Dr. Anne Klaeysen, Leader presides
Teachout argues that the original sin in modern American thinking is the separation of economic and political power as fields of study, categories of news, categories of thought.
Zephyr Teachout is an author, organizer, educator, and scholar. She is a constitutional and property law professor at Fordham Law School, and a deeply experienced leader in the fights for economic and political equality and against concentration of wealth and control in the hands of the few.
Teachout is best known for her efforts to limit the influence of money on politics. Her arguments were cited in the Citizens United case by Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens. She is one of the leading legal experts on corruption. She has worked on political campaigns at every level, culminating thus far in a 2014 campaign for New York Governor.
After the market crash of 2008, Teachout co-founded a group dedicated to breaking the power of Wall Street banks. After graduating law school at Duke, she founded a criminal defense nonprofit in Durham, NC, where she helped lead the fight against the death penalty.It was during these years Zephyr came to understand that lawmaking is not a science but rather a moral and political art.
It is with this in mind that Teachout published her first book in 2014, Corruption In America: From Benjamin Franklin’s Snuff Box to Citizens United, discussing the trend of loosening restrictions on campaign finance and warning that “we could lose our democracy in the process.” Teachout is also a notable antitrust and environmental activist.
Teachout grew up and attended public school in rural Vermont before going on to Yale. Her first job after Yale was as a special education teacher’s aide in a small rural public school.