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LOCAL>> Ian Millhiser – The Agenda

Presented by Commonwealth Club at Streaming Arts

Apr 07 2021
LOCAL>> Ian Millhiser – The Agenda

Author of book about the Supreme Court in conversation with law prof Melissa Murray

Despite its historic role in American life, the U.S. Supreme Court has served a surprisingly impactful policymaking role in the United States over the past decade.

Starting in 2011, when Republicans gained control of the House of Representatives, until this March, Congress enacted hardly any major legislation outside of the tax law President Trump signed in 2017.

In the same period, the Supreme Court dismantled much of America’s campaign finance law, severely weakened the Voting Rights Act, permitted states to opt-out of the Affordable Care Act’s Medicaid expansion, weakened laws protecting against age discrimination and sexual and racial harassment, and held that every state must permit same-sex couples to marry.

This powerful, unelected body, now controlled by six Republican presidential appointees, sat at the center of American political life, a trend that will likely continue, with profound impacts on the country’s political system and civic life.

Ian Millhiser, Vox’s Supreme Court correspondent, tells the story of what is likely to come from the Supreme Court in the coming years, particularly around significant divisive issues such as abortion and affirmative action. Equally important, Millhiser also explores the arcane decisions that the Court can use to fundamentally reshape America, transforming it into something he believes is far less democratic by attacking voting rights, dismantling the federal administrative state, ignoring the separation of church and state, and putting corporations above the law.

Millhiser’s new book, The Agenda: How a Republican Supreme Court Is Reshaping America, exposes a radically altered Supreme Court whose powers extend far beyond transforming any individual right. Please join us for an important conversation on the future of perhaps the most important institution in America life: the Supreme Court.


Ian Millhiser is a senior correspondent at Vox, where he focuses on the Supreme Court, the Constitution, and the decline of liberal democracy in the United States. Before joining Vox, he was a columnist at ThinkProgress. He is the author of Injustices: The Supreme Court’s History of Comforting the Comfortable and Afflicting the Afflicted, published in 2015, and his writings have appeared in The New York Times, The Guardian, The Nation, American Prospect and the Yale Law & Policy Review. He received his J.D. from Duke University and clerked for judge Eric L. Clay of the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.


Free, with registration

$16 – with book

Contact: 415-597-6705

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12:00 – 1:00 pm

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