Updates | The Week of October 2, 2017
The Supreme Court held oral argument in Gill v. Whitford, a major partisan gerrymandering case. Concerns persisted over the impartiality of the Pence-Kobach Voter Commission.
The Value of Gerrymandering
What is the value to democracy from political gerrymandering for partisan advantage? The intuitive answer is the right one: None.
Versus Trump: So, Can California Really Do That?
On this week’s episode of Versus Trump, Charlie and Jason discuss a recently-passed bill awaiting the signature of California Governor Jerry Brown that, if signed into law, would require presidential candidates to disclose five years of federal of tax returns in order to appear on the ballot in California. Jason and Charlie ask each other whether California has the constitutional power to do that, and, if so, whether it's a good idea. Listen now!
Updates | The Week of September 25, 2017
A study suggests that confusion over Wisconsin voter ID laws kept thousands of voters from the polls last November. California moved its presidential primary to Super Tuesday.
Updates | The Week of September 18, 2017
Questions about illegal voting and discussions of how to improve election integrity continue to plague the Trump administration. Professor Larry Lessig has a new proposal for election reform.
Updates | The Week of August 14, 2017
Despite studies showing that voter fraud is practically nonexistent, aides connected to the Trump Administration have created an organization to increase voter turnout in areas where the President has high support and discourage “fraudulent” democratic voting.
Updates | The Week of August 7, 2017
The President's voter fraud commission risks voter purges and may become a target for hackers. The Department of Justice reversed its historical position on the Ohio voter roll purge statute.
Updates | The Week of July 31, 2017
States continue to resist the voter fraud commission's attempts to collect voting records. Commission vice-chair Kris Kobach is fighting the ACLU's document requests.
Trump Jr. and Citizens United
In a perfect world, federal election law would distinguish between foreign governments involving themselves in U.S. elections and foreign nationals doing so. Unfortunately, we don't live in that perfect world because of the Supreme Court.
Versus Trump: Versus Kobach
On this week’s episode of Versus Trump, we discuss the litigation against the newly-created Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity, that has Kansas Secretary of State—and repeat defendant in voting rights litigation—Kris Kobach as its now-infamous Vice Chair. Listen now!
Kris Kobach is a Menace to Democracy. Boycott his Vote-Rigging Commission.
By Jed Shugerman. Trump is using the Comey firestorm as a smoke screen for a potentially more dangerous move: appointing Kris Kobach vice chair of a new “election integrity” commission, with Mike Pence as chair. Kobach will make it a voter-suppression/vote rigging commission, fomenting anti-immigrant and racist fears.
Arresting the Deterioration of Democracy
Troubling signs abound for American constitutional democracy. It isn't (yet) too late to halt the decline. But that will require the creation and implementation of a robust democracy agenda.
All Your Voter Data Are Belong To Us
Kris Kobach just asked for help building a national voter file in two weeks. That’s massively irresponsible. And it might well be illegal.
Versus Trump: Where There's A Gil... (On Partisan Gerrymandering)
On this week’s episode of Versus Trump, we discuss a lurking issue with opposing Trump in upcoming elections: partisan gerrymandering. Charlie and Easha take a close look at the case of Gil v. Whitford, a case the Supreme Court recently announced it will take up next fall. In Gil, the Supreme Court may boldly announce a new rule that might seriously curb partisan gerrymandering—or the Court may entirely stop courts from being able to hear these cases at all. Listen now!
A Department of Justice, But For Whom?
A letter about how to fix DOJ’s Civil Rights Division simultaneously maintains that we live in a “post-racial world” and urges the Division to take measures that will disenfranchise people of color.
Information Wars Part I: The Challenge To The Census
The Trump administration has enacted several policies to conceal, subvert, or manipulate information. It has retracted a proposal to add LGBTQ identification to the U.S. census and eliminated LGBTQ identification from HHS surveys. These policies and others attempt to deny the existence of a problem by disappearing the (inconvenient) facts.
Treason and Cyberwarfare
By Carlton Larson: There are two forms of treason recognized under the United States Constitution: (1) levying war against the United States; and (2) adhering to our enemies, giving them aid and comfort. Each raises slightly different issues with respect to cyberwarfare.
Versus Trump: The Collusion Lawsuit
On this week’s episode of Versus Trump, Charlie and Easha discuss a newly-filed lawsuit brought by private plaintiffs who allege that Trump's campaign and Trump advisor Roger Stone conspired with Russians to disclose private information about the plaintiffs. Listen now!
Resisting Calls for Illegal Hiring Practices at DOJ’s Civil Rights Division
Even in these strange and trying times, we would like to think that our Attorney General will follow the law while staffing the division of DOJ charged with realizing the Constitution’s promise of a democracy that’s worth a damn—one open to all citizens, regardless of the color of their skin.
Updates | The Week of April 10, 2017
This week, a federal judge found a discriminatory purpose behind Texas's Voter ID law. On Take Care, Joshua Matz and Leah Litman argue that the Trump Administration's plans for the Department of Justice's Civil Rights Division raise grave concerns. Joshua Matz also notes the concern expressed by advocacy groups over Attorney General Jeff Sessions' lack of commitment to protecting voting rights.
Updates | The Week of July 10, 2017
President Trump's voter fraud commission continued to draw significant opposition and criticism, including some resistance from Republican state officials.
Updates | The Week of August 21, 2017
An advocacy group filed a lawsuit to make the records of President Trump's Election Integrity Commission public, while commentators continued to criticize the commission.
Updates | The Week of April 3, 2017
This week, Daniel Tokaji argued for an active "democracy agenda" on Take Care while a movement for voter ID laws grows in the states, despite no evidence of a large voter conspiracy.
Updates | The Week of April 17, 2017
A close special election in Georgia may portend electoral problems for the Republicans. During the 2016 election, the Russian government sought to peddle the myth of voter fraud when it appeared President Trump may lose.
Updates | The Week of July 3, 2017
More than 40 states have fully or partially refused to comply with the Pence-Kobach Commission’s request for state voter data.
The Story Thus Far: Voting Rights
Since taking office, President Trump has cast doubt on the American electoral process--even as DOJ has stepped away from challenges to restrictive voter identification laws. Here are some useful analyses of the story thus far.
Updates | The Week of May 29, 2017
Commentators argued that President Trump’s sham Commission on Election Integrity is a threat to democracy, the Supreme Court granted certiorari in a case that could have wide-ranging impact on voting rights, and a new Democratic super PAC is fighting back on partisan gerrymandering.
Updates | The Week of April 24, 2017
Leah Litman analyzes a conservative activists' letter to Attorney General Sessions in light of the illegal Texas redistricting plan.
Updates | The Week of May 8, 2017
President Trump signed an executive order creating a presidential commission on “election integrity” based on his false claims of widespread voter fraud during the 2016 election.
Updates | The Week of March 27, 2017
Calls for a "special election" pose major constitutional, political, and policy questions, as Ian Samuel explains for Take Care. Instead, the best way to avoid foreign interference may be to update voting technology.
Updates | The Week of June 5, 2017
Efforts to expand automatic voter registration are picking up steam nationally, and the Supreme Court will hear a significant Ohio voting rights case.
Updates | The Week of July 17, 2017
The President's embattled Commission on Election Integrity, which has been sued by numerous voting rights groups, held its first public meeting this week. DOJ has changed tactics in its Texas voter ID case.