Dan Canon is a civil rights attorney and a Professor at the Louis D. Brandeis School of Law. He has already played a huge role in history as one of those arguing the Obergefell decision before the Supreme Court—a landmark decision that legalized same-sex marriage.
Last October he warned in a Tweet, “I was one of the lawyers who won Obergefell at SCOTUS and litigated the Kim Davis case in Kentucky. Back when Trump was elected, I said same-sex couples didn’t have to be worried about their marriages. I was wrong.”
In our interview, he explained that things have changed since the decision in the Kim Davis case, and said, “I grossly underestimated the effect of Trumpism on the lower courts and on red-state legislatures.” He now believes those courts will act to undermine precedent and overturn progressive legislation.
In the meantime, Canon this year also published a book, Pleading Out, another book that critiques the criminal legal system’s now almost exclusive reliance on the plea bargain. While other works have shown the negative impact of the trial penalty, he links pleas to mass incarceration, wrongful convictions, and far more—and he sees no easy solution.
Listen as Dan Canon discusses the future of the federal bench and the detrimental effects of plea bargains.