F704 Spring 2019 Legal Issues in the Trump Era: Where Are We Headed?
Wednesdays, 9:40–11:05, Mar. 27–May 1
Fairfax Lord of Life
Instructors: Bob Zener, Anthony Steinmeyer
This course will examine issues prevalent in current politics:
- What is the Washington “swamp,” and what does “draining” the swamp mean? This issue focuses on the pay to play ethic that prevails in American political life.
- There are increasing calls for regulation of the tech world. While the current administration may block meaningful action, the EU and California are already taking steps the tech world cannot ignore. At issue are treatment of personal customer data, use of the Internet for “fake news” and hate speech, net neutrality, and the near-monopoly status of some internet networks.
- Three current developments call into question the legal status of affirmative action: Department of Justice policy changes, the increasingly conservative nature of the Supreme Court, and the Asian-American challenge to university admission policies favoring other minorities. What are the prospects?
- The Supreme Court may be ready to allow partisan gerrymanders, while still disallowing racial gerrymanders. Given the frequent correlation between racial population and voting patterns, can this distinction be maintained? What are the prospects for the flood of gerrymander controversies that will follow the 2020 census?
- Is there any prospect, short of amending the Constitution, of avoiding future elections in which a candidate wins an electoral vote majority despite losing the popular vote? This session will examine the current proposal—already adopted by 10 states and DC—of interstate compacts in which the states with a majority of electoral votes agree to cast their votes for the national popular vote winner, regardless of the popular votes in their own state. What is the prospect that, post-Trump, such a proposal succeeds under a “never again” banner? If adopted, would it be constitutional? To what extent is the president subject to the ordinary processes of American law?
an OLLI member, was a lawyer with the US Department of Justice who handled a large number of cases involving constitutional law, religion, discrimination, and other issues in contention before the federal appellate courts and the Supreme Court. Tony Steinmeyer,
an OLLI member, recently retired as a lawyer with the US Department of Justice where, like Zener, he served in the civil appellate staff. His final position was deputy director of that office. Throughout his 45-year career, he had responsibility for a wide range of federal appellate cases and also worked on numerous Supreme Court cases. In addition, he often taught appellate litigation classes at the Department of Justice’s National Advocacy Center.