link to register, can be found at the website of The National Judicial College.
Confirmed speakers include:
- Former United States Senator Doug Jones (D-Ala.), who will give the keynote
- Six current and former justices of state and U.S. territorial supreme courts, four of them chief justices, including Tani Cantil-Sakauye of California and Anne M. Burke of Illinois
- Ukraine Supreme Court Justice Ganna Vronska
- Current American Bar Association President Reginald Turner and former ABA President Judy Perry Martinez
- Former Republican National Committee Chair and Montana Governor Marc Racicot
- Dean of UC Berkeley School of Law, author and frequent commentator Erwin Chemerinsky
- Current and former state and federal judges
- Equal Justice Society President and Co-Founder Eva Paterson
- NYU School of Law Stokes Professor of Law Melissa Murray
- Mother Jones Magazine Bureau Chief and MSNBC on-air analyst David Corn
- Former Newsweek legal affairs editor David A. Kaplan, author of “The Most Dangerous Branch: Inside the Supreme Court in the Age of Trump.”
The daylong event will feature panel discussions on a wide range of threats to the impartiality and independence of courts, including partisan pressure, disinformation spread through social media, and racial bias. For example, the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law reported that in 2021, legislators in 16 states introduced 37 bills that would have put pressure or restrictions on judicial decision-making, targeted individual judges for unpopular rulings, or taken away courts’ authority to manage their own rules or resources. Five such bills were enacted.
The penultimate portion of the symposium will have the speakers and audience members mix in groups and use design thinking to brainstorm ideas on how to counter these threats.
Registration for the symposium is $395 for law firm professionals and $145 for all others and includes a reception the evening before at the Fairmont Chicago at Millennium Park.
The event is being sponsored by the organizers listed above along with these Founding Sponsors: Law School Admission Council, American College of Trial Lawyers, Flaschner Judicial Institute, Allstate Insurance, Roman Silberfeld, JAMS, Munger, Tolles & Olson LLP, Quarles & Brady LLP, Susman Godfrey LLP, Edward Blumberg, Esq., Cliff Edwards, Esq., Keller Rohrback Law Offices L.L.P., Signature Resolution and Cotchett, Pitre & McCarthy, LLP.