“Undermining the Courts and the Media:
The Consequences for American Democracy”

A Nonpartisan National Symposium for Judges and Journalists

Dec. 13, 2018 | 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. | The National Press Club | 529 14th St. NW, Washington, DC 20045

To view the program, recorded live, click here.

This nonpartisan symposium will bring together major figures in the judiciary and news media to discuss the recent attacks on judicial independence and freedom of the press and potential consequences for American democracy. The event was inspired by, and the discussion will revolve around, the findings and lessons from the 2018 bestseller “How Democracies Die” by Harvard researchers Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt.

Click here to view the agenda.

Learn more about the Informed Voter Project of the National Association of Women Judges: click here.

Current confirmed participants include

Jim Angle
Former Chief National Correspondent
Fox News

Alicia Bannon
Deputy Director for Program Management
Brennan Center for Justice

Martin Baron
Executive Editor
The Washington Post

James Bennet
Editorial Page Editor
The New York Times

Hon. Tani Cantil-Sakauye
Chief Justice of California

Hon. Andre M. Davis (Ret.)
U.S. Court of Appeals
for the Fourth Circuit
Baltimore City Solicitor

Bob Garfield
Co-host, “On the Media”
National Public Radio

Daniel Hertzberg
Former Deputy Managing Editor for International News
The Wall Street Journal

Hon. Robin Hudson
Associate Justice
Supreme Court of North Carolina

Marvin Kalb
Former Chief Diplomatic Correspondent, CBS News, NBC News
Edward R. Murrow Professor Emeritus, Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, two-time Peabody Award winner

Hon. Royce Lamberth
Senior Judge
U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia

Susan Page
Washington Bureau Chief
USA Today

Hon. Barbara Pariente
Associate Justice
Supreme Court of Florida

Hon. James Robart
Senior Judge
U.S. District Court for the
Western District of Washington

Jon Sawyer
Executive Director
Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting

Hon. Shira A. Scheindlin (Ret.)
U.S. District Court
for the Southern District of New York

Frank Sesno
Former CNN Washington Bureau Chief and anchor
Current director of the School of Media and Public Affairs at George Washington University

Nina Totenberg
Legal Affairs Correspondent
National Public Radio

Cecilia Vega
Senior White House Correspondent
ABC News


(subject to change)

7:15 a.m. – 8:30 a.m. Continental breakfast and registration – $60 subsidized fee includes all sessions, continental breakfast, catered lunch and refreshments throughout the day
8:30 a.m. – 8:45 a.m. Welcome by National Judicial College President Benes Aldana and Law School Admission Council President and CEO Kellye Testy: “Why Are We Here Today?”
8:45 a.m. – 9:30 a.m. Keynote by Marvin Kalb, former longtime chief diplomatic correspondent for CBS News and NBC News, Edward R. Murrow Professor Emeritus at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, two-time Peabody Award winner, and moderator of the public broadcasting series “The Kalb Report.”
9:45 a.m. – 11:15 a.m. “Eyewitnesses to the Downfall of a Democracy” Accounts by eyewitnesses to a downfall of democracy that began with election of a populist demagogue in other parts of the world. Introductory remarks by Jon Sawyer, executive director of the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting.
      • 20th century Nazi Europe: Frank Cohn, fled the Nazi regime with his parents in 1938
      • Modern-day Turkey: Sukru Say, exiled judge
      • Laura Weffer, Venezuelan journalist who covered the Chavez regime for 10 years
11:45 a.m. – 12:45 p.m. President Aldana chats with NPR’s Nina Totenberg about the Supreme Court and its role in preserving and protecting democracy. Introduced by NJC Board of Trustees Chair Sandra Yamate
1 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. Judges Roundtable. Andre Davis, retired judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit (now Baltimore city solicitor); Shira Scheindlin, retired judge of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York; Royce Lamberth, senior judge of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia; James Robart, senior judge of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington; Tani Cantil-Sakauye, Chief Justice of California; Robin Hudson, justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court; and Barbara Pariente, justice of the Florida Supreme Court, discuss threats to judicial independence.  Moderated by Alicia Bannon of the Brennan Center for Justice.
2:45 – 4:15 p.m. Journalists Roundtable. Martin Baron, editor of The Washington Post; Daniel Hertzberg, former deputy managing editor for international news of The Wall Street Journal; James Bennet, editorial page editor of The New York Times; Susan Page, Washington Bureau chief, USA Today; Jim Angle, former chief national correspondent, Fox News; Cecilia Vega, senior White House correspondent, ABC News; and Frank Sesno, former CNN Washington Bureau chief and anchor and current director of the School of Media and Public Affairs at George Washington University share their perspectives on threats to freedom of the press. Moderated by Bob Garfield, co-host of NPR’s “On the Media.”
4:15 – 4:30 p.m. Closing remarks by Marvin Kalb
4:30 p.m. Program concludes


Co-Sponsored by
National Center for State Courts
Law School Admission Council
International Academy of Trial Lawyers
Charles Koch Foundation
American Association for Justice Robert L. Habush Endowment
Ellen Tenenbaum and Craig Zimmerman
Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz, PC
Greenberg Traurig, LLP
William S. Boyd School of Law, University of Nevada Las Vegas
Donald W. Reynolds National Center for Courts & Media

With additional support from
Alan Brayton, Brayton*Purcell
Jeffrey M Goldberg, Jeffrey M. Goldberg Law Offices
Harry and Kathe Deitzler
Mona Lisa Wallace, Wallace & Graham
National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges
ABA Section of Litigation
John L. Holcomb, Esq.
Thomson Reuters
Troutman Sanders
American Constitution Society
University of Nevada, Reno Judicial Studies Program
University of Nevada, Reno School of Social Research and Justice Studies
Loyola Law School, Los Angeles Civil Justice Program
Brennan Center for Justice
Scholars at Risk
ABA Standing Committee on the American Judicial System
ABA Judicial Division

Created more than a half-century ago at the recommendation of a U.S. Supreme Court justice, ­The National Judicial College remains the only educational institution in America that teaches courtroom skills to judges of all types from all over the country, Indian Country and abroad. Judges served by this nonprofit and nonpartisan institution decide more than 95 percent of the cases in the United States.