Latest News: Posts Tagged ‘moving the bar’

“Concise and easy to read for all who care about justice… Candidly offers a glimpse of the thoughtful soul behind the legal legend.” — MOVING THE BAR reviewed in the Indypendent

Friday, June 11th, 2021

“Michael Ratner was one of the most accomplished radical lawyers of his generation, representing clients from Attica to Guantanamo. He served as president of the National Lawyers Guild and was legal director of the Center for Constitutional Rights for many years. Radicalzed in the late 1960s, he had no illusions about the ruling-class bias of the law under capitalism. He believed political action outside the courtroom was as important as anything that happened inside it.

Ratner died all too soon of cancer in 2016, at the age of 72. His friends completed the memoir he began before his death[:] Moving the Bar, published on May Day.”

Read the full review here.

“A beautiful and compelling account from one of the leaders of the legal left” — MOVING THE BAR reviewed by David Cole in the Nation

Friday, June 4th, 2021

“Ratner showed that one can indeed be both a radical and a lawyer—by acting “one hundred percent on principle,” and by using the law on behalf of the vulnerable to hold the powerful to account.”

Read the full review here.

UPCOMING EVENT: “What Michael Taught Us” — MOVING THE BAR author Michael Ratner honored by the Center for Constitutional Rights on 06/16/21

Friday, June 4th, 2021


Wednesday, June 16, 2021, 2:00pm to 3:00pm

Michael Ratner devoted four decades of his life at the Center for Constitutional Rights as a staff attorney, legal director, and board president until his untimely death in 2016. We miss him every day, but he left a powerful legacy. Not only did he handle some of the most significant human rights cases of his time, but he also lived and breathed the principles of radical lawyering.

Join Center for Constitutional Rights Executive Director Vince Warren, Legal Director Baher Azmy, former Center for Constitutional Rights Staff Attorney and Board Member Ellen Yaroshefsky, and Senior Staff Attorney and Associate Director of Legal Training and Education Rachel Meeropol as we discuss Michael Ratner’s just published autobiography Moving the Bar and reflect on his inspirational and indispensable lessons for the next generation of movement lawyers and activists. ASL and live transcription services will be provided.


RSVP by June 14th. For Zoom, call-In instructions, or questions, please contact:

Theda Jackson-Mau
[email protected]
(212) 614-6448

Full details here.

“The memoir of a great constitutional lawyer” — MOVING THE BAR featured on Radio Woodstock

Friday, May 7th, 2021

“A vivid memoir of a storied attorney” — MOVING THE BAR reviewed in the Progressive

Tuesday, April 27th, 2021

“There is so much more here, chapter by chapter, from the 1970s up to Ratner’s life-robbing illness, that the reader can take in, along with Ratner’s self-presentation, how he understood cases over the decades, how he figured out strategies and worked so furiously—and also brilliantly—to make those strategies work.

Dig in, reader. You are in for a treat, and an education.”

Read the review here.

“Reading Michael Ratner’s Moving the Bar shows just how unusual he was in the crowded room of radical lawyers… especially when other radical lawyers fell by the wayside, and opted for money, fame and notoriety.” — MOVING THE BAR reviewed in CounterPunch

Tuesday, April 13th, 2021

“Ratner for the Defense: the Legacy of a Lefty Lawyer”

Read the review here.

“An honest, poignant, sprawling, remarkable, and inspiring account” — MOVING THE BAR reviewed in the LA Progressive

Tuesday, April 6th, 2021

“How a middle-class Jewish kid from Cleveland chose not to go into the family building-supply business but instead became a visionary and peripatetic human rights lawyer.

Read the review here.

ICYMI: “The life and legal battles of Michael Ratner, from the Attica prison uprising to his representation of Julian Assange, his last client. ” — MOVING THE BAR author honored on Law and Disorder

Tuesday, February 16th, 2021

“Radical as reality itself” — MOVING THE BAR author Michael Ratner discussed by Chris Hedges and Michael Smith on On Contact

Tuesday, February 2nd, 2021

“As is clear from the memoir of one of [Julian Assange’s] attorneys, Michael Ratner, the ends have always justified the means for those demanding his global persecution.” — MOVING THE BAR recommended by Chris Hedges on Scheerpost

Tuesday, January 5th, 2021

The Empire is Not Done with Julian Assange

Read the article here.

UPCOMING PROGRAM: “The life and legal battles of Michael Ratner, from the Attica prison uprising to his representation of Julian Assange, his last client. ” — MOVING THE BAR author honored on Law and Disorder on Jan 4, 2021 10:00 PM EST

Monday, January 4th, 2021

Full details here.

“One of America’s foremost human rights lawyers” — MOVING THE BAR author Michael Ratner remembered in the Guardian

Thursday, May 12th, 2016

In the years following 9/11, Michael Ratner, who has died of cancer aged 72, emerged as one of America’s foremost human rights lawyers. He galvanised 500 US lawyers of various political persuasions to challenge the legality of holding hundreds of Muslim men, arrested around the world, without charge or trial in Guantánamo Bay. He served as president and later president emeritus of the New York-based Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR), founded in 1966 by the leftwing lawyer William Kunstler and others who represented the civil rights movement in the southern states in its most challenging years. Ratner worked there for 40 years, and his leadership made CCR the focal point for the lawyers who went to Guantánamo to represent unknown prisoners from a dozen countries, and then a leading voice for closing the detention camp.

Read the article here.