2012 GW Law Review Symposium: "Law and Democracy: A Symposium on the Law Governing Our Democratic Process"

Friday, November 16, 2012

The George Washington University
Jacob Burns Moot Court Room (Lerner 101)
2000 H Street, NW, Washington, DC 20052

This year's annual George Washington University Law Review symposium looks at the laws that govern our democratic process. Prominent academics and practitioners will discuss topics including the 2012 election cycle, campaign finance reform proposals, voting rights, and election law issues before the Supreme Court.

Faculty Sponsor: Spencer Overton, Professor of Law and Director of GW Political Law Studies Initiative.


8:30–9 am: Registration, Kelly Lounge

9–9:30 am: Ken Goldstein Presentation, Moot Court Room with Overflow in L201

9:30–10:45 am: Plenary Panel, Moot Court Room with Overflow in L201

Primary Issues in the 2012 Election

Moderator: William Marshall, Distinguished Professor of Law, University of North Carolina School of Law

  • Robert Bauer, General Counsel, Obama for America
  • Katie Biber, General Counsel, Romney for President
  • Ken Goldstein, President, Campaign Media Analysis Group, Kantar Media
  • Rick Hasen, Professor of Law, University of California Irvine School of Law
  • Myrna Pérez, Senior Counsel, Democracy Program, Brennan Center for Justice

This panel will feature a post-election discussion on the major legal issues that arose throughout the campaign and election seasons. The slated panelists are experts in campaign finance, election administration, and the Voting Rights Act.

10:45–11 am: Morning Break, Kelly Lounge

11 am–12:15 pm: Panels

The Role of Campaign Finance in the 2012 Election (L201)

Moderator: Lawrence Noble, President and CEO, Americans for Campaign Reform

  • Allison Hayward, Former Vice President of Policy, Center for Competitive Politics
  • Sam Issacharoff, Professor of Constitutional Law, New York University School of Law
  • Nathaniel Persily, Professor of Law and Political Science, Columbia Law School
  • Monica Youn, Constitutional Fellow, Brennan Center for Justice

Panelists will discuss the major effects of Citizens United on campaign spending in the 2012 election, the first election since the Supreme Court’s landmark opinion.

Election Administration (Moot Court Room)

Moderator: Sherrilyn Ifill, Professor of Law, University of Maryland, Francis King Carey School of Law.

  • Adam Cox, Professor of Law, New York University School of Law
  • Joshua Douglas, Assistant Professor of Law, University of Kentucky College of Law
  • John Fortier, Director of the Democracy Project, Bipartisan Policy Center
  • Heather Gerken, Professor of Law, Yale Law School
  • Daniel Tokaji, Professor of Law, Ohio State University, Moritz College of Law

Panelists will debate how the wave of new state laws regarding registration and voter identification will improve integrity and/or hinder voter access, and the legality of such laws.

12:30 pm–1:30 pm: Lunch and Keynote Address
Faculty Conference Center, invited guests only.
For more information about the luncheon, contact Katie Stoughton at kmstoughton@law.gwu.edu.

Keynote Speaker: Tom Perez, Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division of the United States Department of Justice

1:45–3 pm:

Future of Campaign Finance (Moot Court Room)

Moderator: Eliza Newlin Carney, Staff Writer, Roll Call

  • Richard Briffault, Professor of Legislation, Columbia Law School
  • Michael Kang, Professor of Law, Emory University School of Law
  • Trevor Potter, Founding President and General Counsel, Campaign Legal Center
  • Brad Smith, Chairman and Co-Founder, Center for Competitive Politics; Professor of Law, Capital University Law School

Panelists will discuss several pressing post-Citizens United issues, including regulating and requiring disclosure for new “SuperPACs” and the future of public financing.

Voting Rights Act and Redistricting (L201)

Moderator: Michael J. Pitts, Professor of Law and Dean’s Fellow, Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law

  • Michael Carvin, Partner, Jones Day
  • Kareem Crayton, Associate Professor of Law, University of North Carolina School of Law
  • Gilda Daniels, Assistant Professor of Law, University of Baltimore School of Law
  • Ellen Katz, Professor of Law, University of Michigan Law School
  • Justin Levitt, Associate Professor of Law, Loyola Law School

Panelists will analyze the precarious status of the preclearance provision (Section 5) of the Voting Rights Act, the Court’s evolving jurisprudence in this area, and the next steps for voting rights if the Court invalidates Section 5. They will also focus on partisan, incumbent, and racial gerrymandering in the redistricting that followed the 2012 census, the performance of the legislatures and independent commissions that redrew district lines, and proposals for reform.

3–3:15 pm: Afternoon Break, Kelly Lounge.

3:15–4:30 pm: Panel, Moot Court Room.

Election Law in the Roberts Court

Moderator: Alan Morrison, Lerner Family Associate Dean for Public Interest and Public Service Law and Professional Lecturer in Law, The George Washington University Law School

  • Guy-Uriel Charles, Professor of Law, Duke University School of Law
  • Edward Foley, Director, Election Law @ Moritz, Ohio State University, Moritz College of Law
  • Lani Guinier, Professor of Law, Harvard Law School 
  • Pamela Karlan, Professor of Public Interest Law, Stanford University Law School
  • Richard Pildes, Professor of Constitutional Law, New York University School of Law  

The day’s final panel will discuss the landmark decisions issued by the Roberts Court and the effect of those decisions on the law governing our democratic process.

*Please note: Symposium panels are still in formation and are subject to change.

4:30–6:30 pm: Reception, Kelly Lounge*

Please join the members of The George Washington University Law Review and the Political Law Society for a reception following the final panel.

*Location subject to change

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