Examining the Rule of Law

“When we [Americans] talk about the rule of law, we assume that we’re talking about a law that promotes freedom, that promotes justice, that promotes equality,” US Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy said in 2007. The rule of law is fundamental to our democracy. Critical challenges loom, however, as our citizens today disagree sharply over some of our nation’s most vexing issues, ranging from national security to our economic future to the very functioning of our political process. Are we at risk of abandoning long-standing legal and constitutional norms and understandings? How should the guarantees of our Constitution shape this dilemma? Are there governmental and societal processes in place today that will enable us to ensure “liberty and justice for all” for our children and our children’s children? Three distinguished jurists discuss the challenges we face as a nation.

Festival: 2017

Watch and Listen: U.S.A.

Sean Wilentz, esteemed and engaging author and Princeton professor of American History and Democracy, offers a... See more
An unflinching panel asks: How democratic is the US after all? They take an honest look at issues such is money and... See more
In recent years, the tone of American political dialogue seems to have taken a turn. Is it really worse now than ever?... See more
Frenchmen Bernard Henri-L‚vy and Paul Holdengr„ber, two astute observers, discuss American democracy and culture.  See more
A look at the correlation between cultural involvement — especially literary reading — and a strong democracy.... See more
Pollster Douglas E. Schoen presents the results of an original Aspen Ideas Festival poll of the American public. See more

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