New School President Bob Kerrey talks with William Zabel about his distinguished legal career, his work as chairman of Human Rights First, and his role in significant human rights cases, including the landmark Supreme Court decision which put an end to race-based bans on marriage.
Bob Kerrey is president of The New School in New York City.
For twelve years prior to becoming president of The New School, Bob Kerrey represented the State of Nebraska in the United States Senate. Before that, he served as Nebraska's governor for four years.
Bob Kerrey is the author of When I Was A Young Man: A Memoir, published by Harcourt Books (May 2002). He served as a member of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks upon the United States, currently leads a five year writing challenge sponsored by The National Commission on Writing in America's Schools and Colleges, and is co-chair with Newt Gingrich of The National Commission for Quality Long-Term Care.
William Zabel is chairman of Human Rights First (formerly the Lawyers Committee for Human Rights), a nonprofit international human rights organization. He has traveled the globe on Human Rights First's behalf, including a 1986 trip to Chile, where he investigated cases involving those who were disappeared under the Pinochet regime.
Zabel was a strong advocate for the creation of the International Criminal Court, and he helped support its growth as an effective forum for bringing human rights violators to justice. Zabel also played a key role in the landmark 1967 Supreme Court case Loving v. Virginia, in which the Court declared Virginia's anti-miscegenation statute unconstitutional, effectively putting an end to race-based bans on marriage. Two years later, he was the lead lawyer in Weiss v. Gardner, where the Supreme Court held that a loyalty oath then required by Medicare was unconstitutional.
Later, he signed the brief in Palmore v. Sidoti, in which the Supreme Court held that a white woman could not be stripped of custody of her child because she married an African American.
Lawyer and human rights advocate William Zabel argues that even though the United States is unlikely to sign the treaty of the International Criminal Court, it should still lend its support because the ICC is likely to be a "vital international organ for justice."