Ever since the killing of George Floyd, the city of Portland has witnessed consistent protests and civic action demanding police reforms. However, recently, camouflaged federal authorities without identification badges have begun arresting protesters in the city, while the Department of Homeland Security has deployed unmarked SUV’s to detain protesters. The White House has confirmed its order to send federal authorities to Portland and is threatening to send them to other American cities. Local elected officials, including the Mayor of Portland, have demanded that federal agents leave the city. Doug Becker speaks with Jennifer L. Selin, Nadine Strossen, and David S. Meyer about the legal and political implications of this, as well as the implications for democracy and civil liberties.

Jennifer L. Selin is a Kinder Institute Assistant Professor of Constitutional Democracy at the University of Missouri. Her research explores how the federal administrative state functions in the American separation of powers system.

Nadine Strossen is John Marshall Harlan II Professor of Law Emerita at New York Law School. She is an expert on constitutional law and is the co-author of Hate: Why We Should Resist it With Free Speech, Not Censorship.

David S. Meyer is a Professor of Political Science and Sociology at the University of California, Irvine. He is an expert in social movements and is the author of The Politics of Protest: Social Movements in America.



This interview originally aired on the Scholars’ Circle. To access our archive of episodes and download this interview, click here.

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Disclaimer: The ideas expressed in this discussion reflect the views of the guests and not necessarily the views of The Big Q. 

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