Latest News: Posts Tagged ‘lawyers for the left’

“Donald Trump Acquittal, Going Forward” — LAWYERS FOR THE LEFT author Michael Steven Smith interviews Chris Hedges on Law & Disorder

Tuesday, February 23rd, 2021

Guest – Chris Hedges, a Pulitzer prize winning journalist and considered by many on the left to be an American moral philosopher. He was forced out of his job at the New York Times for opposing the war in Iraq. Hedges is the author of many books including “American Facists: The Christian Right‘s War on America.“ He is the host of the RT show “On Contact”. His latest book is “America: the Farewell Tour.” He writes a weekly column for “Scheerpost” the latest is titled “Cancel Culture: Where Liberalism Goes to Die.””

Listen here.

“Makes clear what we’re facing and what lefty lawyers are doing, or have done, to fight the fight… An excellent resource” — LAWYERS FOR THE LEFT reviewed by CounterPunch

Tuesday, June 30th, 2020
Democracy Chasers in a Badly Injured Nation

Read the review here.

“You can’t do a keystroke on your computer, or make a call on your cell phone, or even go to the doctor without the government knowing exactly what you’re doing.” —MICHAEL STEVEN SMITH, author of LAWYERS FOR THE LEFT during an interview for Economic Update

Tuesday, May 7th, 2019

Richard D. Wolff interviews Michael Steven Smith on his upcoming title, LAWYERS FOR THE LEFT for Economic Update

RICHARD D. WOLFF: Tell us a little bit; what makes a lawyer a “lawyer for the left?” What is it that he or she does or how they proceed or what their issues are that would make you find them appropriate for such a book?

MICHAEL STEVEN SMITH: Well, one of the propositions that a number of the lawyers in my book talk about is how, increasingly, democratic rights and the rule of law are not compatible with capitalism or imperialism– and we saw that happen right after 9/11. The first thing they did was pass the 340-page Patriot Act, which allowed for spying on everybody. You can’t do a keystroke on your computer, or make a call on your cell phone, or even go to the doctor without the government knowing exactly what you’re doing. I was at the cardiologist with my wife last week, and we drove home through the Battery Park Tunnel, and there’s a face recognition gadget when you go through the tunnel; so they knew who she was, they knew what cardiologist she went to, and they knew what her EKG was even before we even got home! That’s the kind of society we live in. So Michael and I thought, “This is not good,” and then, they passed the National Defense Authorization Act, and that act allows for the government to pick up and detain– kidnap– and detain forever even American citizens. So Chris Hedges and Noam Chomsky brought a lawsuit in lower Manhattan in federal court 2 years ago, and they won the lawsuit. Judge Catherine Forest, a good constitutional upholder, decided in their favor. The government appealed that afternoon. So Chris and Noam went down to D.C. and they met with Nancy Pelosi, or their lawyers met with Nancy Pelosi, and they said, “Pelosi, if you take the provision out of this law that you’ve passed that allows the indefinite kidnapping of American citizens, we’ll drop the appeal,” and Pelosi said “No,” and Chris Hedges said, “You know why? Because they know what’s coming.” So it was draconian laws like that that got Michael and I thinking, and that’s why we started the radio show, and out of that came this book Lawyers for the Left.

Watch the full interview here.

“ You’ll find yourself plunged into the contradictions and swirling through the vortex where that question—what is the law?—is on everyone’s mind all the time.” —Portside on MICHAEL STEVEN SMITH’s LAWYERS FOR THE LEFT

Friday, April 19th, 2019

Bill Ayers on Michael Steven Smith’s new title LAWYERS FOR THE LEFT in Portside

Their analysis of the law as an instrument serving the status quo becomes a vital and clarifying lens in every case they pursue. Anatole France observed ironically that “The law, in its majestic equality, forbids rich and poor alike to sleep under bridges, to beg in the streets, and to steal their bread.” Exactly: we are equal under the law, and neither Bill Gates nor Jeff Bezos nor the homeless woman outside the coffee shop is allowed to loiter or ask for spare change. Because these advocates recognize that we live under a system of racial capitalism, they fight every case and each battle with an eye to the inherent injustices spawned by that reality.

Frederick Douglass famously said, “If there is no struggle, there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom, and yet depreciate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground. They want rain without thunder and lightning. They want the ocean without the awful roar of its many waters.” These movement lawyers have had those words inscribed on their hearts as they’ve fought for voting rights, Puerto Rican independence, an end to Jim Crow, women’s freedom, LBGTQ plus justice, and more. The country would look dramatically different today if it weren’t for the good work of Arthur Kinoy and Bill Kunster, Lynne Stewart and Haywood Burns, Jan Susler and Bruce Wright.

Read the full review here.

“I’ll believe that a corporation is a person the day it gets a colonoscopy.” —MICHAEL STEVEN SMITH, author of LAWYERS FOR THE LEFT on radio show Leonard Lopate at Large

Friday, March 29th, 2019

Michael Steven Smith, author of Lawyers for the Left: In the Courts, In the Streets, and On the Air on what he describes to be our current “constitutional crisis” on the radio show Leonard Lopate at Large

LEONARD LOPATE: Michael, you write that America is in a constitutional crisis?

MICHAEL STEVEN SMITH: Well I think—and increasingly after 9/11—there’s been a huge agglomeration of power in the hands of the executive branch, irrespective of the creature that holds office today. After 9/11, the congress passed the Patriot Act, as you know, which is a horrible surveillance apparatus, and then the authorization to use military force, and then the National Defense Authorization Act. That act allows for the executive to both kidnap and hold—really, forever—anybody, including American citizens. That was challenged by Chris Hedges and Noam Chomsky in federal court; they lost. And it also allows for, and we challenged it at the Center for Constitutional Rights with Al-Aulaqi case, it allows for the United States government to assassinate an American citizen. You can’t get any worse than that, so that’s why I [said] what I did.

LOPATE: Your book collects profiles and interview with lawyers, many of whom that began their careers as progressives in the 1960’s. Do you see a parallel between that era and today?

SMITH: Yes. The book profiles twenty-three different lawyers. Lawyers my age, I’m in my mid-seventies, and then lawyers my parents’ age, who would be in their hundreds now, but they’re not here. And the parallel, I think, is the fight, increasingly difficult, to keep the rule of law and the democratic rights.

Hear the full interview here.

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