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Bill Moyers Journal: Historian Thomas Cahill / Archbishop Desmond Tutu

“We as a country are actually sacrificing children to an evil God,” says historian and death penalty critic Thomas Cahill. In an interview that takes viewers from the Roman Coliseum to death row in Texas, Bill Moyers talks with the author of How the Irish Saved Civilization about capital punishment and its place in American culture. Discussing his most recent project—a book about a young defendant put to death after a questionable trial—Cahill asks us to acknowledge a brutality that lives as much “inside of us” as it does in our legal system. Also on the program: an essay on Pakistan and a look at a past interview with Archbishop Desmond Tutu. Broadcast dates: November 9, 2007, and December 28, 2007. (58 minutes)
2016; 2007

Justice Burger's Retirement (6/17/86)

Professor Dick Howard provides expert analysis about the Chief Justice Warren Burger’s retirement and the future of the Supreme Court.
2017; 1986

Justice Powell's Retirement (6/26/87)

In this 1987 interview, Nina Totenberg, Senator Paul Simon, and Professors Bruce Fein and Dick Howard analyze Justice Lewis F. Powell, Jr.'s sudden retirement and discuss possible successors to the Supreme Court.
2017; 1987

Bill Moyers Journal: Bruce Fein and Mark Danner on the Torture Memos / Steve Meacham of City Life/Vida Urbana

How should America react to the Bush-era torture memos released by the Department of Justice? Should the nation reflect and move on or investigate and bring to trial those involved? In this edition of the Journal, Bill Moyers sits down with two people who have been thinking and writing about the morality and legality of America’s actions since 9/11: Bruce Fein, chairman of the American Freedom Agenda, and Mark Danner, who has been reporting on the treatment and interrogation of detainees for The New York Review of Books. Then, Moyers spotlights community organizer Steve Meacham of City Life/Vida Urbana, who is working to halt the tidal wave of evictions and foreclosures plaguing his Massachusetts community. Broadcast date: May 1, 2009. (57 minutes)
2016; 2009

A.K.A. Tommy Chong

At the height of the Bush administration, Tommy Chong of Cheech and Chong was charged with selling bongs over the Internet and sentenced to nine months in federal prison. As part of the government's $12-million "Operation Pipe Dreams" drug paraphernalia sting operation, Chong, a vocal opponent of Bush's handling of the War on Terror, was singled out among 55 defendants to serve time. Filmmaker Josh Gilbert captures the post-prison, avuncular Chong as he turns his SWAT team arrest into hilarious stand-up material. But the laughs are seasoned by the recognition of our government's questionable priorities and its shameless use of the judicial system to scapegoat a counterculture icon.
2017; 2011

Justice Breyer: "Now I'm Probably More in Dissent" (10/7/10)

Supreme Court Associate Justice Stephen Breyer talks to Jeffrey Brown about his new book, Making Our Democracy Work: A Judge's View; the role and responsibilities of the high court and the shift in dynamics that a new justice can bring.
2017; 2010

Sandra Day O'Connor on Judicial Elections and the Supreme Court's New Players (10/13/10)

Judy Woodruff speaks to former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor about her efforts to improve literacy for students, judicial elections and the new makeup of the court.
2017; 2010

Bill Moyers Journal: Justice for Sale

This edition of the Journal takes a hard look at how campaign cash in judicial elections could prejudice America’s courts as it revisits the 1999 Frontline special “Justice for Sale.” Afterward, Bill Moyers is joined by legal analyst and journalist Jeffrey Toobin to talk about the boost that has been given to the unwholesome relationship between big money and judicial elections by the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent Citizens United decision. The program concludes with an essay on the increasing cohabitation of state and corporate power and the likely eventual result of that association: nothing less than the corporate takeover of democracy. Broadcast date: February 19, 2010. (57 minutes)
2016; 2010

Justice Marshall's Retirement (6/27/91)

Professors Kathleen Sullivan, Lino Graglia, and Gary McDowell, and experts Nina Totenberg and Eleanor Holmes Norton discuss and debate Justice Thurgood Marshall’s legacy and contributions to the U.S. Supreme Court.
2017; 1991

History of Supreme Court Vacancies (7/5/05)

In a prelude to the expected battle over the next Supreme Court justice nomination, a historian explains the selection and confirmation process and the past battles between Congress and the president.
2017; 2005