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Impeach Justice Douglas!

When Justice William O. Douglas retired from the U.S. Supreme Court in 1975, he had served for thirty-six years, longer than any other justice its history, and had helped to decide some of the most important cases in the nation's history. He was an inveterate traveler, prolific writer, and popular speaker, who used his position to espouse his ideas on environmentalism and the Bill of Rights. His public visibility and open criticism won him friends in some places and more than a few enemies in the Congress and the White House, some of whom actively, though unsuccessfully, sought his impeachment.

Impeach Justice Douglas!, featuring Graham Thatcher, in an engaging solo theatrical performance that uses anecdote, humor and painful remembrances to explore some of the most explosive issues of William O. Douglas' long tenure on the Supreme Court. He wrestles with balancing what he calls the "wilderness mind" with the often-hostile adversarial conflicts created by his controversial opinions and his active public life. He addresses the issues about which he was most passionate ... civil rights, freedom of speech, environmental concerns and the right of the individual to non-conformity and dissent ... as he reflects on Brown v. Board of Education, the "McCarthy Era" and the Vietnam war. Although Douglas' life spanned the early and middle part of the twentieth century, the issues of his day remain major social and legal concerns of current times.

William O. Douglas left a legacy that calls for vigilance to protect human rights and action to protect the earth's environment. This production explores that legacy, provokes thought about our responsibilities as citizens and provides a provocative tool to facilitate audience discussion.

What Attendees Are Saying About This Show

  • "Outstanding presentation! The audience was spellbound and we all gained new insights into the life of this extraordinary man. I would highly recommend your program to others as a welcome and refreshing alternative to the more traditional lectures and panel discussion on serious topics, like these."

    (Dale R. Harris, President, Colorado Bar Association)

  • "Congratulations on Impeach Justice Douglas! It was fantastic! A job well done. I don't know when I have enjoyed an evening more."
    (Thomas G. Fritz, Past President, State Bar of South Dakota)

  • "Impeach Justice Douglas! is a stunning theatrical and educational success. Thatcher's impressive portrayal of Bill Douglas is on target and highlights the passion and conscience of one of America's uncommon champions of the Bill of Rights."
    (Tom Cronin, President, Whitman College, Douglas' Alma Mater)

  • "One of the finest KBA CLE efforts ever! What a show!"
    (Jan Clark, CLE Director, Kentucky Bar Association)

  • "One of the most rewarding continuing legal education experiences I have ever enjoyed. Thank you so much for your . . . vision."
    (Honorable Leland P. Anderson, District Court Judge, First Judicial District of the State of Colorado)

  • "Entertaining, educational, stimulating and thought provoking. An exceptional job with a complex and diverse subject."
    (Scott D. McGregor, Attorney at Law, Rapid City, SD)

  • "This was an extraordinary experience - not your usual run-of-the-mill CLE. Your relationship with the audience was incredible. We were with you from start to finish and the rapport was 'otherworldly.'"
    (Yvette Leerskoff Gardner, Past President, Wichita Bar Association)

  • "I cannot imagine a better way to furnish instruction. Your performance was powerful and engaging and I hope we can bring you back to Whitman before long."
    (Timothy Kaufman-Osborn, Professor of Politics and Leadership, Whitman College, Douglas' Alma Mater)

  • ". a history lesson, a civics class and a political debate all played out . . . as exhilarating entertainment. You have created a dramatic biography of the highest order."
    (Jeffrey Viken, Attorney at Law, Rapid City, SD)

  • "You captured this mercurial and sometimes contradictory man brilliantly!"
    (Donald L. Frankenfeld, President, Frankenfeld Associates Interactive, Inc., Rapid City, SD)

  • "Professional and polished in every aspect."
    (Paul Higbee, Writer, South Dakota Magazine)

  • "This 'history-lesson-come-alive' is a strong testimony to the power of theater to educate . . . at the same time it entertains. Historical and educational value aside, this production is a fine piece of theatre!"
    (Maureen Zimney, Teacher, Stevens High School, Rapid City, SD)