Latest News: Posts Tagged ‘moving the bar’

“Michael Ratner handled some of the most significant cases In American history. This book tells why and how he did it” — Michael Smith and Zachary Sklar interviewed about MOVING THE BAR for The Puffin Cultural Forum

Thursday, February 24th, 2022

Listen to the full interview here.

“A revolutionary lawyer unlike any other” — MOVING THE BAR author Michael Ratner featured on Scheer Intelligence

Thursday, February 3rd, 2022

“The late human rights lawyer took on some of the most important cases of our time, including defending Guantanamo Bay detainees and representing WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange…

In a new, posthumously published book, ‘Moving the Bar: My Life as a Radical Lawyer,’ readers are able to learn from Ratner’s life and words about how and why he took on the critical cases he did. Fellow attorney Michael Smith and former executive editor at The Nation Zachary Sklar join Robert Scheer on this week’s ‘Scheer Intelligence’ to talk about their late friend Michael Ratner. Sklar, who edited ‘Moving the Bar’ for OR Books, and Smith, who wrote the book’s introduction, discuss Ratner’s most significant cases, including what he would think of how Assange is being treated today, and also offer insight into Ratner’s unwavering dedication to ethics.”

Listen to the episode here.

“A valuable guide for activists and attorneys looking to use the law as part of larger movements for justice” — Michael Ratner’s MOVING THE BAR reviewed by Against the Current

Thursday, January 20th, 2022

Ratner’s opening illustrations show the legal system not as some neutral forum but itself as an instrument of state repression. It takes a special brand of tenacity for a radical lawyer to use the law, designed in so many ways to codify unequal power relationships, as a battleground to challenge those power relationships. Indeed, Ratner has shown that a radical lawyer must face often impossible odds, and get back up to keep fighting. His autobiography provides valuable insight from his role as part of the legal arm of movement…

Moving the Bar is filled with a lifetime of wisdom, inspiration, lawyers’ war stories, and movement activism, of which this review only scratches the surface. While this book is accessible for anyone interested in movement work, it provides particularly valuable guidance to radical-minded attorneys seeking to navigate the tension between working within the law and serving the radical politics that seek to break through the legal strictures of white supremacy and capitalism. Ratner exemplifies the ability to do this without subordinating radical politics to the regressive tendencies of the legal system, and to fulfill one’s full potential as a movement lawyer.

Read the full review here.


“Michael Ratner’s Decades-Long Battle to Close Guantánamo” — MOVING THE BAR featured on Democracy Now!

Thursday, October 14th, 2021

“Michael Ratner spent his life fighting tirelessly for the poor and the oppressed” — MOVING THE BAR featured in JURIST

Tuesday, September 21st, 2021

“Indeed, Ratner was a long-time opponent of illegal US wars… He sued Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, Rumsfeld, the FBI and the Pentagon for their violations of law. He challenged US policy in Cuba, Iraq, Haiti, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Puerto Rico and Israel/Palestine. Ratner was lead counsel for whistleblower Julian Assange, who is facing 175 years in prison for exposing US war crimes in Iraq, Afghanistan and Guantánamo.”

Read the full article here.

“Movingly exemplifies the principles that guided his life and career as a radical lawyer” — Michael Ratner’s MOVING THE BAR featured in LA Progressive

Monday, September 20th, 2021

“Michael’s passionate opposition to imperialist U.S. wars goes back to Vietnam. In the 1980s he attempted, albeit unsuccessfully, to challenge U.S. wars against the revolutionary governments of El Salvador and Nicaragua. In 2008, Michael made clear his and the Center for Constitutional Rights’ opposition to war: ‘We have been involved in cases regarding the roundups, warrantless wiretapping and torture. We are firmly against the war in Iraq, and [opposed] the war against Iraq three months before it started. It is a made-up war, an illegal war. We are anxious to [litigate] the Blackwater case because it will deal with the war. The war is hard to get at legally.’ For this reason he attacked it from as many angles as possible, while always insisting on the outrageousness of wars.”

Read the full article here.

“Michael Ratner left behind an ample record of his courageous career as both an outspoken anti-war advocate and a brilliant human rights lawyer” — MOVING THE BAR featured in LA Progressive

Thursday, September 16th, 2021

Readers would be rewarded by reading [Michael] Ratner’s autobiography Moving the Bar: My Life As a Radical Lawyer (OR Books)…

Ratner was an early and outspoken opponent of US wars in Afghanistan and Iraq… But Ratner wasn’t satisfied to just vehemently oppose Bush’s wars.  Real human beings were being detained, tortured, injured and killed while in US custody.  Ratner and his colleagues at the Center of Constitutional Rights designed innovative lawsuits based on US and international law to challenge these cruel and illegal practices.  In retrospect, human rights organizations and advocates for international peace have applauded Ratner and his team for what they did.”

Read the full article here.

“Michael Ratner [was] one of the most consistently ferocious anti-war advocates of this or any generation” — MOVING THE BAR author Michael Ratner featured in Just Security

Monday, September 13th, 2021

“To his dying breath, Michael fought against war in every forum he could access – courtroom, classroom and media. Yes, he is remembered for the Guantanamo litigation. But that was hardly his only anti-war campaign. He pressed for Donald Rumsfeld to be charged with war crimes in Germany under a radical theory of universal jurisdiction. He sued private military contractors for war crimes because he saw the connection between capitalism and war. He represented Muslim men rounded up after 9/11 and beaten in jail. He was a consistent critic of Israel for its military occupation of Palestinian territory.”

Read the full article here.

“Litigating the War on Terror” — MOVING THE BAR author Michael Ratner featured in The New York Review of Books

Monday, September 13th, 2021

“That President Joe Biden faces pressure to close Guantánamo and end this travesty of justice is due in significant part to the efforts of Michael Ratner and his allies to challenge the strained ‘wartime’ justifications for the US government’s treatment of detainees there.”

Read the full article here.

“My Friend Michael Ratner”— MOVING THE BAR featured in LA Progressive

Monday, September 13th, 2021

“Bill Kunstler used to say that there are no green pastures, that every generation has its own battles to fight. This is why Michael wrote his memoir Moving the Bar.

I hope that people will read it, particularly young people, that they will absorb its lessons.”

Read the full article here.

“[A] lively, thoughtful and remarkable memoir” — MOVING THE BAR reviewed in Morning Star

Tuesday, July 27th, 2021

[Ratner] lived up to Camus’s dictum that it is the job of thinking people not to be on the side of the executioners.

Read the full review here.

“Michael Ratner’s Legacy of Lawyering for the People” — MOVING THE BAR author remembered by Palestine Legal

Friday, July 23rd, 2021

UPCOMING EVENT: MOVING THE BAR author Michael Ratner remembered by the National Lawyers Guild in New York on 07/27/21

Friday, July 23rd, 2021

Full details here.

“Inspiring” — MOVING THE BAR reviewed in Mondoweiss

Thursday, July 8th, 2021

“How do leftleaning Americans who have a special corner of their heart devoted to Israel give up that attachment in the face of unending human rights violations?

That is one drama of the very full life of Michael Ratner, the legendary human rights lawyer who died in 2016 at 72. Ratner’s posthumous memoir was published in May, and it offers an intimate narrative of his own transformation on the Palestine question.”

Read the full review here.

“What Michael Taught Us” — MOVING THE BAR author Michael Ratner honored by the Center for Constitutional Rights

Thursday, July 8th, 2021

“The War Crimes Case Against Donald Rumsfeld” — Interview with MOVING THE BAR author Michael Ratner reprinted in CounterPunch

Friday, July 2nd, 2021

In the name of setting the historical record straight, here’s the late great Michael Ratner, making the unimpeachable case against Rumsfeld for his war crimes in Iraq.

Read the interview here.

“Concise and easy to read for all who care about justice… Candidly offers a glimpse of the thoughtful soul behind the legal legend.” — MOVING THE BAR reviewed in the Indypendent

Friday, June 11th, 2021

“Michael Ratner was one of the most accomplished radical lawyers of his generation, representing clients from Attica to Guantanamo. He served as president of the National Lawyers Guild and was legal director of the Center for Constitutional Rights for many years. Radicalzed in the late 1960s, he had no illusions about the ruling-class bias of the law under capitalism. He believed political action outside the courtroom was as important as anything that happened inside it.

Ratner died all too soon of cancer in 2016, at the age of 72. His friends completed the memoir he began before his death[:] Moving the Bar, published on May Day.”

Read the full review here.

“A beautiful and compelling account from one of the leaders of the legal left” — MOVING THE BAR reviewed by David Cole in the Nation

Friday, June 4th, 2021

“Ratner showed that one can indeed be both a radical and a lawyer—by acting “one hundred percent on principle,” and by using the law on behalf of the vulnerable to hold the powerful to account.”

Read the full review here.

“The memoir of a great constitutional lawyer” — MOVING THE BAR featured on Radio Woodstock

Friday, May 7th, 2021

“A vivid memoir of a storied attorney” — MOVING THE BAR reviewed in the Progressive

Tuesday, April 27th, 2021

“There is so much more here, chapter by chapter, from the 1970s up to Ratner’s life-robbing illness, that the reader can take in, along with Ratner’s self-presentation, how he understood cases over the decades, how he figured out strategies and worked so furiously—and also brilliantly—to make those strategies work.

Dig in, reader. You are in for a treat, and an education.”

Read the review here.

“Reading Michael Ratner’s Moving the Bar shows just how unusual he was in the crowded room of radical lawyers… especially when other radical lawyers fell by the wayside, and opted for money, fame and notoriety.” — MOVING THE BAR reviewed in CounterPunch

Tuesday, April 13th, 2021

“Ratner for the Defense: the Legacy of a Lefty Lawyer”

Read the review here.

“An honest, poignant, sprawling, remarkable, and inspiring account” — MOVING THE BAR reviewed in the LA Progressive

Tuesday, April 6th, 2021

“How a middle-class Jewish kid from Cleveland chose not to go into the family building-supply business but instead became a visionary and peripatetic human rights lawyer.

Read the review here.

ICYMI: “The life and legal battles of Michael Ratner, from the Attica prison uprising to his representation of Julian Assange, his last client. ” — MOVING THE BAR author honored on Law and Disorder

Tuesday, February 16th, 2021

“Radical as reality itself” — MOVING THE BAR author Michael Ratner discussed by Chris Hedges and Michael Smith on On Contact

Tuesday, February 2nd, 2021

“As is clear from the memoir of one of [Julian Assange’s] attorneys, Michael Ratner, the ends have always justified the means for those demanding his global persecution.” — MOVING THE BAR recommended by Chris Hedges on Scheerpost

Tuesday, January 5th, 2021

The Empire is Not Done with Julian Assange

Read the article here.

UPCOMING PROGRAM: “The life and legal battles of Michael Ratner, from the Attica prison uprising to his representation of Julian Assange, his last client. ” — MOVING THE BAR author honored on Law and Disorder on Jan 4, 2021 10:00 PM EST

Monday, January 4th, 2021

Full details here.

“One of America’s foremost human rights lawyers” — MOVING THE BAR author Michael Ratner remembered in the Guardian

Thursday, May 12th, 2016

In the years following 9/11, Michael Ratner, who has died of cancer aged 72, emerged as one of America’s foremost human rights lawyers. He galvanised 500 US lawyers of various political persuasions to challenge the legality of holding hundreds of Muslim men, arrested around the world, without charge or trial in Guantánamo Bay. He served as president and later president emeritus of the New York-based Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR), founded in 1966 by the leftwing lawyer William Kunstler and others who represented the civil rights movement in the southern states in its most challenging years. Ratner worked there for 40 years, and his leadership made CCR the focal point for the lawyers who went to Guantánamo to represent unknown prisoners from a dozen countries, and then a leading voice for closing the detention camp.

Read the article here.

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