2020 Symposium: Democracy Reform for the 21st Century

2020 Symposium: Democracy Reform for the 21st Century

September 10–18, 2020

Poster for Democracy Reform for the 21st Century SymposiumThe California Law Review’s 2020 Symposium: Democracy Reform for the 21st Century brought together scholars, legal practitioners, public servants, community leaders, and political experts to identify and evaluate key initiatives to strengthen our democracy. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, nationwide uprisings against racism and police killings, and the threat of interference in the upcoming election, ensuring the equity, integrity, and future of our democracy is now more important than ever. 

Drawing on diverse expertise, our participants discussed what is at stake, what is possible, and how we get there—by amendment, statute, regulatory device, polling, etc. Discussions were organized around three guiding principles: (1) Every person should be able to cast an informed vote; (2) Every vote should count equally; and (3) Every voter should have confidence that their vote matters.

This event was hosted in partnership with Jeff Bleich, former Special Counsel to the President and Editor-in-Chief of the California Law Review (’89).

Schedule of Events (View All Recordings)

(All panels listed in Pacific Time) 

Thursday, September 10

12:45 PM – 2:00 PM – Welcome & Opening Keynote (View Recording)

  • Jeff Bleich, former Special Counsel to the President and Editor-in-Chief of the California Law Review (’89) (Welcome Remarks)
  • K. Sabeel Rahman, President, Demos (Keynote Speaker)

Friday, September 11

9:30 AM – 10:45 AM – Principle 1: Every Person Should Be Able and Encouraged to Cast an Informed Vote (View Recording)

  • Emily Rong Zhang, PhD Candidate, Stanford University & Skadden Fellow, ACLU Voting Rights Project (2017-2019) (Facilitator)
  • Gilda Daniels, Director of Litigation, Advancement Project & Professor, University of Baltimore Law
  • Michael Morse, PhD Candidate, Harvard University
  • Paul Smith, Vice President of Litigation & Strategy, Campaign Legal Center

12:45 PM – 2:00 PM – Principle 2: Every Vote Should Count Equally (View Recording)

  • Bertrall Ross, Professor, Berkeley Law (Facilitator)
  • Justin Levitt, Professor, Loyola Law School & Former Deputy Assistant Attorney General, U.S. DOJ Civil Rights Division
  • Nick Stephanopoulos, Professor, Harvard Law School

Monday, September 14

9:30 AM – 10:45 AM – Critical Race Theory, the 2020 Election, and Structural Reform (View Recording)

  • Cheryl Harris, Professor, UCLA Law (Facilitator)
  • Barbara Arnwine, President and Founder, Transformative Justice Coalition & President Emeritus, Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law
  • Guy-Uriel Charles, Professor, Duke Law
  • Atiba Ellis, Professor, Marquette University Law
  • Luis Fuentes-Rohwer, Professor, Indiana University Maurer School of Law

Tuesday, September 15

12:45 PM – 2:00 PM – The Call to Civic Duty (View Recording)

  • Bertrall Ross, Professor, Berkeley Law (Facilitator)
  • Jacqueline De León, Staff Attorney, Native American Rights Fund
  • Caroline Fredrickson, Senior Fellow, Brennan Center for Justice & Former President, American Constitution Society
  • Manu Meel, CEO, BridgeUSA
  • Jonathan Stein, Executive Director, California Common Cause

Friday, September 18

12:00 PM – 1:00 PM – Principle 3: Every Voter Should Have Confidence That Their Vote Matters. (View Recording)

  • Erwin Chemerinsky, Dean, Berkeley Law (Facilitator)
  • Lawrence Lessig, Professor, Harvard Law
  • Ann Ravel, Former Commissioner, Federal Election Commission & Candidate for California Senate, District 15
  • Jeff Bleich, former Special Counsel to the President and Editor-in-Chief of the California Law Review (’89) (Closing Remarks)

Follow #CLRDemocracyReform for updates and check out our website and social media channels for more content:

Website: www.californialawreview.org
Twitter: https://twitter.com/CalifLRev
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/californialawreview