Advocating for the Rule of Law


June 3, 2021

New York State Bar Association

Ignatius Grande, vice chair of NYSBA’s Commercial and Federal Litigation Section, spoke at the Advocating for the Rule of Law event, which featured a keynote address from Jeh Johnson, former US secretary of Homeland Security, and three panel discussions:

The Press, Social Media, and the Rule of Law 

Panelists focused on how lawyers and members of the public can encourage traditional media and social media companies to protect the rule of law.

  • Moderator: David McCraw, senior vice president and deputy general counsel, The New York Times
  • Panelists: Jameel Jaffer, Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University; Kate Klonick, St. John’s University School of Law; and Oliver Sylvain, Fordham University School of Law

Educating for American Democracy

This panel focused on efforts to raise the visibility and importance of teaching the rule of law in civics education.

  • Moderator: Robert A. Katzmann, former chief judge and now a senior judge of the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
  • Panelists: Victor Marrero, senior judge, US District Court for the Southern District of New York; Christopher Riano, president, Center for Civic Education and chair of NYSBA’s LGBTQ Law Section; Debra Lesser, executive director, Justice Resource Center; and John Walker Jr., senior judge of the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit

Free and Fair Elections, Gerrymandering, and the Rule of Law

The discussion centered around access to free and fair elections in the run-up to and aftermath of the 2020 election. The panelists also addressed racially discriminatory voter disenfranchisement efforts underway around the country, redistricting in the first post-Shelby County v. Holder cycle, and the For the People Act and John R. Lewis Voting Rights Act.

  • Panelists: Michael Pernick, redistricting counsel, NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund; Myrna Perez, director, Voting Rights and Elections, Brennan Center for Justice; Dale Ho, director of the ACLU’s Voting Rights Project; and Ted Shaw, Julius L. Chambers Distinguished Professor of Law and director of the Center for Civil Rights at UNC School of Law

NYSBA President T. Andrew Brown delivered opening remarks. New York Bar Foundation President Lesley Rosenthal also spoke.

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