PublicSquare Seminars

Alex Keyssar – November 2020 Reforming the Electoral Process:  What Is To Be Done?

Alex Keyssar – November 2020 Reforming the Electoral Process: What Is To Be Done?

This webinar will focus on what we have learned about electoral processes from November’s historic presidential election – and what we might want to think about changing. Among the topics to be engaged are: the possibility of Electoral College reform; the need for a constitutional amendment guaranteeing the right to vote; the need for more nationally uniform procedures across the states; better funded election administration; and stronger safeguards against the many different varieties of voter suppression.

Alexander Keyssar is Matthew W. Stirling Jr. Stirling Professor of History and Social Policy at Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. Widely regarded as “America’s greatest historian of democracy,” he is the author of numerous books, including Why Do We Still Have the Electoral College? (released July 2020) and The Right to Vote: The Contested History of Democracy in the United States, a 2001 Pulitzer Prize finalist and winner of the Beveridge Award from the American Historical Association for the best book in U.S. history. Keyssar has also taught at Duke University, MIT, and Brandeis University. He graduated from Harvard University with a PhD in the History of American Civilization.

Seminar Readings

Alexander Keyssar, “The Real Grand Bargain, Coming Undone,” The Washington Post (August 19, 2011)
Alexander Keyssar, “Voter Suppression Returns: Voting Rights and Partisan Practices,” Harvard Magazine (July-August 2012)
Alexander Keyssar, “The Strange Career of Voter Suppression,” The New York Times (February 12, 2012)
Alexander Keyssar, “How Has the Electoral College Survived for This Long?” The New York Times (August 3, 2020)
Alexander Keyssar, “The Stubborn Survival of the Electoral College,” The Wall Street Journal (August 13, 2020)

Jeffrey Rosen – October 2020 The Future of the Supreme Court

Jeffrey Rosen – October 2020 The Future of the Supreme Court

Jeffrey Rosen discusses the future of the Supreme Court and the key constitutional issues it will face, such as free speech, religious liberty, and civil rights. At a time of deep partisan polarization, he talks about how the Supreme Court can maintain its bipartisan legitimacy and independence. Finally, Rosen explores the arguments for and against calls for structural reform of the judiciary, including court packing and term limits.

Jeffrey Rosen serves as President & CEO of the National Constitution Center, Professor at The George Washington University Law School, and Contributing Editor of The Atlantic. He is the author of six books including, most recently, Conversations with RBG: Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on Life, Love, Liberty, and Law. He has also written William Howard Taft: The American Presidents Series; Louis D. Brandeis: American Prophet; The Supreme Court: The Personalities and Rivalries that Defined America; The Most Democratic Branch: How the Courts Serve America; The Naked Crowd: Reclaiming Security and Freedom in an Anxious Age; and The Unwanted Gaze: The Destruction of Privacy in America. He is co-editor of Constitution 3.0: Freedom and Technological Change. Rosen is a graduate of Harvard College; Oxford University, where he was a Marshall Scholar; and Yale Law School.

Seminar Readings

Jess Bravin, Brent Kendall, and Jacob Gershman, “What Trump Pick Amy Coney Barrett Could Mean for Future of the Supreme Court,” Wall Street Journal, (September 26, 2020)
Jeffrey Rosen, “John Roberts Is Just Who the Supreme Court Needed,” The Atlantic, (July 13, 2020)
Ryan D. Doerfler and Samuel Moyn, “Reform the Court, but Don’t Pack It,” The Atlantic, (August 8, 2020)

View the Webinar

Recorded on October 25, 2020

Richard Hasen – March 2020 Campaign Misinformation, the First Amendment, and the 2020 Election

Richard Hasen – March 2020 Campaign Misinformation, the First Amendment, and the 2020 Election

What can be done consistent with the First Amendment and without raising the risk of censorship to ensure that voters can make informed election decisions despite a flood of virally-spread false and misleading speech, audio, and images? How can the United States minimize foreign disinformation campaigns aimed at American elections and attempts to sow social discord via bot armies? How can voters obtain accurate information about who is trying to influence them via social media and other new forms of technology?

Richard L. Hasen, Chancellor’s Professor of Law and Political Science at the University of California, Irvine, is a nationally recognized expert on election law and campaign finance regulation. His latest book, Election Meltdown: Dirty Tricks, Distrust, and the Threat to American Democracy, will be published by Yale University Press in February, 2020. He is also the author of The Voting Wars: From Florida 2000 to the Next Election Meltdown, Plutocrats United: Campaign Money, the Supreme Court, and the Distortion of American Elections, and The Justice of Contradictions: Antonin Scalia and the Politics of Disruption. He was named one of the 100 most influential lawyers in America by The National Law Journal in 2013 and one of the Top 100 Lawyers in California in 2005 and 2016 by the Los Angeles and San Francisco Daily Journal.

Listen Now

Podcast coming soon.

Seminar Readings

Richard L. Hasen “Speech in America is Fast Cheap and Out of Control” Op-Ed, Los Angeles Times (August 18, 2017)
Robert Chesney and Danielle Citron “Deepfakes: A Looming Crisis for National Security Democracy and Privacy?” Lawfare (February 21, 2018)

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