Teri Kanefield

Attorney, author, and educator.

About Teri Kanefield

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Teri Kanefield is an attorney, author, and educator. She has written more than a dozen books; published more than 50 articles, essays, and stories in mainstream outlets; and filed hundreds of appellate briefs. Her legal and political analysis has appeared in The Washington Post, CNN.com, NBC, and other mainstream news outlets. A list of publications is here.

She holds a law degree from the University of California at Berkeley, a master’s in English with an emphasis in fiction writing from the University of California at Davis, and an undergraduate degree from the University of Pennsylvania.

Before law school, Teri taught English and creative writing at the university and college levels. Her legal career began with criminal defense work at the trial level, then she worked exclusively as an appellate defender. For twelve years, she maintained a private appellate law practice limited to representing people who had the right to appeal but could not afford to pay.

Motivated by a desire to make law and civics accessible to America’s future leaders, Teri took breaks from handling appeals to write books for young readers. She believes writing for middle and high school readers is much like writing for appellate justices: Appellate justices want everything broken down and digestible. And although she won't carry the comparison too far, she does believe Ninth graders are usually more open-minded and a lot more fun.

For more of Teri Kanefield's work, visit her website.

The Perennial Problem of Demagogues
"The demagogue gains power by democratic means, claiming to be a champion of ‘the people’ and making wild promises...Anyone who opposes the demagogue is labeled an ‘enemy of the people’ and exiled or killed," writes Teri Kanefield.
February 22, 2024
Are Women And Black People "People" Under The 14th Amendment?
The 14th A states: "No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws." Seems clear enough - but Teri Kanefield explains that it wasn't enough to provide women and Black people equal protection or equal rights.
February 15, 2024
A Bunch Of Good Books
Teri Kanefield astounds us once again with this incredible list of essential reading for anyone who wants to understand where our democracy is, how we got here, and how we can find our way through.
February 8, 2024
The Anti-Democratic Opposition
Teri Kanefield dives into the nature of the anti-democratic opposition, exploring political psychology and its impact on democracy. She highlights the challenge of eliminating this opposition and emphasizes the importance of neutral rules to protect free speech and criticism.
February 1, 2024
How Democracies Die And How To Save Them (A Journey Through Books)
Teri Kanefield takes us on a journey through books exploring democracy's fragility and the strategies to preserve it. Exploring the work of Ziblatt, Levitsky, and others, she analyzes democratic norms, transitions, and Biden's response to challenges.
January 25, 2024
Making Sense of It All, Part 1: Yes, It Has Happened Before
Teri Kanefield provides insightful commentary on the dangerous trend of fascism, as leading Republicans pile on to endorse Trump, examining the risks to democracy and the need for accountability.
January 18, 2024
Section 3 of the Fourteenth Amendment and the Spirit of Liberty
Teri Kanefield shines a legal light on spirit of liberty and the Fourteenth Amendment arguments to remove Trump from ballots.
January 11, 2024
No Time to Panic
In "No Time to Panic," Teri Kanefield sheds light on the echoes of autocratic behavior in Trump's presidential run. By dissecting the tactics of panic, spectacle, and the manipulation of enemies, Kanefield highlights the importance of staying informed and unearths the history that can guide us through these turbulent times.
January 4, 2024
Fun With Criminal Procedure, A Bit About Liz Cheney’s Book (and more)
Discover the legal complexities surrounding Trump's absolute immunity argument, its impact on proceedings, and the courts' response from the one and only Teri Kanefield.
December 21, 2023
Misinformation Part 6: How to Hold on to Facts
Teri Kanefield's concluding piece discusses countering misinformation, diversifying representation, and resisting demagogues. Plus, how we can stay informed, engage, and protect democracy through evidence-based decision-making.
November 9, 2023
Misinformation Outrage Part 5: Get the Fighters Fighting and Keep Them Fighting
Teri Kanefield delves into the detrimental cycle of misinformation and outrage that plagues our society. She explores the significant impact of partisan information ecosystems, examining how false narratives and distorted truths spread and perpetuate conflict.
November 9, 2023
Misinformation Outrage Part 4: Social Media Makes it Worse
In this fourth installment of the series, Teri Kanefield explores the influence of social media on combating misinformation and conspiracy theories.
November 9, 2023
Misinformation Outrage Part 3: The Perils Of Legal Punditry
Teri Kanefield delves into the challenges of legal punditry and the negative effects of partisan pundits and conspiracy theories on American democracy, with a focus on maintaining truth and integrity.
November 9, 2023