The Aspen Institute Announces 2014 Susman Conversation on the Constitution and the Courts

July 2, 2014

Contact: Cristal Logan
Director, Aspen Community Programs
The Aspen Institute
Tel. 970-544-7929

Charles Ogletree Jr., Miguel Estrada and Jeffrey Toobin to be Featured

Aspen, CO, July 1, 2014 –– The Aspen Institute is pleased to welcome Charles Ogletree Jr., Miguel Estrada and Jeffrey Toobin as distinguished guests for the 2014 Susman Conversation as they discuss Executive Power and the Constitution. This event will take place Thursday, July 17 at 6:00 p.m. in Paepcke Auditorium on the Institute’s Aspen Meadows campus in Aspen, CO. The Susman Conversation is generously underwritten by Ellen Susman in honor of her husband, Steve Susman.  

Tickets are $20 each and go on sale at 9:00 a.m. Mountain Time on July 3 through Aspen Show Tickets at, (970) 920-5770, or at the Wheeler Opera House. As full capacity audiences are expected for this series, early ticket purchasing is encouraged. Doors will open 45 minutes prior to the start of the event, and unclaimed tickets will be on sale at the door.

Executive Power and the Constitution
During the 2014 State of the Union address, President Obama expressed his intention to address social issues using all the tools of his office, including executive orders, if needed. The Susman Conversation will explore the power of the President to effect policy change through executive action and the role of the judiciary and Congress in relationship to an assertive Executive branch.

Charles Ogletree Jr. is the Harvard Law School Jesse Climenko Professor of Law and Founding and Executive Director of the Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race and Justice. Professor Ogletree is a prominent legal theorist who has made an international reputation by taking a hard look at complex issues of law and by working to secure the rights guaranteed by the Constitution for everyone equally under the law. Professor Ogletree opened the offices of The Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race and Justice in September 2005 as a tribute to the legendary civil rights lawyer and mentor and teacher of such great civil rights lawyers as Thurgood Marshall and Oliver Hill. Professor Ogletree is the author of several important books on race and justice.  His most recent publication is a book co-edited with Professor Austin Sarat of Amherst College entitled Life without Parole: America’s New Death Penalty? (NYU Press, 2012).

Professor Ogletree is a native of Merced, California, where he attended public schools.  Professor Ogletree earned an M.A. and B.A. (with distinction) in Political Science from Stanford University, where he was Phi Beta Kappa.  He also holds a J.D. from Harvard Law School.

Miguel A. Estrada is a partner in the Washington, D.C. office of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher.  He is co-chair of the firm’s Appellate and Constitutional Law Practice Group. Mr. Estrada has represented clients in federal and state courts throughout the country and in international arbitrations including the team that successfully presented former Governor Bush’s position to the Supreme Court in Bush v. Gore (2000). Mr. Estrada has argued 20 cases before the United States Supreme Court and briefed many others.  
Mr. Estrada is a Trustee of the Supreme Court Historical Society. He also is a member of the Board of Visitors of the Harvard Law School. Mr. Estrada served as a law clerk to the Honorable Anthony M. Kennedy in the U.S. Supreme Court from 1988-1989 and to the Honorable Amalya L. Kearse in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit from 1986-1987.  He received a J.D. degree magna cum laude in 1986 from Harvard Law School, where he was editor of the Harvard Law Review.  Mr. Estrada graduated with an A.B. degree magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa in 1983 from Columbia College, New York. 

Jeffrey Toobin is the senior legal analyst for CNN, which he joined in 2002 after seven years with ABC News and a staff writer at The New Yorker since 1993. He has written profiles of the Supreme Court justices Stephen Breyer, Anthony Kennedy, Clarence Thomas, and Chief Justice John G. Roberts, as well as articles on such subjects as the legal implications of the war on terror, Attorney General John Ashcroft, the Florida recount, Kenneth Starr’s investigation of President Clinton, and the trials of Martha Stewart, Timothy McVeigh, and O.J. Simpson.
His most recent book, The Nine: Inside the Secret World of the Supreme Court, was published in 2007. Before joining The New Yorker, Toobin served as an Assistant United States Attorney in Brooklyn, New York. 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.

Upcoming Events at the Aspen Institute

Tuesday, July 8
Murdock Mind, Body, Spirit Series
Mindfulness and the Psychology of Possibility
This event features social psychologist and Harvard University professor, Ellen Langer, Ph.D.  Dr. Langer is the author of 11 books including Mindfulness; The Power of Mindful Learning; On Becoming an Artist: Reinventing Yourself Through Mindful Creativity; and Counterclockwise: Mindful Health and the Power of Possibility. Her upcoming book, the Wiley Mindfulness Handbook, is an anthology that integrates research from Langer’s western scientific theoretical base of mindfulness with eastern forms of meditation. She is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, three Distinguished Scientist Awards, and the Staats award for Unifying Psychology.
Paepcke Auditorium, 7:00-8:00 p.m.
Fee: $20. Tickets at

Thursday, July 10
McCloskey Speaker Series
The Innovators: How a Group of Inventors, Hackers, Geniuses, and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution
President and CEO of the Aspen Institute Walter Isaacson will speak about his forthcoming book, set to be released in October 2014, by Simon & Schuster.  Mr. Isaacson is the author of Steve Jobs; Einstein: His Life and Universe; Benjamin Franklin: An American Life; and Kissinger: A Biography, and the coauthor of The Wise Men: Six Friends and the World They Made.
Greenwald Pavilion, 6:00-7:00 p.m.
Fee: $20. Tickets at

NOTE: Event details subject to change.  For more information on Aspen Institute events open to the public, please contact Jillian Scott at (970) 544-7914 or, call the information hotline at (970) 544-7970, or visit the Institute’s website at

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