Renewal of Democracy: James B. LieberTuesday, February 11, 2020 @ 7:00 PM - 8:30 PM
Can Pennsylvania point the way to a renewal of democracy in the United States? Join us in for an evening of readings and conversation with James B. Lieber, who will discuss the current status of gerrymandering not only in Pennsylvania, but in other states where legislatures are fighting for fairer representation for their constituents.
James B. Lieber is a Pittsburgh based writer and lawyer who focuses on Constitutional, civil rights and discrimination cases. He has twice appeared successfully before the United States Supreme Court, once on a First Amendment issue and another time on a federal habeas corpus “actual innocence” case which stood for the proposition that a state supreme court should be the final arbiter in matters that arise under a state constitution. That case, Fiore v. White, was a basis for Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s dissenting opinion in Bush v. Gore that garnered four votes. Lieber’s work has been published in The Atlantic Monthly, The New York Times Magazine, The Nation, The Village Voice, Mother Jones and other publications. He is the author of Killer Care: How Medical Error Became America’s Third Largest Cause of Death, and What Can Be Done About It; Rats in the Grain: The Dirty Tricks and Trials of Archer Daniels Midland; and Friendly Takeover: How an Employee Buyout Saved a Steel Town (nominated for the Pulitzer Prize).
Victory: How Pennsylvania Beat Gerrymandering and How Other States Can Do the Same, chronicles the before, during and after of the 2018 PA Supreme Court Case that led to the redrawing of Pennsylvania’s Congressional districts. Lieber looks at the impact of gerrymandering from local and state levels, as well as the role that the Supreme Court has played in shaping America’s districts.
“Jim Lieber has provided a real-time report on effective trial lawyers, working to facilitate the will of the people.” —Vicki Horne, former president of the Academy of Trial Lawyers of Allegheny County
“In a thorough chronicle, Jim Lieber explains the strategies of counsel, and the evidence presented to navigate the League of Women Voters case through the thicket of Pennsylvania politics…. Mr. Lieber has provided a roadmap to social justice litigants for pursuing constitutionally protected claims in a state court, based on the state constitution, and avoiding federal review.” —Donald E. Ziegler, former chief judge, Federal District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania
“It takes someone who truly loves democracy and government to turn a court case about voting rights into a courtroom drama, but James Lieber does just that. For anyone who, like me, followed the case eagerly through news reports, this book provides the chance to enjoy each blow, duck and ‘points scored’ by the lawyers and analysts fighting for fair districts in Pennsylvania.”
—Dan B. Frankel, State Democratic Caucus Chairman, state legislative representative for the 23rd district, Allegheny County, PA