Accessing Democracy: How Law Shapes and Influences Our Elections

Friday, March 11, 2016

9:00 AM to 6:00 PM 

The title of the 2016 symposium was "Accessing Democracy: How Law Shapes and Influences Our Elections." Topics discussed topics related to election law, such as redistricting and how this process is used to shape the electorate, voter identification laws and their effect on voter access, and the increasing role of money in politics following the Supreme Court's decision in Citizens United.


Friday, March 11, 2016

8:30-9:30 AM

Breakfast and Registration

9:30-9:45 AM

Welcome Address
Dean Jeremy Paul, Northeastern University School of Law

9:45-10:00 AM

Faculty Introduction

10:00-10:30 AM

The Effect of Redistricting on Political Elections
Reed Witherby, Of Counsel, Smith Duggan

10:30-11:15 AM

Redistricting within the Realm of Election Law
Reed Witherby, Of Counsel, Smith Duggan
Drew Spencer, FairVote
Miniard Culpepper, Sr, Regional Counsel, US Department of Housing and Urban Development

11:15-11:30 AM

Coffee Break

11:30 AM-12:15 PM

Keynote Address
Robert Brandon, President and Co-Founder, Fair Elections Legal Network

12:15-1:15 PM


1:20-2:30 PM

The Influence of Wealth on Elections and Lobbying
Maggie McKinley, Climenko Fellow and Lecturer on Law, Harvard Law School
Robert Boatwright, Associate Professor, Clark University
Vincent DeVito, Partner, Bowditch & Dewey

2:40-3:30 PM

Voter Access and Voter Identification Laws
Angel Taveras, Shareholder, Greenberg Traurig, Former Mayor, Providence, RI
Julie Ebenstein, Staff Attorney, Voting Rights Project, American Civil Liberties Union
Atiba Ellis, Professor of Law, West Virginia University College of Law
Douglas Spencer, Professor of Law, University of Connecticut School of Law

3:30-3:45 PM

Coffee Break

3:45-4:30 PM

The Use of Litigation to Influence Campaign Finance and Voter Access
Catie Kelley, State & Loal Reform Program Director, Campaign Legal Center
Brent Ferguson, Council, Brennan Center for Justice

4:40-5:00 PM

Closing Remarks

5:00-6:00 PM