Washington Lawyer - September 2016 - 37

MEDIA BYTES Where the law intersects with culture and lifestyle. By Sarah Kellogg A POWER VACUUM DRAMA UNFOLDS ON TV A constitutional crisis even more devastating than 2000's Bush v. Gore cuts through the new ABC TV series Designated Survivor. The opening episode launches this fall with an explosion that kills the president, vice president, all but one member of the Cabinet, and the Congress during the State of the Union address. What follows is a battle over the presidential succession process set in place by the Founding Fathers, and a fascinating debate about who can and should inherit the White House after a tragedy of this magnitude. Actor Keifer Sutherland (Jack Bauer from 24) portrays Tom Kirkman, the Cabinet member (described in the ABC press release as a "low level" secretary) who serves as the "designated survivor" in the event something happens. And something certainly does. Never elected, and fired by the president hours before the attack, Kirkman becomes president to the dismay of his friends and enemies. The set-up sparks an intriguing combination of constitutional quandary, family drama, and global terror conspiracy. (ABC, Wednesdays this fall, 10 p.m.) DON'T MISS A BEAT: LAWYERING AND RIFFING Most of us can only dream of being in a rock band, but not the attorney-musicians playing in the annual Law Rocks DC, an epic battle of the bands crewed by D.C. lawyers. Now in its second year, Law Rocks DC is part of the annual conference of the International Bar Association (IBA), raising funds for the IBA Human Rights Institute and local nonprofits. "I think there's a lot of carryover in terms of the skill sets for musicians and lawyers, but, obviously, totally different end products," says Benjamin Christoff, lead guitarist for Buzzard Point Caucus and an associate with McKool Smith. "Both take discipline and practice." Buzzard Point Caucus will play when the fundraising concert lights up the 9:30 Club on September 22. Law Rocks also will stage events in Boston, Istanbul, San Francisco, Sydney, and Tokyo. (lawrocks.org) AT NEW MUSEUM, A PLACE FOR HEALING AMID STORIES OF PAIN With the opening of the National Museum of African American History and Culture on September 24, the slow march toward freedom for African Americans - and the legal and constitutional efforts used to thwart that freedom - is fully on display. The $500 million, 400,000-square-foot museum, located on the National Mall, is designed as a space for healing and reconciliation, but it is also a repository of the nation's constitutional history of tolerating slavery and the fraught aftermath of its rejection. The museum illustrates the tragedy of slavery, its elimination, and the struggle toward freedom through its vast collection of artifacts, from records of slave trades to the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution that abolished slavery and the Emancipation Declaration, both signed by President Abraham Lincoln. The museum's 11 exhibitions go beyond the tragic and painful history of slavery in America to explore the profound contributions of African Americans in U.S. history, politics, culture, and war. (nmaahc.si.edu) Designated Survivor Preview "I think there's a lot of carryover in terms of the skill sets for musicians and lawyers, but, obviously, totally different end products. Both take discipline and practice." Benjamin Christoff, lead guitarist for Buzzard Point Caucus and an associate with McKool Smith. * WASHINGTON LAWYER * SEPTEMBER 2016 37 http://www.lawrocks.org http://nmaahc.si.edu https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N_f1v0Nx5Sw http://www.dcbar.org/

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