Voting Rights Symposium - Defending Voting Rights through State Constitutions

On March 19, 2015 ACS hosted the Symposium on Voting Rights in the States. Experts discussed the new state of voting rights in a day long symposium in Atlanta, Georgia. The first panel of the day considered how litigators and voting rights advocates could use state constitutions to protect the right to vote. 

The panel featured: 

  • Ari Berman, Contributing Writer, The Nation
  • Joshua Douglas, Robert G. Lawson & William H. Fortune Associate Professor of Law, University of Kentucky College of Law
  • Anita Earls, Executive Director, Southern Coalition for Social Justice
  • Dale Ho, Director, ACLU Voting Rights Project
  • Franita Tolson, Betty T. Ferguson Professor of Voting Rights, Florida State University College of Law

Voting Rights in the Post-Shelby County Era

Voting rights and election administration are receiving public attention at levels not seen since the Civil Rights Movement. In just the past few years, our Nation has seen a massive wave of new state laws making it harder to vote, a series of court decisions adjudicating the legality of these laws, the Supreme Court’s devastating Shelby County decision, the introduction of legislation to amend the Voting Rights Act and sweeping recommendations by the Presidential Commission on Election Administration to improve how we run and manage elections. What is the status of our ability to protect against voter suppression a year after Shelby County? What new or different tools are being used in the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision? Do we need new legal protections against voter suppression and voting discrimination? Should restrictive voting laws be examined through a race-conscious framework, a party-conscious framework, or both?


Gilda Daniels, Associate Professor, University of Baltimore School of Law
Dale Ho, Director, ACLU Voting Rights Project
Samuel Issacharoff, Reiss Professor of Constitutional Law, New York University School of Law
Arturo Vargas, Executive Director, National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO)
Wendy R. Weiser, Director, Democracy Program, Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law