Battleground Regional Convening Series

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Please join us for this year’s virtual regional convening of our lawyer and student chapters in Michigan, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Wisconsin as we explore how election administration and voting rights; race and the criminal process; and other issues particularly impact these battleground states. With just a single free registration, you will be signed up for a six-week series of panels featuring practitioners and scholars at the heart of today’s most urgent legal fights. Stay tuned to this site as we regularly update it to reflect the latest schedule.


Schedule of Events:

Contested Elections: Preparing for What’s to Come

  • September 8, 2020 / 1:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. ET
  • This panel will discuss the possibilities for a contested election (mass disqualification or non-counting of mail-in ballots; delays in counting mail-in ballots so Candidate A wins the day-of vote but Candidate B wins the total vote; one candidate not accepting the outcome, etc…), what we can do to protect the vote on the front end, and how lawyers can help fight against a wrongly-contested election.
  • Featuring: Kathleen Clyde, Portage County Commissioner; Aghogho Edevbie, Michigan Director, All Voting is Local; Max Feldman, Counsel, Democracy Program, Brennan Center for Justice; Mary Ellen Gurewitz, Of Counsel, Cummings & Cummings Law Group, PLLC, Moderator


“Rigged”: A Discussion of Modern Voter Suppression

  • September 15, 2020 / 7:00 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. ET
  • This panel will discuss our country’s long history of voter suppression, particularly with regards to race, as well as the more recent history of voter suppression by political identification. Our speakers will discuss how a more polarized environment (race, education, rural v. urban, etc…) has made voter suppression techniques more readily available. Topics to be covered include:
    • Gerrymandering as voter suppression - and how to fight back.
    • Common voter suppression techniques and what we can do in the run-up to November 3 to protect against them.
    • Law and policy changes that need to be made to secure future elections.
  • FeaturingAtiba Ellis, Professor of Law and ACS Faculty Advisor, Marquette University Law School; Marc Heller, Co-Executive Producer of Rigged; Founder, American Issues Initiative; Former Head of Worldwide Mergers and Acquisitions, Goldman Sachs; Carol Kuniholm, Chair and Co-Founder of Fair Districts Pennsylvania; Jeremy Paris, Principal, The Raben Group; Member, Northeast Ohio ACS Board of Directors; Former Chief Counsel, Nominations and Oversight on the Senate Judiciary Committee, Moderator.


Movement Leading: Racial Justice and the Right to Protest

  • September 22, 2020 / 7:00 p.m.- 8:30 p.m. ET
  • The Black Lives Matter movement erupted nationally in the wake of the George Floyd shooting in Minneapolis and locally in Wisconsin before and after the Jacob Blake shooting in Kenosha. Join local protest leaders Porsche Bennett and Frank Nitty as they discuss the challenges of getting into the streets to amplify the voices of those protesting racial inequality in our policing and criminal justice systems, including Frank’s march to Washington DC, and Porsche’s moment with VP Biden in Kenosha. ACLU of Wisconsin Board President William Sulton adds legal perspective and practical takeaways on what lawyers can do to be part of the movement.
  • Featuring: Porsche Bennett, Black Lives Activists Kenosha (BLAK); Craig Mastantuono, Chair, Milwaukee Lawyer Chapter; Partner, Mastantuono & Coffee S.C., Moderator; Frank Nitty, Protest Leader and Activist, Milwaukee Black Lives Matter;William Sulton, Gingras, Thomsen, & Wachs; President, ACLU of Wisconsin’s Board of Directors; Treasurer, Wisconsin Association of African-American Lawyers; Legal Redress Committee Milwaukee Branch of the NAACP


Making a Murderer: Wrongful Convictions & America’s “Justice” System

  • September 30, 2020 / 12:00 p.m.- 1:00 p.m. ET
  • This program will discuss wrongful convictions, false confessions, and the racial biases in the justice system.

  • Featuring: Eric Blackmon, Exoneree (wrongfully convicted of murder; spent 14 years in prison); Mark Godsey, Daniel P. and Judith L. Carmichael Professor of Law and Director, Louis and Richard Rosenthal Institute for Justice/Ohio Innocence Project, Law Rosenthal Institute for Justice, University of Cincinnati College of Law; Andrea Louise Lewis, Clinical Assistant Professor of Law, Northwestern Pritzker School of Law Center on Wrongful Convictions; Greg Swygert, Clinical Associate Professor of Law, Northwestern Pritzker School of Law Center on Wrongful Convictions


The Rule of Law: Post-Impeachment Implications for the Separation of Powers

  • October 6, 2020 / 12:00 p.m. -- 1:00 p.m. ET
  • This panel will focus on the aftermath of the impeachment and Bill Barr’s tenure with the Department of Justice, what it means for separation of powers and good governance going forward, and what safeguards can be put in place to undo the damage.
  • Featuring: Steve Dettelbach, Partner, BakerHostetler; former United States Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio; Barbara McQuade, Professor from Practice, University of Michigan Law School; former United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan; Rudy Mehrbani, Senior Advisor, Governance Program, Democracy Fund; Fellow and Senior Counsel, Brennan Center, Moderator


Race and Policing: Qualified Immunity and Tamir Rice

  • October 13, 2020 / 12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m. ET
  • This panel features the attorney for Tamir Rice’s family, with a discussion focusing on police violence against Black communities. Particular emphasis will be placed on the doctrine of qualified immunity and what it means for those seeking justice.       
  • Featuring: Subodh Chandra, Partner, The Chandra Law Firm LLC; Russ Feingold, President, American Constitution Society, Closing Remarks