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Thursday, January 01, 2015

Sunday is Election Law Day at AALS

I'm declaring Sunday to be "Election Law Day" at this year's AALS Annual Meeting.  I don't think there has ever been as much programming on election law at a prior meeting.  This is in part due to the fact that the brand-new Section on Election Law is hosting its first substantive panel, focusing on the 50th Anniversity of the Voting Rights Act.  The Section on Civil Rights is holding a panel on voter suppression in the morning, and there is a hot topics panel on campaign finance in the afternoon.

All three panels contain an all-star list of scholars in the field (putting me in awe as to how I was included!).  After the jump I've pasted the details of each of these panels.   I hope you'll join us! 

Section on Civil Rights:  Voter Suppression, the 2014 Elections and Beyond

Sunday, January 4, 2015, 8:30-10:15

In the last two years, numerous laws targeting underprivileged voters were enacted. The concrete effects and application of these laws in their respective states have yet to be measured. The 2014 midterm elections provide the first opportunity to document these effects. It is crucial, particularly in light of the Shelby County decision, to monitor these dynamics. Grassroots solutions to help counter their detrimental impact are also needed. In light of the current legal landscape, it is important to craft these grassroots solutions in tandem with any proposed legal reform. This year’s panel will discuss manifestations and application of these voting rights laws around the country. In addition, panelists will offer insight and suggestions regarding legal and grassroots processes that could help alleviate recent setbacks in the voting rights context.

Business meeting at program conclusion.

Speakers:
 
Moderator: Gilda Daniels, University of Baltimore School of Law 
Speaker: Kareem U. Crayton, University of North Carolina School of Law 
Speaker from a Call for Papers: Joshua Douglas, University of Kentucky College of Law 
Speaker from a Call for Papers: Irving L. Joyner, North Carolina Central University School of Law 
Speaker from a Call for Papers: Spencer Overton, The George Washington University Law School 
Speaker from a Call for Papers: Daniel P. Tokaji, The Ohio State University, Michael E. Moritz College of Law (subbing for Michael E. Waterstone) 
 
Section on Election Law:  The Voting Rights Act at 50
 
Sunday, January 4, 2015, 2:00-3:45
 
On August 6, 1965, President Lyndon Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act into law.  During the signing ceremony, President Johnson referred to the Act as “one of the most monumental laws in the entire history of American freedom.”  Over the past fifty years, the Supreme Court has issued numerous decisions on various aspects of the Voting Rights Act, Congress has amended it several times, and it remains an important component of public debate.  This panel – the first programming for the new AALS Section on Election Law – will explore the many facets of that debate.  The panel will analyze the current issues regarding voting rights, from the Supreme Court’s recent invalidation of the Section 4 coverage formula in its Shelby County decision – essentially rendering Section 5 inoperable – to Congress’s consideration of a Voting Rights Act Amendment, to the report of the bipartisan Presidential Commission on Election Administration.  Part of this inquiry will include a discussion of whether we have reached the ideals President Johnson aspired to 50 years ago when he signed this Act, and where we should go from here in protecting and effectuating the right to vote. 
 
Business meeting at program conclusion.
 
Speakers:
 
Moderator: Joshua Douglas, University of Kentucky College of Law 
Speaker: Ms. Pamela S. Karlan, U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division (and Stanford Law School)
Speaker: Kareem U. Crayton, University of North Carolina School of Law 
Speaker: Christopher S. Elmendorf, University of California at Davis School of Law 
Speaker from a Call for Papers: David J. Gartner, Arizona State University Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law 
Speaker from a Call for Papers: Daniel P. Tokaji, The Ohio State University, Michael E. Moritz College of Law 
 
AALS Hot Topic/Bridge Program:  Citizens Invited:  Scholars and Professors in the Campaign Finance Wars
 
Sunday, January 4, 2015, 4:00-5:45
 
Recent developments have highlighted the prominent roles that scholars and professors play on the front lines of the campaign finance wars.

This panel will feature legal academics who are also advocates, candidates, legislators and lobbyists. One of our panelists ran for Governor of New York on an anti-corruption platform, another launched a Super PAC to promote campaign finance reform, and another has introduced a bill in his capacity as a state legislator to require corporations to have majority assent from shareholders before backing political candidates. In this program, panelists will begin by evaluating the fallout from the recent defeat of the 28th Amendment and consider non-constitutional strategies to regulate money in politics in the face of judicial and political barriers. Panelists will subsequently explore how the law teaching profession has been involved in theorizing, developing, advocating and campaigning for new strategies to reform electoral campaign finance.

Speakers:
 
Moderator: Richard Albert, Boston College Law School 
Speaker: Joshua Douglas, University of Kentucky College of Law 
Speaker: Joseph R. Fishkin, The University of Texas School of Law 
Speaker: Lawrence Lessig, Harvard Law School 
Speaker: Eugene D. Mazo, Wake Forest University School of Law 
Speaker: Spencer Overton, The George Washington University Law School 
Speaker: Jamin Ben Raskin, American University, Washington College of Law 
Speaker: Bradley A. Smith, West Virginia University College of Law 
Speaker: Zephyr Teachout, Fordham University School of Law 
Speaker: Franita Tolson, Florida State University College of Law 
Speaker: Ciara Torres-Spelliscy, Stetson University College of Law 

Posted by Josh Douglas on January 1, 2015 at 01:21 PM in Law and Politics | Permalink

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