Alan Dershowitz, whose op-ed about being shunned on Martha’s Vineyard because of his support for President Donald Trump’s constitutional rights went viral last week, has been invited to speak by the Vineyard Haven library on Wednesday, July 18, at 7 pm at the Katharine Cornell Theater in Tisbury.
“He usually speaks at the Chilmark library, but her schedule is full,” said Betty Burton, who is charge of adult programs at Vineyard Haven library. Chilmark put out a request Islandwide, and Vineyard Haven took the bait. “We’re a library. We try to be neutral,” Burton said.
Billed as “An Evening with Alan Dershowitz,” Burton said it will likely be a chance for him to talk about his new book, “The Case Against Impeachment,” which was released Monday. But he will no doubt face questions about his public comments over being ostracized from the Vineyard social scene. “We’ll let him say what he wants to say,” Burton told The Times.
Judy Crawford, a member of the League of Women Voters of Martha’s Vineyard, will moderate the talk. The details haven’t been fully worked out, but Burton and Crawford will be meeting with Dershowitz soon.
The invite comes after a week of fireworks on the Vineyard prompted by Dershowitz’s piece and his subsequent interviews. He has made appearances on network television, including one where he said a woman threatened to stab him, and done multiple interviews with the New York Times.
On “This Week” with George Stephanopoulos, Dershowitz made comments that are likely to stoke the controversy. “You cannot question a president’s motives when the president acts,” Dershowitz said. “If a president pardons, that’s it. If a president fires, that’s it. You can’t go beyond the act and get into his motive or intent.”
The first interview with the legendary defense attorney after his Hill op-ed was done by The MV Times. Following that, The Times asked our readers in our daily newsletter, The Minute, if they would invite Dershowitz to an event. Here are the results:
The poll on whether you would invite Alan Dershowitz to dinner garnered hundreds of responses. Of those, 37 percent said they would invite “Dersh” to dinner; 63 percent said no.
Of those who said yes, 42 percent said they would invite him because they agreed with his public defense of President Trump; 29 percent said they’d invite him because it might be interesting — even if they don’t know him. And 29 percent said they’d invite him because even though they disagree with him, they like spirited dinner conversation.
Of those who said they would not invite Alan Dershowitz to dinner, 56 percent said the reason was because they disagreed with his defense of Trump; 36 percent said they don’t know him, and don’t like inviting strangers to dinner; 4 percent said they did not like the fact that he was a Hillary Clinton supporter, and 4 percent said they had friends who disagreed with him, and preferred to keep their dinner parties peaceful.
All of this led up to the release of Dershowitz’s latest book — ”The Case Against Impeachment” — on Monday.
Dershowitz is also scheduled to speak after a showing of “American Chaos” by the Martha’s Vineyard Film Festival on Wednesday, July 25, at 8 pm at the Chilmark Community Center. Labor lawyer Jules Bernstein is the other speaker at the film festival event.
Burton said she’s not quite sure what to expect at the July 18 library-sponsored event. Dershowitz could still be a hot commodity, or things may have fizzled by then. “It seems to just keep going,” she said.