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Opposing political parties find common ground at civil dialogue event

October 12, 2017

Former U.S. Sens. Jon Kyl and Tom Daschle tell crowd at ASU why they think America has become politically polarized

Two former senators, a liberal Democrat and a conservative Republican, had a discussion at Arizona State University on Thursday about how civic discourse has disintegrated and how it can be elevated.

And they agreed on almost every point.

“What has been prioritized is defeating the other side, and there ought to be a larger purpose,” said Jon Kyl, a Republican who represented Arizona in the U.S. Senate.

Kyl and former Sen. Tom Daschle, a Democrat from South Dakota, spoke at a talk titled “Disagreement and Civil Dialogue on American Politics and Civic Culture,” sponsoredThe event was co-sponsored by the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication and the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law. by ASU’s School of Civic and Economic Thought and Leadership on the Tempe campus.

The pair’s time in the Senate overlapped, with Kyl serving from 1995 to 2013 and Daschle serving from 1987 to 2005.

At Thursday’s talk, they outlined why they think America has become so politically polarized and why it’s become difficult to have productive, thoughtful political discussions.

Daschle said Americans have “global engagement fatigue” from many years of war in Afghanistan and Iraq and the perception that trade has caused the loss of millions of jobs in the U.S. He also cited income inequality and stagnation, noting that in 1950 it took 45 hours a month of work to pay the average housing cost and now it takes 101 hours.

“That sense that there are those at the top that are benefitting more than others creates tremendous frustration and animosity,” he said.

Kyl agreed with those points and added his reasons — a cultural divide and partisan media.

“We no longer have the same basis of values or same beliefs in key, fundamental points that used to unite us,” he said.

“And it’s exacerbated by those who amplify. There are talk radio and TV hosts on famous TV channels who constantly go to the side of demagoguery and emotional rants rather than trying to seek out common ground,” Kyl said, noting that it happens with both political sides. “They appeal to the worst of our cultural divide.

“I can’t emphasize enough how toxic that has made Washington. You have them telling your constituents that if you don’t do A, B or C, ‘We’ll run someone against him.’ ”

The two senators agreed that they can now speak out because they’re “no longer in the game,” but they discussed ways that Congress could overcome its inefficient dysfunction.

“The airplane has changed the way Congress functions,” Daschle said. “It’s regrettable to me that senators and congressmen leave on Thursday afternoons and come back on Tuesday mornings and they try to run the country on Wednesdays.”

He suggested that House and Senate leaders require five-day workweeks three weeks a month.

And both men said that senators don’t socialize and get to know each other as people like in years past.

“If you don’t know someone, you don’t compromise with them,” Daschle said, adding that there should be more joint caucuses in which both parties meet. He said that joint caucuses helped members of Congress come together after 9/11.

Both former politicians noted that the stakes for dysfunction in the federal government are high. Kyl said it affects the ability to solve problems at every level.

“Instead of viewing yourself as a citizen of Tempe looking at a zoning case, you divide into different camps and motives are suspect,” he said.

Kyl said that rather than trying to make reforms at the federal level, which can have unintended consequences, it’s up to citizens to vote, be engaged and advocate for civic education.

“What are the key things in the Declaration of Independence that every American should know? Because that’s what we’re fighting for,” he said.

“We should teach kids not to agree with each other but how to analyze a problem.”

And our leaders should work on negotiation and compromise, Kyl said.

“I learned that the best way to legislate nationally is to give the other side some percentage of the victory, and try to get your percentage as well.

“But it’s hard to do when people say ‘You have to be pure, and if you’re not we’ll replace you with someone who is.’ It takes courage.”

The next School of Civic and Economic Thought and Leadership event will be a talk on Nov. 9 by social psychologist and author Jonathan Haidt titled, “America’s Escalating Outrage: Why Is It Happening, What Does It Do to Colleges, and How Can We Reverse It?” For details, go here.

Top photo: Former U.S. Sens. Tom Daschle, D-S.D. (left) and Jon Kyl, R-Ariz., discuss "Disagreement and Civil Dialogue on American Politics and Civic Culture," at Katzin Concert Hall in Tempe on Thursday evening. Photo by Charlie Leight/ASU Now

Mary Beth Faller

Reporter , ASU Now

480-727-4503

ASU Gammage to host panel: 'Burr, Hamilton and the Drama of America’s Founding'


October 5, 2017

Join ASU Gammage for a night that will explore the explosive relationship between Alexander Hamilton, Aaron Burr and the wider drama of America’s founding. 

This discussion, which takes place at 7 p.m. Oct. 18 at ASU Gammage on the Tempe campus, will feature acclaimed historian Nancy Isenberg, author of "Fallen Founder: The Life of Aaron Burr," and Hamilton scholar Peter McNamara of Arizona State University's School of Civic and Economic Thought and Leadership.  Join us for a special night to explore the explosive relationship between Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr and the wider drama of America’s founding. Download Full Image

Visit asuammage.com to register for the free event.

Burr and Hamilton lived in the same city, worked in the same profession (occasionally together), fought in the Revolutionary War and had seemingly cordial personal relations. It was politics that put them on a collision course. 

“We often have almost cartoonish impressions of the various players (in history),” McNamara said. “It’s always useful to just sit down and talk about what the major figures were really like, what they thought.”  

As the author of "Political Economy and Statesmanship: Smith, Hamilton and the Foundation of the Commercial Republic," McNamara is no stranger to the Founding Fathers’ stories. 

In addition to his role as a professor of practice for the School of Civic and Economic Thought and Leadership, he is the editor of "The Noblest Minds: Fame, Honor and the American Founding" and "Liberalism, Conservatism and Hayek’s Idea of Spontaneous Order." 

McNamara’s research and teaching focus is on American political thought, early modern political thought and political economy. 

His fellow speaker, Isenberg, is the T. Harry Williams Professor in American History at Louisiana State University. Her book was a finalist for the LA Times Book Prize in Biography and won the Oklahoma Book Award for best book in nonfiction. 

She is the co-author of "Madison and Jefferson." She won the 2016 Walter & Lillian Lowenfels Criticism Award from the Before Columbus Foundation and was No. 4 on the Politico 50 list that year. 

The discussion will help attendees gain a clearer understanding and appreciation of the American founding period and key figures during that time, and examine if and why this period matters. 

“It matters to Americans much more so than it does in other countries what the founders said, what they meant and who they were,” McNamara said. “This is borne out by the success of Hamilton’s biography by Ron Chernov, the musical and generally that people keep buying books about the American founding. Just hearing about it is exciting and entertaining.”

Marketing and Communications Assistant, ASU Gammage

480-965-3462

 
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5 things to know about the Constitution

Know your Constitution? 3/4 of Americans can't name all 3 branches of government
September 14, 2017

In honor of Constitution Day, ASU hosts events to promote understanding and appreciation of our nation’s fundamental law

Think Americans have a pretty firm grasp on the basics of U.S. government? Think again.

The annual Annenberg Constitution Day Civics Survey recently found that only a quarter of those surveyed could name all three branches of government. What’s more, more than a third couldn’t name any of the rights guaranteed under the First Amendment.

That’s troubling news to Peter McNamara, a professor of practice at Arizona State University's School of Civic and Economic Thought and Leadership (SCETL).

“[Those stats] mean for one thing that it is very hard for people with such limited political knowledge to participate meaningfully and constructively in civic debate,” he said. “Of course, another problem is the things that people think they know but are not actually true! I guess what these kinds of studies show is that there is a lot of work to be done on the civic education front.”

SCETL — launched in the spring — is rising to that challenge. On Thursday evening the school hosted its inaugural Constitution Day Lecture in the University Club on the Tempe campus to promote understanding and appreciation of our nation’s bedrock document. Clint Bolick, associate justice of the Arizona Supreme Court, delivered the lecture titled “The Renaissance of Federalism.” Watch highlights from the evening below:

Video by Ken Fagan/ASU Now

Earlier this week, SCETL kicked off its yearlong public lecture series “Free Speech and Intellectual Diversity in Higher Education and American Society.” And it will host another lecture from 1 to 2 p.m. Monday, Sept. 18, at Hayden Library to celebrate Constitution Day at ASU.

At Monday’s talk, titled “Hamilton and ‘Hamilton,’” McNamara will discuss the rivalry between Alexander Hamilton and Thomas Jefferson, as portrayed in the hit musical “Hamilton” (which comes to ASU Gammage in January). McNamara will pay special attention to each man's views on the Constitution.

To help beef up your constitutional cachet, here are five lesser-known facts about the historical document:

1. The Constitution was nearly not ratified

“Just as we have ‘battleground states’ and ‘safe states’ in our elections today, there were some less eventful state ratifying conventions (e.g., Delaware, New Jersey, Georgia, Connecticut), and others that were hotly contested (e.g., Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, New York, Virginia),” said Zachary German, SCETL assistant professor.

Rhode Island initially rejected passage of the Constitution, even refusing to send delegates to the Constitutional Convention. It took two and a half years before the state finally agreed to ratify, at which point it had already gone into effect.

In Pennsylvania, “Some delegates opposed to ratification were dragged from their boardinghouses to attend the vote in the state assembly (in Philadelphia) so that the assembly could meet its quorum,” said School of Politics and Global Studies Lecturer Tara Lennon. 

2. Why we celebrate Constitution Day on Sept. 17

This one’s pretty simple: The reason we have Constitution Day on Sept. 17 is because it was the last day the convention met in Philadelphia in the summer of 1787. That was the day all of the delegates still present stepped forward to sign their names with Gen. George Washington, who presided as the president of the convention.

3. The ‘pamphlet wars’ played a crucial role in ratification

“In the pamphlet wars over ratification, it was customary on both sides to use pseudonyms, such as ‘The Federal Farmer’ or ‘Publius,’ withholding authors’ identities in order to keep the focus on ideas and arguments, rather than personalities,” German said.

In a last-ditch effort to sway delegates in Virginia, the Federalist Papers were shipped down to the state, where Washington helped to reprint and distribute them — and it worked.

“It was really only a few votes that made the difference in Virginia,” said Paul Carrese, director of SCETL.

4. Memorable names took some convincing

Elbridge Gerry — the Massachusetts governor who approved a salamander-shaped state senate district to favor his political allies, thus giving rise to term “gerrymander” — was originally famous for being one of three delegates who at the end of the convention refused to sign. And even John Hancock — the man with the most famous, iconic signature on the Declaration of Independence — was opposed to ratification as late as January 1788.

Both men eventually voted in favor of it; Hancock doing so after assurances were made regarding the promise of the first 10 amendments, and Gerry after taking the advice of leading delegates such as Benjamin Franklin and Washington who pleaded with delegates to swallow their particular objections and support the larger good achieved by the new frame of government. Gerry later served in the U.S. House and as vice president under James Madison.

5. George Washington thought we should be thankful for it

According to McNamara, on Oct. 3, 1789, Washington issued a proclamation that Nov. 26, 1789, be designated a day of Thanksgiving to God for the “favorable interpositions of his providence, which we experienced in the course and conclusion of the late war, for the great degree of tranquility, union, and plenty, which we have since enjoyed, for the peaceable and rational manner, in which we have been enabled to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national one now lately instituted, for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed.”

 
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Floyd Abrams: Country desperately needs to be thinking about free speech

September 12, 2017

Prominent First Amendment lawyer kicks off yearlong ASU lecture series about intellectual diversity on college campuses

Free speech, one of the most basic rights guaranteed to U.S. citizens, has become a hot-button issue with phrases like “fake news” and “safe space” entering the national lexicon, and arguments raging over what is and is not acceptable conversation for the public square.

Lawyer and author Floyd Abrams — who over the course of a career spanning more than half a century has argued and won many significant Supreme Court First Amendment cases that protected freedom of speech, including the Pentagon Papers case — took the stage Tuesday night to speak on why now, more than ever, free speech must be protected.

“It’s worth thinking about why we protect some speech,” Abrams said, alluding to what many have viewed to be intolerant rhetoric in recent weeks and months. He cited former Supreme Court Associate Justice Hugo Black, who said, “The very reason for the First Amendment is to make the people of this country free to think, speak, write and worship as they wish, not as the government commands.”

The fact that the speech of some may make others uncomfortable is the price Americans pay for the protection of their own speech.

Abrams' talk at the Arizona PBS Studios on ASU’s Downtown Phoenix campus kicked off the 2017–18 lecture series “Free Speech and Intellectual Diversity in Higher Education and American Society,” a series created by the recently launched School of Civic and Economic Thought and Leadership (SCETL) in hopes of encouraging a more productive dialogue in an increasingly heated arena.

In the last year on college campuses, conflicting views about what exactly is protected by the First Amendment have resulted in schisms ranging from fierce debates to outright violence, as was the case when two students were carted off, bloodied and in handcuffs, after coming to blows over alt-right white nationalist Richard Spencer’s visit to Auburn University.

At the same time, a number of universities and colleges, bowing to student pressure and likely hoping to avoid similar incidents, joined a long list of institutions disinviting high-profile speakers perceived as potentially incendiary — among them, divisive British political commentator Milo Yiannopoulos, rapper Action Bronson and right-wing pundit Ann Coulter.

But, said ASU Professor and SCETL Founding Director Paul Carrese, allowing for argument and civil dialogue between parties who disagree is “what universities are all about.”

“This year’s (lecture series) theme rose out of an immediate question facing universities and colleges about speakers on campus sparking protests and even violence, and being disinvited or shutting down the campus,” Carrese said.

“The larger issue is, what is a university or college’s mission? … We thought our mission was not to provide a specific answer but that the School of Civic and Economic Thought and Leadership could be a national space to have the debate about that.”

At Tuesday night’s event — co-sponsored by the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication and the Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law — Abrams was introduced by Associate Professor of Journalism Joseph Russomanno, who said there may be no one else who has worked so hard to uphold the First Amendment as Abrams.

After being welcomed to the stage, Abrams expressed his pleasure at being the first to speak in such “a series of lectures at time when the country desperately needs to be thinking about free speech and intellectual diversity.”

He then recounted with dismay recent testimony he gave to the Senate Judiciary Committee in which he found it “almost too easy” to list a number of recent incidents involving the misinterpretation or suppression of free speech on college campuses.

In regards to a lawsuit filed just last week against Michigan State University for refusing to provide a space for Spencer to speak, Abrams said, “His views I consider to be ugly in nature, and I am not at all alone in thinking that.”

However, free speech protects even potentially incendiary speakers invited to speak on campuses.

“Discrimination on the basis of message and content cannot be tolerated under the First Amendment,” he said. “That being so, speech must be permitted and campuses must take adequate precautions to prevent violence.”

First Amendment lawyer Floyd Abrams speaks at ASU

First Amendment attorney Floyd Abrams (right), who represented The New York Times in the landmark Pentagon Papers Supreme Court case, discusses free speech on campus with ASU Associate Professor Joe Russomanno on Tuesday in Phoenix. Photo by Charlie Leight/ASU Now

Abrams’ encouragement of the audience to consider the rationale behind free-speech laws echoes SCETL’s goal to involve and educate the university and community at large about civil discourse and fundamental American values and principles.

According to Carrese, if universities lead the way on free speech and the serious, responsible and open exchange of ideas on campus, they can set an example of what it means to be an educated, active citizen for the community beyond the campus.

SCETL is working with ASU’s Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College and Great Hearts Academies in Phoenix to develop a master’s degree focused on classical, liberal education. The school also recently facilitated the acquisition of a first printing of the Federalist Papers, of which only 500 exist. There are plans to collaborate with ASU Gammage on a public exhibition of the document when the Broadway production of “Hamilton” comes to Tempe this winter. (Alexander Hamilton was one of three writers of the Federalist papers. His co-writers were John Jay and James Madison.)

The lecture series and other upcoming panels and events hosted by SCETL — all free and open to the public — are being filmed by Arizona PBS, which will use the content to produce a four-part series that will air next year. The content will also be made into a book, separately.

Next up in the lecture series is a debate between former U.S. Senators Jon Kyl (R-AZ) and Tom Daschle (D-SD), titled “Disagreement and Civil Dialogue on American Politics and Civic Culture.” It is scheduled for 5 p.m. Oct. 12 at the Katzin Concert Hall on the Tempe campus.

“[They have] agreed to share the stage and have a dialogue about why it’s important to keep discussing and arguing with people who hold divergent views from your own,” Carrese said. “That’s what universities are all about.”

Find more events here.

Top photo: First Amendment attorney Floyd Abrams, who represented The New York Times in the landmark Pentagon Papers Supreme Court case, discusses free speech on campus before 200 people at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication on Tuesday. The talk is part in the "Free Speech and Intellectual Diversity in Higher Education and American Society" lecture series, sponsored by the School of Civic and Economic Thought and Leadership, the Cronkite School and the Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law. Photo by Charlie Leight/ASU Now

Emma Greguska

Reporter , ASU Now

(480) 965-9657

Hamilton and 'Hamilton' bring Constitution into focus


September 12, 2017

A little more than a year ago, in what quickly became the most memorable moment of the 2016 National Democratic Convention, speaker Khizr Kahn brandished a pocket version of the U.S. Constitution and offered to lend it to then Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump.

The simple but compelling gesture led to a sharp rise in the book’s online sales and searches, with many stores selling out of all their copies. woman holding pocket US Consititution Pocket copies of the Constitution will be given away on Sept. 18 in celebration of Constitution Day at ASU. Download Full Image

“At one point, last year, the Constitution was a top seller on Amazon,” said Brad Vogus, associate librarian for ASU Library.

For the 11th consecutive year, Vogus will be distributing those same $1 pocket Constitutions popularized by Kahn, in celebration of Constitution Day at ASU, slated for Monday, Sept. 18.

An annual national event, Constitution Day was established in 1956 as a way to commemorate our country’s most influential document and help foster habits of citizenship.

“The Constitution is our most important law document. It defines the fundamental law of our government,” Vogus said. “This event gives our students and the public an opportunity to learn more about it.”

Also, it’s the law, he said.

In 2005, programs aimed at promoting a greater understanding of the Constitution became required of federally-funded schools and government offices.

This year’s program at ASU will shine a light on the hit musical “Hamilton” and the rivalry between Alexander Hamilton and Thomas Jefferson, as portrayed in the show.

“Since the musical ‘Hamilton’ will be at Gammage this season, we think there will be great enthusiasm for this talk,” Vogus said.

The talk — Hamilton and ‘Hamilton — will be led by Peter McNamara, a professor of practice in ASU’s new School of Civic and Economic Thought and Leadership and an expert on the political and economic thought of Hamilton.

Paying close attention to each man’s political views, McNamara will examine how the Hamilton-Jefferson rivalry ultimately helped shape the U.S. Constitution.

The event, to take place from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m., in room C55 at Hayden Library, is free and open to the public. Resources and more information about Constitution Day are also available via the ASU Library guide.

Pocket copies of the Constitution will be given away before the event — but only while supplies last.

Britt Lewis

Communications Specialist, ASU Library

 
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ASU selected as nation's most innovative school for third straight year

ASU named most innovative university for third straight year.
Why is ASU considered to be so innovative? It's changing higher ed completely.
September 11, 2017

U.S. News and World Report ranks ASU ahead of Stanford, MIT

Editor's note: This story is being highlighted in ASU Now's year in review. To read more top stories from 2017, click here.

For the third year in a row, Arizona State University tops the list of “most innovative schools” in the nation, recognizing the university’s groundbreaking initiatives, partnerships, programs and research.

U.S. News and World Report has named ASU as the most innovative university all three years it has had the category. The widely touted set of annual rankings by the news magazine, which compares more than 1,500 institutions on a variety of metrics, was released today.

ASU again topped the list based on a survey of peers. College presidents, provosts and admissions deans around the country nominated up to 10 colleges or universities that are making the most innovative improvements to curriculum, faculty, students, campus life, technology or facilities.

“Our colleagues at colleges and universities around the country are very interested in what we’re doing, and they pay close attention to all that we have been able to achieve,” said ASU President Michael M. Crow. “They know that all the cool stuff is going on at ASU.”

After ASU, the second and third most innovative universities were Stanford and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the same ranking as the previous two years. The next universities on the innovative list are Georgia State University, Carnegie Mellon University, Northeastern University, the University of Maryland at Baltimore County, the University of Michigan and Harvard University, with Duke and Portland State universities tied for 10th place.

The innovation ranking is due at least in part to a more than 80 percent improvement in ASU’s graduation rate in the past 15 years, the fact that ASU is the fastest-growing research university in the country and the emphasis on inclusion and student success that has led to more than 50 percent of the school’s in-state freshman coming from minority backgrounds.

“We now know that because of our innovation platform and our innovation culture, we’re just getting started,” Crow said. “Our pace of innovation is not just continuing, it’s accelerating.” 

In addition, the magazine designated ASU as an “A+ School for B Students,” a list of universities that are not ranked. Schools on the list had to admit a meaningful proportion of applicants whose test scores and class standing put them in non-A territory but whose freshmen retention rate was at least 75 percent.

The “most innovative school” ranking wasn’t the result of any one specific program, but the holistic approach to inventing a new kind of university ASU has undertaken. Still, ASU has launched several recent unique initiatives. Here are a few:

Mary Beth Faller

Reporter , ASU Now

480-727-4503

ASU school's first annual Constitution Day lecture to explore 'The Renaissance of Federalism'


September 8, 2017

Arizona State University’s new School of Civic and Economic Thought and Leadership is establishing a new campus tradition with its inaugural Constitution Day lecture at 5 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 14, when the honorable Clint Bolick, Arizona Supreme Court associate justice, shares his thoughts on “The Renaissance of Federalism.” To register, visit http://bit.ly/2gNQwKn.

The school will host the first annual lecture to celebrate the signing of the U.S. Constitution to promote both understanding and appreciation of our nation’s fundamental law. September 17, 1787 was the final day of the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia; with George Washington presiding as the president of the convention, the delegates who supported the final draft added their signatures to the text. Photo of the Honorable Clint Bolick The Honorable Clint Bolick, associate justice, Arizona Supreme Court, is scheduled as the inaugural speaker for the School of Civic and Economic Thought and Leadership's first annual Constitution Day lecture. Download Full Image

“We are delighted that a distinguished legal advocate, scholar, and now state Supreme Court justice will deliver the inaugural lecture,” said school director Paul Carrese. “Each year we set aside a day to remind us that the Constitution is the ultimate standard for our legal system and the rule of law in the United States. To understand what is at stake in important debates, like the one concerning Federalism, one, we continue to study and discuss the Constitution.”

Justice Bolick was appointed by Governor Doug Ducey in January 2016 to serve on the Arizona Supreme Court. Prior to joining the Court, Justice Bolick litigated constitutional cases in state and federal courts from coast to coast, including the U.S. Supreme Court. Among other positions, he served as Vice President for Litigation at the Goldwater Institute and as Co-founder and Vice President for Litigation at the Institute for Justice.

The event is free and open to the public and will be followed by a reception with light hors d'oeuvre. Off-campus guests who park in the Fulton Center parking garage on the corner of College Avenue and University Drive may bring their parking tickets to the event check-in for validation .

Continuing Legal Education Credit (CLE) is available for those in the legal community who attend. The Arizona State Bar does not approve or accredit CLE activities or the Mandatory Continuing Legal Education requirement. This activity may qualify for up to 1.0 hour(s) toward your annual CLE requirement for the State Bar of Arizona, including 0.0 hours of professional responsibility. CLE participants can register via the link on the event's RSVP page.

The School of Civic and Economic Thought and Leadership is a new school in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences that looks beyond time and borders to explore the fundamental questions of life, freedom, and governance.

Susan Kells

Communications Coordinator, School of Civic and Economic Thought and Leadership

480-965-0427

First Amendment lawyer Floyd Abrams to discuss free speech on campus at ASU event


August 30, 2017

Floyd Abrams, the prominent First Amendment attorney who represented The New York Times in the landmark Pentagon Papers Supreme Court case, is coming to Arizona State University to discuss freedom of speech on campus.

Abrams is taking part in the “Free Speech and Intellectual Diversity in Higher Education and American Society” lecture series at ASU at 6 p.m. Sept. 12. The event will be located on ASU’s Downtown Phoenix campus at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication. Free registration is available online on Eventbrite. Floyd Abrams First Amendment attorney Floyd Abrams, who represented The New York Times in the landmark Pentagon Papers Supreme Court case, is coming to ASU on Sept. 12 to discuss freedom of speech on campus. Download Full Image

The event is sponsored by ASU’s School of Civic and Economic Thought and Leadership, a new program in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences that looks beyond time and borders to explore the fundamental questions of life, freedom, and governance. It also is co-sponsored by the Cronkite School and the Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law at ASU.

“We are delighted to have such a prominent national leader on First Amendment issues to launch this series,” said Professor Paul Carrese, director of the School of Civic and Economic Thought and Leadership. “The goal of this yearlong series is to convene leading experts on free speech and intellectual diversity in education, and leaders in American civic life, to explore the heated debates and clashes in higher education about free discourse, civility, diversity and inclusion.”

Abrams, a senior counsel at Cahill Gordon & Reindel LLP, has argued high-profile cases before the Supreme Court on the First Amendment, the nature of broadcast regulation, the impact of copyright law and the continuing viability of the Miranda rule.

In 1971, Abrams represented The New York Times before the Supreme Court in a landmark ruling, which permitted the publishing of classified documents about American involvement in the Vietnam War. In 1998, he represented CNN in investigating and issuing a report on its broadcast accusing the U.S. of using nerve gas on a military mission in Laos in 1970.

Abrams also represented journalist Nina Totenberg and National Public Radio in the 1992 leak investigation conducted by the U.S. Senate arising out of the confirmation hearing of Justice Clarence Thomas and, in 2004 and 2005, New York Times reporter Judith Miller and Time reporter Matthew Cooper in their efforts to avoid revealing their confidential sources.

More recently, Abrams prevailed in his argument before the Supreme Court on behalf of U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell as amicus curiae, defending the rights of corporations and unions to speak publicly about politics and elections in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission.

Cronkite School Associate Professor and First Amendment scholar Joseph Russomanno will moderate the conversation with Abrams. Russomanno, whose teaching and research have largely focused on First Amendment law and theory, has published several books and many in-depth research articles on the subject.

“When you consider the people who have made contributions over the past 40-plus years to the advancement and understanding of the First Amendment and free speech and press, no one has done more than Floyd Abrams, Russomanno said. “This includes not only his advocacy of First Amendment rights in our courts — including the U.S. Supreme Court — but also his many writings and talks where he shares his expertise. This event at ASU is another opportunity to learn from the best.”

“Freedom of Speech on Campus? A Conversation with Floyd Abrams”
Date: Tuesday, Sept. 12, 2017
Time: 6–7:30 p.m.
Location: Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication – Arizona PBS Studio
555. N. Central Ave., Phoenix, AZ, 85004
RSVP: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/asu-hosts-freedom-of-speech-on-campus-a-conversation-with-floyd-abrams-tickets-36911146232?aff=es2

ASU In the News

Do pet sitters really need a license? How occupational licenses are hurting the economy


In New York City, you need a license to pet-sit someone’s dog (at least if you want to be paid). In Louisiana, you need a license to become a florist. Nine states require funeral attendants to be licensed before starting work.

License regimes emerge when states, cities, counties or the federal government regulate an activity, often in the interest of public safety. New York’s pet-sitting law, which requires licensees to buy insurance and use designated kennels, is meant to “ensure [the] health and safety of pets and reduce risks to public health,” the city’s Health Department says (though it very rarely enforces the regulation). “Licensing creates a fence that people trying to get into that occupation have to climb over, while, at the same time, protecting people within the fence who are already practicing the occupation.” [Source Image: totallyout/iStock]

“Licensing creates a fence that people trying to get into that occupation have to climb over, while, at the same time, protecting people within the fence who are already practicing the occupation, who would have to compete against them,” said Jason Wiens, policy director at the Kauffman Foundation, an entrepreneurship-focused think tank. “It’s an anticompetitive practice that has negative barriers to entrepreneurship.”

The effect is felt strongly by low-income workers, according to a study by Stephen Slivinski, a senior research fellow at Arizona State University. He finds that states with the most licensing requirements on low-income jobs tend to have the fewest opportunities for low-income workers. Louisiana, Oregon, and Mississippi have the most of these requirements, he says; Vermont, South Dakota, and Ohio have the fewest. In a 2012 report, the Institute of Justice looked at the requirements on 102 low- or moderate-licensed jobs. On average, they required nine months of training, at least one exam, and the payment of $209 in fees.

Article Source: Fast Company

Project Coordinator, Center for the Study of Economic Liberty

 
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New ASU school aims to elevate the political discourse

March 2, 2017

Public colloquium part of Friday's official launch of School of Civic and Economic Thought and Leadership

Editor's note: This story is being highlighted in ASU Now's year in review. To read more top stories from 2017, click here.

Editor’s note: ASU’s new School of Civic and Economic Thought and Leadership officially launched Friday. Here are highlights from the morning kickoff, which was attended by new school director Paul Carrese, ASU President Michael Crow, Gov. Doug Ducey and other elected officials. The full story that published Thursday about the new school follows below.

Paul Carrese

At Friday’s launch event, School of Civic and Economic Thought and Leadership director Paul Carrese said the aim of the school is “to develop a new class of leaders.”

“This distinctive school is a blending of tradition and innovation: great ideas with preparation for leadership service,” he said.

Gov. Doug Ducey

Free speech was a theme at the event, with Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey quoting Frederick Douglass that “to suppress free speech is a double wrong. It violates the rights of the hearer as well as those of the speaker.”

“No one can ever accuse ASU of suppressing free speech,” Ducey said.

He also addressed the issue of a lack of diverse media exposure, saying, “We live in an age where it’s easy for people … to receive news from a single, handpicked source,” and that today’s university students are often encouraged to further insulate themselves from counter-perspectives.

“With this new school,” Ducey said, “ASU and the state of Arizona is bucking this trend. … As Americans, in times of great challenge, our heritage of rich intellectual discourse in the midst of different values and principles has served us honorably.

“The answer has never been less speech; it has always been more. Now at ASU and through the coursework at the School of Civic and Economic Thought and Leadership, this tradition can continue.”

Michael Crow

ASU President Michael Crow proudly introduced the School of Civic and Economic Thought and Leadership as the 18th transdisciplinary school the university has launched.

“Education sits at the root of the core of the advancement of democracy,” Crow said, adding later that we “cannot advance the ideals of American democracy without intellectual combat.”

George Will

George Will (pictured above), a Pulitzer Prize-winning conservative political commentator, served as the keynote speaker of the event. He echoed Ducey’s statements on free speech, remarking, “Whatever else universities do, they shouldn’t attack free speech.”

He also touched on a number of hot-button issues concerning the current political climate, including cultural bias and immigration.

“Today, the temperature of politics is exceptionally high because the stakes are unusually high,” Will said. “We’re arguing about basics.”

The most crucial word in the Declaration of Independence, he said, is “secure.”

“Governments and institutions are meant to secure [basic human] rights. …That there is a fixed human nature, that we are not infinitely malleable,” Will said, because when you allow those in charge to assume we are infinitely malleable, “you license a very sinister political project. To make of human clay whatever the political class of the moment wants to happen. Our natural rights are essential to the flourishing of creatures of our nature.”

Will noted that American poet Robert Frost once said, “I’m against a homogenized society because I want the cream to rise.”

“Arizona State and this new school within it is a way of letting the cream rise,” he said.

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(Original story below.)

The notion that strong leadership and civil discourse are necessary in public affairs is ancient, going back to the great Greek thinkers and debaters who laid the foundation for modern democracy.

Lately, though, Paul Carrese feels that notion is woefully overlooked.

“Our political culture is in very bad shape, regardless of partisanship,” he said.

It’s something he hopes to change as director of Arizona State University’s new School of Civic and Economic Thought and Leadership. The official school launch will take place at 7:30 a.m. Friday in the First Amendment Forum of the Walter Cronkite building on the Downtown Phoenix campus.

Roughly 150 guests are expected to attend, including Carrese, ASU President Michael Crow, Gov. Doug Ducey and other elected officials.

“America and other liberal democracies need to provide space in universities to think about politics, public affairs, leadership and civic society in a way that allows for the search for common good,” Carrese said.

The School of Civic and Economic Thought and Leadership will combine the principles and ideals of two existing ASU centers — the Center for Political Thought and Leadership and the Center for the Study of Economic Liberty — to provide a unique curriculum that reinforces traditional learning of time-honored knowledge while encouraging students to get real-world experience.

“The mission of the school will be to introduce students to the great philosophical debates across centuries through classic texts, and to use those texts and debates to prepare them for civic-minded leadership in the future,” said Patrick Kenney, dean of the College of Liberal Arts and SciencesThe School of Civic and Economic Thought and Leadership is an academic unit of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences..

[video:https://vimeo.com/205962689 width:800 height:450 autoplay:0]

 

School faculty and staff also will help guide students toward internship opportunities, whether in government, business or non-governmental organizations, on both a local and state level. Carrese has identified four major metropolitan areas — Arizona, Los Angeles, New York City and Washington, D.C. — in which he hopes to eventually place students in internships.

Courses for the school’s bachelor’s degree in “Great Ideas and Leadership” are now available in the course catalog and will begin in the upcoming fall semester. More developments are underway, including a graduate program and a visiting-scholars program.

All of that will be supplemented by an extensive regular program of lectures and public dialogues to provide a model of civil debate for students, faculty, staff and the community at large. The value of reasonably and effectively working through disagreements is something we all need to be reminded of right now, Carrese said.

The first of such public colloquiums will take place Friday at the ASU Art Museum in Tempe. “Leadership and Politics in America After Election 2016” will consist of three separate talks: “The Meaning of Election 2016”; “Public Policy and the Common Good in the Trump Era”; and “Is a Contentious but Constructive Politics Possible?”

Kenney will moderate the first talk, scheduled to begin at 10:30 a.m.

“When I look back, I still remember as an undergrad going to hear visiting scholars and public intellectuals and top-tier reporters come to my university and talk, and it just really enlivens campus discussions and supplements and enhances the learning process and the range of views that are out there,” Kenney said. “President Crow has dedicated a lot of time and effort to that kind of thing across the university. It’s about bringing the world to ASU.”

 

Top photo: Conservative pundit George Will delivers the keynote address at the launch of ASU's new School of Civic and Economic Thought and Leadership, a transdisciplinary program with a goal of engaging students in building a democracy. The launch featured around 150 people at the First Amendment Forum at the Cronkite School on the Downtown Phoenix campus on Friday. Photo by Charlie Leight/ASU Now

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