PERSONAL: Male. Education: Yale University, J.D., 1992.
CAREER: Clerked for Judge Harry T. Edwards, U.S. Court of Appeals, Washington, DC; admitted to the Bar of Washington, DC; practiced law in Washington, DC; Yale Law School, New Haven, CT, research assistant, 1999–2001. Cofounder of Writ (online journal).
(With Dahlia Lithwick) Me v. Everybody: Absurd Contracts for an Absurd World, Workman Publishing (New York, NY), 2003.
Storming the Court: How a Band of Law Students Sued the President—and Won, Scribner (New York, NY), 2005.
Contributor to periodicals and Web sites, including the New York Times Magazine, Washington Post, Slate, com, MSNBC.com, and the Wall Street Journal online.
ADAPTATIONS: Film rights to Storming the Court have been sold to Warner Bros.
SIDELIGHTS: Brandt Goldstein is an attorney who began writing Storming the Court: How a Band of Law Students Sued the President—and Won while working as a research assistant at Yale Law School. The book documents how, in 1992, Yale students sued the U.S. government for the release of Haitian refugees being held at the Guantanamo Naval Base in Cuba. More than ten thousand refugees had fled their country's brutal dictatorial regime and were scheduled to be returned by the U.S. government to Haiti, where they faced persecution and possible death. Their case was directed by Yale professor Harold Koh, who later became dean of the law school, and the refugees were represented by an advocate who used the fake name Yvonne Pascal to protect herself. The law firm of Simpson Thacher & Bartlett worked on the case pro bono. In 2004 the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of the plaintiffs, and the refugees were released and brought to the United States. The book provides a background for the controversy surrounding detainees later held at Guantanamo without being charged as part of the U.S. government's "war on terrorism." Goldstein, who is a graduate of Yale Law School, was not part of the action but was a classmate of some of the students who were.
Library Journal reviewer Harry Charles noted that although the book is written from the perspective of the plaintiffs, it "does an excellent job of explaining the applicable law from the government's perspective." A Kirkus Reviews contributor described Storming the Court as "a revealing look at the legal system, a compelling human rights story and an inspirational tale of dedicated people who refused to accept the status quo."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, September 1, 2005, Vernon Ford, review of Storming the Court: How a Band of Law Students Sued the President—and Won, p. 28.
Kirkus Reviews, July 1, 2005, review of Storming the Court, p. 718.
Library Journal, August 1, 2005, Harry Charles, review of Storming the Court, p. 103.
Publishers Weekly, July, 25, 2005, review of Storming the Court, p. 60.
Brandt Goldstein Home Page, http://www.brandtgoldstein.com (February 23, 2006).