On this week’s episode of Lever Time, David Sirota is joined by lawyer Caroline Fredrickson, who recently penned an op-ed for The Atlantic titled, “What I Most Regret About My Decades of Legal Activism.” As the former head of the American Constitution Society — the liberal counterweight to the conservative legal network The Federalist Society — Caroline speaks with David about the strengths and weaknesses of liberal legal activism over the last two decades.
A transcript of this episode is available here.
Caroline’s piece explores the past errors of the liberal legal movement, specifically how focusing on social issues like abortion rights ultimately stacked federal courts with judges who are lax on antitrust enforcement and corporate power. The result gave the conservative legal movement more money and power to pursue their own goals on social issues, such as the Supreme Court’s 2022 Dobbs v. Jackson decision, which overturned Roe v. Wade and eliminated federal abortion rights.
In today’s interview, David and Caroline discuss how this dynamic created a negative feedback loop that bolstered the conservative legal movement, how think tanks like the Federalist Society have indoctrinated a generation of law students, and how the Democratic Party’s focus on identity politics have obscured the federal judiciary’s expansion of corporate power.
- What I Most Regret About My Decades of Legal Activism (The Atlantic, 2023)
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