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Susan Estrich

Commentator

Susan Estrich is an American lawyer, professor, author, political operative, and political commentator. She can be reached via sestrich@wctrib.com.

Is politics destroying the criminal justice system? What's the true nature of sexual harassment in the workplace? What is the future of feminism? Why can single-sex education be a good thing?

To learn the answers to questions like these, one need only look through some of the prolific writing of Susan Estrich -- politician, professor, lawyer and writer. Whether on the pages of newspapers such as The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times and The Washington Post or as a television commentator on countless news programs on CNN, Fox News, NBC, ABC, CBS and NBC, she has tackled legal matters, women's concerns, national politics and social issues with the same high level of intelligent analysis and insight.

A best-selling author, Estrich's recent works include: "Who Needs Feminism, Sex and Power?" (2000), "Getting Away With Murder: How Politics is Destroying the Criminal Justice System" (1998) and "Making the Case for Yourself: A Diet Book for Smart Women."

Estrich is the Robert Kingsley Professor of Law and Political Science at the University of Southern California Law Center. She serves on the Board of Editorial Contributors for USA Today, as a presidential appointee on U.S. Holocaust Memorial Council and as a mayoral appointee on the City of Los Angeles Ethics Committee.

Estrich first gained national prominence as national campaign manager for Dukakis for President in 1988, but she has been at the forefront of the academic and intellectual debate for decades. After graduating as a Phi Beta Kappa scholar with highest honors from Wellesley College in 1974, Estrich went on to attend Harvard Law School. She was selected president of the Harvard Law Review and received her JD magna cum laude in 1977.

After serving as a law clerk for Judge J. Skelly Wright on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia and Justice John Paul Stevens on the Supreme Court, Estrich had her first taste of politics as Deputy National Issues Director with the Kennedy for President campaign in 1979.

In 1981, Estrich began teaching at Harvard Law School, and by 1986, she had received tenure. Her professorial duties did not limit her involvement in political campaigning, however, as she was named executive director for the Democratic National Platform Committee in 1984 and worked as a senior policy adviser to the Mondale-Ferraro presidential campaign.

Estrich also performed some private legal practice, serving as a counsel for the firm of Tuttle & Taylor in Los Angeles from 1986 to 1987. The call of national politics was too strong for her to stay out of the fray for long, however, leading her to accept the job with the Dukakis campaign in October of 1987.

Susan Estrich lives in Los Angeles.

From the commentary: The country may be on the wrong track, but we aren't looking for Donald Trump to save us.
From the commentary: It's not a blame game. It's not a game at all. Real lives are on the line when violent speech crosses the line to violent action. Paul Pelosi is lucky to be alive. The next victim of our political wildfires may not be so lucky. We can do better, and we should.
From the commentary: People talk about the old days, but in this case, there is truth to it. The old rules were that when the workday ended, Republicans and Democrats would raise a glass together. ... We were on different teams, but we were playing the same sport.
From the commentary: There are too many questions, and the answers don't really satisfy. When I was a kid, it never occurred to me to be afraid of violence at school. Kids have enough to worry about; they should be focused on learning, not on how they will defend themselves.
From the commentary: So even if the experts are right that there is little chance that Donald Trump will either testify or go to jail for his refusal to do so, it still matters that the committee voted as it did. After a year and a half of work, the vote leaves little doubt as to where ultimate responsibility belongs for what was not simply an assault on a building, but an attack on democracy. Trump has put our democracy on the ballot, and it just might be enough to sink his party, if not his own ship of state.
From the commentary: This is one woman's story, but there are so many others. Since 1989, some 2,991 inmates have been fully exonerated; of those, fewer than 300 are women. New DNA evidence helps mostly men in rape cases and stranger crimes. In 40% of the cases where women are cleared — most of them involving accidental injuries to loved ones — the ultimate finding is that no crime occurred.
From the commentary: It's easy to criticize Biden by saying he's old. So, what. Has he done anything that a younger Biden would not do? I think not. ... It's easy to criticize Biden by saying he's not as "engaged" as Trump was. He doesn't tweet every day, or at least say things that get our attention. So, what.
From the commentary: What Trump has done, and what the deniers have done, is to give legitimacy to sore losers at the expense of democratic values. But finding Republicans who will stand up and say that may be even more difficult now than it was two years ago. That's because the wind just keeps on blowing in Trump's direction. But it's at the expense of the precious values of our democracy, which at the end of the day should count for more than tomorrow's poll numbers.
From the commentary: Section 230 makes it easy to avoid these questions, but the Supreme Court, in agreeing to hear the latest case, is not taking that easy route.
From the commentary: The former president must surely be disappointed, but he has no one to blame but himself. The rule of law may be a fiction for him, but thankfully, it is a real bulwark of freedom and democracy for the men and women who hold his fate in their hands.