Jeffrey Toobin, chief legal analyst for CNN and a staff writer for The New Yorker, spoke on Maryville’s campus on Tuesday, Oct. 24, in conjunction with his scheduled St. Louis Speakers Series lecture.
Responding to audience questions, Toobin addressed gerrymandering, cyber security and privacy issues, Russian political hacking, DACA, Citizens United, social media, and issues regarding the U.S. Supreme Court, among other topics.
Toobin argued that the high court is by nature and necessity a political entity; it’s members are selected in a fundamentally political process driven by political parties.
“There is nothing pre-ordained about how the court institutionally shapes us,” he said. “It just depends on who’s picking the judges.”
Toobin’s most recent book, American Heiress: The Wild Saga of the Kidnapping, Crimes and Trial of Patty Hearst, was published by 2016 and became a New York Times best-seller.
His book, The Run of His Life: The People v. O.J. Simpson, was the basis for the series “American Crime Story,” starring John Travolta and Cuba Gooding, Jr., on the FX Network in early 2016. His other best-sellers include The Oath: The Obama White House and the Supreme Court, and The Nine: Inside the Secret World of the Supreme Court,
Toobin, who is also a noted lecturer, has written several other critically acclaimed, best-selling books including A Vast Conspiracy: The Real Story of the Sex Scandal that Nearly Brought Down a President, and Too Close to Call: The 36-Day Battle to Decide the 2000 Election.
Previously, Toobin served as an assistant U.S. attorney in Brooklyn. He also served as an associate counsel in the Office of Independent Counsel Lawrence E. Walsh, an experience that provided the basis for his first book, Opening Arguments: A Young Lawyer’s First Case—United States v. Oliver North.