New York Times reporter Adam Liptak wrote recently that the Supreme Court under Chief Justice John Roberts has become the most conservative court in living memory. Liptak discusses several recent decisions that have been unusually long -- but also vague and opaque.
Historian Eric Foner is a DeWitt Clinton Professor of History at Columbia University. His new book is an examination of the concept of freedom in the United States: "The Story of American Freedom" (W.W. Norton) He writes "the meaning of freedom is as multifaceted, contentious, and ever-changing as America itself." Foner is also the author of "Reconstruction: America's Unfinished Revolution 1863-1877."
A new movie about the Hustler Magazine publisher, "The People vs. Larry Flynt," will open at theaters this month. In addition, Flynt's autobiography "An Unseemly Man: My Life as Pornographer, Pundit and Social Outcast" was published this month by Dove Books. Flynt was paralyzed in 1978 after being shot by a man who said he was offended by an inter-racial depiction of a couple he saw in Hustler. In Feb of 1988, The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of Flynt and Hustler magazine in a landmark libel case filed by the Rev. Jerry Falwell.
Commentator Maureen Corrigan reviews "Free Speech for Me--But Not for Thee," by Nat Hentoff. The iconoclastic writer gives his opinions on various free speech issues -- many of which he reported on as a journalist.
Dershowitz is one of America's most famous attorneys. He has defended Claus Von Bulow, Mike Tyson, Leona Helmsely, and many other well-known figures. Dershowitz has a reputation for being controversial and out-spoken. He refuses to align himself on the right or the left, but considers himself a civil libertarian. He has written a new book, "Contrary to Popular Opinion," which examines the most difficult legal, political and moral problems of our era.
First amendment lawyer Matin Garbus He recently defended Peter Matthiessen's controversial book, "In the Spirit of Crazy Horse," against two separate libel suits. Garbus is currently helping to draft a new constitution for Czechoslovakia. He talks with Terry about that.
Civil liberties lawyer Alan Dershowitz is known as a defender of free speech and an advocate for the right to a passionate defense. Dershowitz has defended many controversial figures and is currently involved in the Claus von Bulow and Jack Henry Abbott cases. He has been a professor at Harvard Law School since the age of twenty-eight. His new book is "The Best Defense."