May 12, 2023

LDAD recognizes Arkansas College Student as a Democracy Hero

Threats to the rule of law are as much a reality within our own communities as they are nationally. It is at the local level where we find our current democracy hero, Alex Barnett.

Conway is a small town of about 65,000 in Central Arkansas. It is home to three colleges and universities and has one of the highest rates of residents with college degrees in the state. Alex, one of those area college students, was sentenced to 10 days in the county jail for non-violently protesting the Conway School Board’s newly-passed policies against transgender students. 

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February 10, 2023

Copy Cat Threats to Democracy from Brazil, Germany and the USA

Societies must understand and learn the lessons of history to avoid repeating the same mistakes. That is why the detailed report and supporting materials of the January 6 Committee is instructive for those in the United States and in other countries who seek to keep their democracies intact. As we look at conditions around the world, however, there is growing reason for worry about democracy’s future.

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November 9, 2022

Democracy Heroes & Threats: November 2022

Democracy Heroes and Threats often emerge from the same circumstances. Heroes trying to protect the justice system and the rule of law, too frequently, must endure withering criticism – and far worse – before they are vindicated. Here are two examples.

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July 7, 2022

The Threat of Exhaustion

A public radio station host asked listeners to describe how they are coping with the onslaught of terrible news each day. Many callers described feeling: “depressed,”“fearful,” and “afraid of what will happen next.” 

Their calls echoed what we hear often from people who are already feeling pandemic-weary, and now are further worn down by the ongoing lies about election fraud, an attack on our Capitol, state-enacted policies that make it harder to vote and easier to marginalize others, and a Supreme Court that is issuing inconsistent rulings that seem to adhere to a pre-existing agenda.

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May 31, 2022

Our Shattered Domestic Tranquility

The founding fathers created the Constitution as a living document meant to guide Americans into the future. The preamble calls for us to form a more perfect union and to insure domestic tranquility.

That forward vision is important since their words were written when slavery was an accepted American institution and women did not have the right to vote, own property, or sign a contract. Nonetheless their genius was in their vision of a document that carried the promise of greater opportunity in the future. 

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April 15, 2022

The Gaslighting of America

Our Constitution emerged from policy disagreements that were resolved through impassioned civil discourse. The founding fathers provided a model for solving the nation's complex problems that has lasted for centuries. Today, however, we are being pushed into dangerous territory by a determined minority willing to undermine our very democracy in exchange for power.

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February 28, 2022

Democracy Heroes & Threats: February 2022

A recent Boston Globe article detailing the vitriol experienced by local public officials is as relevant to our threatened democracy as this month’s selection of Democracy Heroes and Threats whose actions expose the continued danger from the Big Lie of election fraud. Local officials described obscenity-laced calls and emails, the release of personal information, frequent antisemitism, and meetings disrupted by unruly residents who have no interest in reasoned debate, only bullying tactics. 

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January 28, 2022

Democracy Heroes & Threats: January 2022

In the first month of this new year, America has observed the one-year anniversary of the insurrection at the United States Capitol Building, witnessed the Supreme Court’s evisceration of President Biden’s efforts to end the pandemic through vaccine or testing requirements on private businesses, and saw a stunning failure to pass federal voting rights legislation, notwithstanding the ongoing implementation of voter suppression measures throughout the country.

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December 6, 2021

Democracy Heroes & Threats: December 2021

As 2021 draws to a close, we at Lawyers Defending American Democracy face the new year with hope, but also trepidation. At this time last year, we assumed that after four years of a president with a proclivity for authoritarianism and resistance to governing norms, the country would eagerly embrace the opportunity for bipartisan governance and new leadership that respects the rule of law. 

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November 10, 2021

Democracy Heroes & Threats: November 2021

Our democracy requires a spirit of decency, civility and unity with a common purpose for our common good, that we resolve our differences by seeking and speaking truth, and that we hold free and fair elections and respect their outcomes.

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