Shadow Politics, November 17, 2019
Shadow Politics with Senator Michael Brown and Maria Sanchez
Guest, Walter Smith
DC Appleseed Center for Law and Justice's WALTER SMITH - DC Appleseed Center Executive Director Walter Smith filed "Angelica Castañon v. The United States of America" in federal court more than a year ago. This action seeks to secure the right to full voting representation in the United States Congress for American citizens living in the District of Columbia, the seat of our national government. The lawsuit asserts that the denial of that right violates the constitutional guarantees of equal protection, due process and the constitutional right of association. The lawsuit has been granted a hearing before a three-judge panel on November 26th. What are its chances and what are the next steps? Where do we go from here?
Walter has been the executive director of DC Appleseed since 2001. Previously, he served as the Special Deputy Corporation Counsel at the D.C. Office of the Corporation Counsel, now the Office of the Attorney General, where he focused on addressing the many receiverships in the District, supervising litigation affecting the school system, setting up pro bono assistance for the District from private law firms, and bringing a suit before a three-judge federal court seeking voting representation for the District in Congress.
Walter practiced for 16 years at the law firm of Hogan Lovells, where he specialized in appellate litigation. For several years, he served as a partner and full-time director of the firm’s pro bono practice. He also served as a Lieutenant in the U.S. Navy JAG Corps. Walter has argued numerous cases before the U.S. Supreme Court, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit and the D.C. Court of Appeals. Walter has a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Oklahoma and a law degree from Harvard Law School. He served as a law clerk to Chief Judge Charles Clark on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. In 2011, Walter received the President’s Award from the Washington Council of Lawyers.
In 2007, the Legal Times named him one of the “90 Greatest Washington Lawyers of the last 30 years.” In addition to his many accomplishments, Walter reigned as the Hula Hoop Champion of Oklahoma in junior high.
Shadow Politics is a grass roots talk show giving a voice to the voiceless. For more than 200 years the people of the Nation's Capital have ironically been excluded from the national political conversation. With no voting member of either house of Congress, Washingtonians have lacked the representation they need to be equal and to have their voices heard. Shadow Politics will provide a platform for them, as well as the millions of others nationwide who feel politically disenfranchised and disconnected, to be included in a national dialog.
We need to start a new conversation in America, one that is more inclusive and diverse and one that will lead our great nation forward to meet the challenges of the 21st century. At Shadow Politics, we hope to get this conversation started by bringing Americans together to talk about issues important to them. We look forward to having you be part of the discussion so call in and join the conversation. America is calling and we're listening… Shadow Politics is about America hearing what you have to say. It's your chance to talk to an elected official who has spent more than 30 years in Washington politics. We believe that if we start a dialog and others add their voices we will create a chorus. Even if those other politicians in Washington don't hear you — Senator Brown will. He's on a mission to listen to what America has to say and use it to start a productive dialog to make our democracy stronger and more inclusive. If we are all part of the solution we can solve any problem.