Ilya Somin | Clinton School Presents

Ilya Somin

Interview with Ilya Somin.  Ilya Somin is a Professor of Law at George Mason University. His research focuses on constitutional law, property law, and the study of popular political participation and its implications for constitutional democracy.  Somin is the author of “Democracy and Political Ignorance: Why Smaller Government is Smarter” and “The Grasping Hand: Kelo v. City of New London and the Limits of Eminent Domain.” He is the coauthor of “A Conspiracy Against Obamacare: The Volokh Conspiracy and the Health Care Case” and co-editor of “Eminent Domain: A Comparative Perspective.”  From 2006 to 2013, he served as co-editor of “The Supreme Court Economic Review,” one of the country’s top-rated law and economics journals.  Somin earned his B.A., Summa Cum Laude, at Amherst College, M.A. in Political Science from Harvard University, and J.D. from Yale Law School.

Nadine Strossen | Clinton School Presents

Nadine Strossen

Interview with Nadine Strossen.  Mrs. Strossen is Professor of Constitutional Law at New York Law School and the first woman national President of the American Civil Liberties Union, where she served from 1991 through 2008.  HATE dispels misunderstandings plaguing our perennial debates about “hate speech vs. free speech,” showing that the First Amendment approach promotes free speech and democracy, equality, and societal harmony. We hear too many incorrect assertions that “hate speech” — which has no generally accepted definition – is either absolutely unprotected or absolutely protected from censorship. Rather, U.S. law allows government to punish hateful or discriminatory speech in specific contexts when it directly causes imminent serious harm. Yet, government may not punish such speech solely because its message is disfavored, disturbing, or vaguely feared to possibly contribute to some future harm.  Citing evidence from many countries, this book shows that “hate speech” laws are at best ineffective and at worst counterproductive. Their inevitably vague terms invest enforcing officials with broad discretion, and predictably, regular targets are minority views and speakers. Therefore, prominent social justice advocates in the U.S. and beyond maintain that the best way to resist hate and promote equality is not censorship, but rather, vigorous “counterspeech” and activism.

Ellen Hart | Clinton School Presents

Ellen Hart

Interview with Ellen Hart, world-class runner and lawyer.  Mrs. Hart is known for her incredible athletic and professional achievements while going public about her battles with bulimia.  As an undergraduate student-athlete at Harvard, Hart earned eight varsity letters while competing in basketball, soccer, and track and field. She placed third to qualify in the 10K in the 1980 Olympic Trials and went on to break the world record in 20K and the United States record in 30K.  Hart earned her juris doctor from the University of Colorado Law School. She was an attorney with the Denver firm of Morrison and Foerster from 1988-90 and served as Executive Director of the Community Action Program at the University of Denver from 1990-92.  Hart was married to Federico Peña, the former mayor of Denver, United States Secretary of Transportation, and United States Secretary of Energy. She helped start the Eating Disorder Foundation while giving lectures and speaking publicly about her personal experiences.  A movie about her life, “Dying to be Perfect: The Ellen Hart Peña Story,” was released in 1996.