The Next Supreme Court: 2016 and the Fight for the Soul of Our Constitution

The Next Supreme Court: 2016 and the Fight for the Soul of Our Constitution

Session Type(s): Panel

Starts: Friday, Jul. 15 4:00 PM

Ends: Friday, Jul. 15 5:15 PM

Room: 225

This election cycle is a pivotal moment for the Supreme Court. For decades, the Court has been profoundly conservative, standing against progress on issues from voting rights to guns to racial and economic justice. The bitter lesson is that it matters who serves on our courts, particularly the Supreme Court. Now, in the throes of a political battle over one vacancy, we must remember that the next president will likely fill three additional seats, controlling the Court for a generation. Join us as we discuss the issues at stake and how activists can make a difference in judicial selection—including tools for local activism and advocacy.

Moderator

Nan Aron

nan.aron

Nan Aron is the president and founder of Alliance for Justice, a national association of over 100 public interest and civil rights organizations. A leading voice in public interest law for over 30 years, Nan founded AFJ in 1979 and guides the organization in its mission to ensure that all Americans have the right and opportunity to secure justice in the courts and to have their voices heard when government makes decisions that affect their lives. Nan has taught at Georgetown and George Washington University law schools and serves on the Dean’s Advisory Council at American University’s Washington College of Law. She received her B.A. from Oberlin College and her J.D. from Case Western Reserve University School of Law.

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Panelists

Renee Bracey Sherman

Renee Bracey Sherman

Renee Bracey Sherman, MPA is an award winning reproductive justice activist committed to the visibility of people who have had abortions. The author of Saying Abortion Aloud: Research and Recommendations for Public Abortion Storytellers and Organizations, she is a writer with Echoing Ida, a project of Forward Together that amplifies the voices of Black women around critical social justice issues. Bracey Sherman’s work on abortion storytelling has been featured on BBC, The Guardian, The Washington Post, EBONY, Salon, Fusion, TIME, and The Atlantic. In 2015, she was named one of Planned Parenthood’s 99 Dream Keepers in honor of Black History Month. Bracey Sherman is the Policy Representative at the National Network of Abortion Funds based in Washington, DC. She holds a Master’s degree in Public Administration from Cornell University and currently sits on the board of NARAL Pro-Choice America. Follow her on Twitter at @RBraceySherman.

Other sessions: From 'Saying Abortion Aloud' to UndocuQueer: A Discussion of Storytelling Genres and Methods

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Keith Ellison

keith.ellison

DescriptionKeith Maurice Ellison is an American politician and lawyer serving as the 30th Attorney General of Minnesota. A member of the Democratic–Farmer–Labor Party, Ellison was the U.S. Representative for Minnesota’s 5th congressional district from 2007 to 2019.

Other sessions: TPP: Trade "Trump-ing" the Election [Voter Pick], Making Progressive Issues Presidential: How Debt-free College Became Central to this Election, Grassroots Power: How to Beat the Koch Brothers at Organizing, Ending the Endless War and Advancing a Progressive Global Vision

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Senator Jeff Merkley

Senator Jeff Merkley

U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley is the son of a millwright and the first in his family to attend college. Born in the timber town of Myrtle Creek, Oregon, Merkley has spent his career fighting to increase opportunities for working families. For more information about Senator Jeff Merkley and the work he’s doing for Oregon, please visit his website at www.merkley.senate.gov

Other sessions: Keep It in the Ground: Getting the Federal Government Out of the Fossil Fuel Business

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Ambar Pinto

Ambar Pinto, 22, was born in Cochabamba, Bolivia to a Mexican mother and a Bolivian father. She moved to the U.S. at the age of 12 and has lived in Northern Virginia ever since. Ambar was aware of her undocumented status and knew that things would be difficult. She enrolled in the Edu-Futuro leadership program, when Ambar was able to talk about her status for the first time. She then served this organization’s board for six years. In 2012, Ambar became a co-founder of Dreamers of Virginia (DoV) and has been working to achieve higher education for all undocumented youth in that state. DoV advocated for a partial victory in April of 2015 when the Attorney General Mark Herring declared that undocumented youth with DACA would be able to get in-state tuition rates. Ambar is passionate about defending people’s rights especially those who are victims of an unjust and racist immigration system. She joined UWD’s Deportation Defense Program in 2015, and led Dreamers of Virginia to have their first action to end the 287(g) program in Prince William County.

Other sessions: Advanced Organizing Strategies for Immigration and Criminal Justice


Anisha Singh

Anisha Singh

Anisha Singh is the Director of Judicial Nominations at Planned Parenthood Federation of America where she develops the organization’s democracy and courts strategy through coordinated campaigns to protect reproductive rights and health in our courts.

Prior to joining Planned Parenthood, Anisha was the senior organizing director for Generation Progress, the youth-engagement arm of the Center for American Progress. In this capacity, Anisha developed national organizing strategies and training programs to bring the experiences of 18- to 35-year-olds to on-the-ground actions in target states. Prior to joining Generation Progress, Anisha served as the campaign manager for Legal Progress at American Progress. There, she shaped the conversation around the nation’s judicial process by managing unprecedented grassroots organization efforts across the country to educate Americans on the need to fill judicial vacancies with diverse, progressive judges.

She previously served as a policy attorney and program manager for United Sikhs, where she focused on human and civil rights advocacy on behalf of minority communities internationally, with an emphasis on post-9/11 discrimination concerns. There she founded United Sikhs’ national Anti-Bullying Campaign to proactively assist victims of bullying in partnership with the White House Anti-Bullying Initiative and the U.S. Department of Education, and as co-counsel, Anisha won a historic anti-discrimination case against the U.S. Army.

Anisha brings with her more than a decade of experience in public interest and social justice work, with a strong grassroots organizing and legal background. Anisha’s background includes immigration, gun violence prevention, AAPI engagement, race and ethnicity, religion, employment discrimination, labor, civil rights, international criminal justice, and trial advocacy. Anisha received her B.A. with summa cum laude honors in political science and communication studies from Florida State University and received her J.D. from the University of Virginia School of Law. She is barred in Washington, DC and Maryland and was named one of Forbes Magazine’s “30 under 30″ for law and policy in 2016.

Other sessions: The Screening Liberally Reel Action Showcase

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