David Cole on Stopping Authoritarianism’s Rise in the United States



Since becoming National Legal Director of the ACLU, Just Security editorial board member David Cole has been spending a lot of time in Just Security‘s home base of New York City. I recently took advantage of this to pick his brain on the looming threat of authoritarianism here in the United States and what our government and civic institutions can do to stop it.

Cole knows a thing or two about this. His most recent book, Engines of Liberty: the Power of Citizen Activists to Make Constitutional Lawexamines the way American citizens, outside of the federal government and from a host of backgrounds, have been able to shape constitutional law from the ground up, thereby driving the rules that govern our way of life.

In addition to being National Legal Director of the ACLU and an editorial board member at Just Security, Cole is a professor at Georgetown, a volunteer lawyer for Center for Constitutional Rights, legal affairs correspondent for The Nation, a regular contributor to the New York Review of Books.



Many thanks to Hannah Ryan for her help in preparing this recording.

Music: Autumn Leaves by Podington Bear.

Image: Natalie Behring/Getty