Presumed Guilty: How the Supreme Court Empowered the Police and Subverted Civil Rights; and Line 3 Is The New Standing Rock

Presumed Guilty: How the Supreme Court Empowered the Police and Subverted Civil Rights

Erwin Chemerinksy is the Jesse H. Choper Distinguished Professor of Law and Dean of the Berkeley Law School. He has also served on the faculties of USC Law School and Duke Law School, and he was the founding dean of the UC Irvine School of Law.
Dean Chemerinsky is a leading constitutional law scholar and teacher who has an uncommon ability to explain complex legal concepts so that non-lawyers can easily understand them. A study of legal publications between 2016 and 2020 found him to be the most frequently cited US legal scholar. He is the author of 14 books, including leading casebooks and treatises about constitutional law, criminal procedure, and federal jurisdiction. Dean Chemerinsky also handles legal cases, and has argued several times before the Supreme Court.

After a 2000 review of the Rampart scandal about corruption and excessive force in the LA Police Department attributed the problems to a few bad apples, Dean Chemerinsky conducted an independent analysis which uncovered systemic and structural issues in the department. In his new book, Presumed Guilty: How the Supreme Court Empowered the Police and Subverted Civil Rights, he writes, Race has infected policing in the United States since its founding. People of color are more likely than whites to be stopped, arrested and subjected to police violence.

Dean Chemerinsky cites the slave patrols which tracked and returned runaway slaves. We saw the three men who killed Black jogger Ahmaud Arbery use the logic of those slave patrols in their defense. Due in large part to a video of the killing, they were convicted of murder.

When I served as a commentator for CBS News during the O.J. Simpson trial, the people at KNX Radio called Erwin (who did frequent commentary) the nicest guy in the world. He is most generous in sharing his expertise. I cant remember any time he has turned me down when I have asked him to speak at an event, even if it required traveling to San Diego. I have often said that if I were President of the United States, Erwin would be my first choice for a justice of the Supreme Court. Unlike most of the members of the Court, he would be a justice in the true sense of the word.


Line 3 Is The New Standing Rock

Our guest today is water protector Chicago attorney Pat Handlin. She has been representing some of the 900 people whove been arrested for trying to stop Line 3. Line 3 brings the dirtiest oil on Earth down from Alberta, Canada to the shores of the Great Lakes. It is owned by the Canadian corporation Enbridge. President Trump issued their permit without any environmental impact statement. The governor of Minnesota or the President of United States you can stop Enbridge. But they havent.

The Line 3 oil pipeline has been operational since October. It snakes under 200 bodies of water including the Mississippi river. Native Americans from the Chippewa and Ojibwe tribe have treaty rights to the land affected by the Enbridge pipeline. Enbridge has a terrible record for oil spills, 194 of them since the year 2000. Since 1986, more than 7 million gallons have spilled in the Midwest. Much of it has never been cleaned up.

The pipeline runs through sacred land. The land has wild rice which the Native Americans harvest for nutrition and value for spiritual reasons. The land is protected by treaties which are being violated. Tribes are sovereign nations that have entered into treaties with United States. A treaty becomes the supreme law of the land. Biden has said that he would honor the treaties but has not done so.

Guest – Pat Handlin is a criminal defense attorney who represented numerous Water Protectors facing misdemeanor charges stemming from the Standing Rock No DAPL movement, provided legal support at the hearing challenging TC Energys permit application to use water for the KXL pipeline and represents Water Protectors charged in Minnesota for opposition to Line 3. She has been a public defender, legal services attorney, administrative law judge on employment discrimination matters, represented Occupy Chicago activists, and has litigated to protect victims of elder abuse, neglect and financial exploitation.

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