May 11, 2023

American Constitution Society Announces 2023 Constance Baker Motley Winner

Contact: Nancy Rodriguez, 

Washington, D.C. – The American Constitution Society (ACS) has chosen a second-year law student attending Temple University Beasley School of Law as the winner of the 2023 Constance Baker Motley National Student Writing Competition.

Arlo Blaisus (‘24) was selected as this year’s winner based on his paper, Voting Registration and Federal Housing Assistance: A Practical Solution to Increase Democratic Participation.

In the paper, Blaisus explores the current legal structure of voter registration laws established by the National Voter Registration Act (NVRA) and how discriminatory state voter registration practices influence the creation of that structure. The paper goes on to explain why additional enforcement is necessary to overcome state resistance to implementing the NVRA and achieving Congress' intent to increase the number and diversity of registered voters.

The Constance Baker Motley Competition is presented by ACS and the University of Pennsylvania Law School ACS Student Chapter. It pays homage to Constance Baker Motley, the first Black women to serve as a federal judge and a trailblazing civil rights lawyer who played an instrumental role in advancing the cause of racial justice and equality in the United States.

Now in its 18th year, this year’s competition received entries from law students across the country. Seven finalists were selected, from which a panel of judges choose one winner and two runners-up.

This year’s runners-up are Zion Miller (‘24), a second-year law student at Indiana University Maurer School of Law, for his paper, Forced Faith: Coercion and Civil Religion in Post-Kennedy Establishment Clause Doctrine; and Eric Rolston (‘23), a third-year law student at Columbia Law School, for his paper, Inadequate and Inequitable: A Proposal to Update Title I to Address Limitations in Education Funding Litigation.

Both the winner and runner–ups will receive a monetary award and Arlo Blaisus will be offered an opportunity to publish his paper in the University of Pennsylvania Journal of Constitutional Law.

All three recipients will be recognized at ACS’s 2023 National Convention May 18-20 in Washington, D.C.


The American Constitution Society is a 501(c)3 non-profit, non-partisan legal organization. Through a diverse nationwide network of progressive lawyers, law students, judges, scholars, advocates, and many others, our mission is to support and advocate for laws and legal systems that strengthen our democratic legitimacy, uphold the rule of law, and redress the founding failures of our Constitution and enduring inequities in our laws in pursuit of realized equality. For more information, visit us at or on Twitter @acslaw.