Constitutional lawyer explains why 'the law will be on their side' if Democrats directly fine Trump officials under federal contempt law


When Democrats achieved a majority in the House of Representatives in the 2018 midterms with a net gain of 40 seats, it was safe to predict that aggressive investigations of President Donald Trump would be coming in 2019 — and sure enough, 2019 has seen an intense battle between the executive and legislative branches of the United States’ federal government. Trump has vowed to defy all subpoenas issued by House Democrats, claiming executive privilege. And constitutional attorney Kia Rahnama, in a June 11 article for the Lawfare Blog, explores the possibility of House Democrats directly fining officials who refuse to show up when subpoenaed.

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Imagine you've forgotten once again the difference between a gorilla and a chimpanzee, so you do a quick Google image search of “gorilla." But instead of finding images of adorable animals, photos of a Black couple pop up.

Is this just a glitch in the algorithm? Or, is Google an ad company, not an information company, that's replicating the discrimination of the world it operates in? How can this discrimination be addressed and who is accountable for it?

“These platforms are encoded with racism," says UCLA professor and best-selling author of Algorithms of Oppression, Dr. Safiya Noble. “The logic is racist and sexist because it would allow for these kinds of false, misleading, kinds of results to come to the fore…There are unfortunately thousands of examples now of harm that comes from algorithmic discrimination."

On At Liberty this week, Dr. Noble joined us to discuss what she calls “algorithmic oppression," and what needs to be done to end this kind of bias and dismantle systemic racism in software, predictive analytics, search platforms, surveillance systems, and other technologies.

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