How Do Young People View the Supreme Court?

Jeffrey Rosin, Neal Katyal, and Nancy Gertner at the Aspen Ideas Festival in summer 2016.
The beauty of the justice system in America is that an attorney without a big law firm and volumes of law books can win a case, if he has a good argument. But Neal Katyal, former acting solicitor general and Georgetown law professor, thinks young lawyers are losing trust in the court’s ability to resolve problems. His strongly-held belief in the rule of law springs, in part, from the first case he argued in front of the Supreme Court in 2006. “I was scared outta my mind to do the argument,” he says. In the case Hamdan v. Rumsfeld, he was challenging the military tribunals set up by President George W. Bush in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Katyal’s client, Salim Ahmed Hamdan, was Osama bin Laden’s driver. “In other countries, Mr. Hamdan would have been shot for bringing his case,” says Katyal, “That’s what makes America special.” Katyal is in awe of the duty of the court to treat everyone fairly regardless of where they come from. “We’ve lost that view of the court,” he says, “but it is still there...and I think it’s important for all of us to remember that that’s the role of the court.”
Watch Katyal’s conversation at the Aspen Ideas Festival. His latest opinion piece in The New York Times is Why Liberals Should Back Neil Gorsuch.
Race and History
How can history help us face and overcome troubling truths around race? In this Aspen Ideas to Go episode, Bryan Stevenson, founder and director of the Equal Justice Initiative, speaks with Harvard President Drew Gilpin Faust about his organization’s efforts to build a museum examining the legacy of slavery, racial terrorism, and segregation. Subscribe on iTunes, your favorite podcasting app, find us on NPR One, or listen on SiriusXM Insight, channel 121.
Spotlight Health & NewsHour Partnership
The PBS NewsHour and the Health, Medicine and Society Program of the Aspen Institute are partnering to co-produce a series of broadcast and digital stories exploring today’s most pressing health issues. The segments will air on the NewsHour and the partnership will extend to Spotlight Health. Speakers at Spotlight Health will examine topics like the brain, cancer, global health security, precision medicine, and caregiving. Find out more and register.
Memorable Words
"The craziest thing about education to me is, frankly, the lack of rigor we hold ourselves to when we try to understand what’s actually working and what is not." — Roland Fryer, Jr. 2010 Aspen Ideas