On Wednesday, September 30th, the African American Policy Forum hosted our sixteenth episode of our hit series, Under the Blacklight. Titled “Why the Court Matters: RBG’s Legacy and the Fight She Leaves Behind,” this episode discusses the relationship between the law and social justice and mines the towering legacy of Ruth Bader Ginsburg. This episode is proudly co-sponsored by The New Republic
AAPF Executive Director Kimberlé Crenshaw is joined by a group of pre-eminent scholars: Devon Carbado, Erwin Chemerinsky, Suzanne Goldberg, Cheryl Harris, Sherrilyn Ifill and Melissa Murry. Together, this distinguished panel takes up how the battle over the courts may well decide the future of our democracy.
The episode begins by recalling the legacy of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, asking: Are we really up to the challenge of doing more than passing honorific words over RBG’s deeds? Can we carry the great weight of figuring out how to steer our society back from the brink, to find a clear pathway to that democracy that we might have had if the gender and race barriers that RBG and others faced had crumbled more fully?
The importance of this discussion was only underscored during Tuesday’s nightmarish presidential debate in which the President of the United States instructed white supremacists to“stand back and stand by” on election day, capping a week in which antiracism has been rolled back by Executive Order throughout the federal government and almost any entity that federal dollars reach. ED Crenshaw invites her audience to interrogate how the courts can serve as a protector of the invidious status quo, and think on how the law can be marshaled to serve the historically marginalized.