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Sixth & I

Jeffrey Rosen

In Conversation with Noam Scheiber

Jun 22, 2016 • 7:00 pm ET
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As America confronts a new, intensely contested Supreme Court vacancy, there is no justice who can teach us more about our current constitutional debates than Louis D. Brandeis. Brandeis waited 125 days between his nomination and his confirmation a hundred years ago on June 1, 1916, and his confirmation battle was the most contentious in Supreme Court history. Once he joined the Court, Brandeis wrote some of the most influential opinions on issues we are still grappling with today, including privacy, free speech, and excesses of corporate and federal power. He was also the first Jewish justice, the leader of the American Zionist Movement, a powerful advocate for the role of education in democracy, and a jurist whose emphasis on facts inspired justices and Supreme Court advocates from Thurgood Marshall to Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

In Louis D. Brandeis: American Prophet, leading legal expert, President and Chief Executive Officer of the National Constitution Center, and professor at The George Washington University Law School Jeffrey Rosen explores Brandeis’s life, work, and legacy, revealing him as a true heir to Jefferson and the most far-seeing constitutional philosopher of the twentieth century. Drawing on exclusive interviews with current Supreme Court justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, and Elena Kagan, Rosen illustrates Brandeis’s impact on their jurisprudence.

Timed with the 100th anniversary of the Brandeis confirmation, Rosen and Noam Scheiber, a labor and workplace reporter for the New York Times, discuss why Brandeis matters and what he can teach us about the curse of bigness, the 2016 election, and the future of Zionism. Book signing to follow.