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These are strange days. I, like many of you, am still struggling with the enormity of the presidential election. I am trying to comprehend the implications for the future of our country and the world. I fear that we, as a nation, will lose the progressive gains made in the last eight years. And, worse, we may face retrogression in every sphere of public life, from international relations to climate change to domestic economic policy. The strangeness of these days has a personal dimension. When I wrote the book that serves as the basis for this lecture, I had what now seems the impossible luxury of writing for an audience of progressives in power. Today, I no longer have that luxury. Progressives will soon be decidedly out of power in every branch of government. I find myself worrying about the role of lawyers in this new world. The rule of law permitted an election in which the winning candidate lied without challenge and made indecent and illegal threats in the guise of campaign promises. The rule of law will endow the winning candidate with unprecedented power over matters foreign and domestic.
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