Law Review Symposium to Explore Voting Rights Topics include voting rights litigation in federal and state court, current issues in election administration, and proposed legislation to protect the right to vote.
On Friday, February 16, the Washington and Lee Law Review will host the annual Lara D. Gass Symposium. The event will be held in the Millhiser Moot Court Room, Sydney Lewis Hall, on the W&L campus.
This year’s symposium is titled “Voting Rights in a Politically Polarized Era” and will explore various facets of voting rights litigation in federal and state court, current issues in election administration, and proposed legislation to protect the right to vote. The keynote speaker for the event is Deuel Ross, Deputy Director of Litigation at the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund, Inc. Ross led the litigation team and successfully argued Merrill v. Milligan (2023) before the U.S. Supreme Court, which affirmed a lower court ruling that Alabama’s 2021 congressional map was racially discriminatory. A full schedule is forthcoming.
The symposium will include four panels, organized around the following topics: the Future of the Voting Rights Act; Litigating Voting Rights; Remedies for Voting Rights Violations; and Current Issues in Election Administration and Voter Suppression. Alexis Smith ‘24L is the Law Review Symposium editor and event coordinator. W&L Law professors Chris Seaman and Maureen Edobor are the faculty sponsors of the event.
“The American political system is under profound stress,” said Seaman. “At a time of deep partisan conflict, it is crucial to foster dialogue among legal scholars, practitioners, and policymakers about the future of democracy in the United States. This year’s Symposium will provide a platform for in-depth discussions on the present landscape and future of voting rights in the United States, addressing challenges such as erosion of legal protections for minority voting rights, voter suppression, and attacks on election administrators and the political process. I’m honored that a distinguished lineup of participants will join us to engage in this important conversation.”
Participants in the symposium include:
- Prof. Hank Chambers (Richmond Law)
- Prof. Wilfred Codrington III (Brooklyn Law)
- Mr. Kadeem Cooper (Senior Counsel, Senate Judiciary Committee)
- Prof. Travis Crum (Washington University in St. Louis Law)
- Prof. Gilda Daniels (Baltimore Law)
- Prof. Josh Douglas (Kentucky Law)
- Prof. Rebecca Green (William & Mary Law)
- Prof. Ruth Greenwood (Director, Election Law Clinic, Harvard Law)
- Mr. Ernest Herrera (Western Regional Counsel, Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund)
- Mr. Caleb Jackson (Counsel, Sen. Laphonza Butler, Senate Judiciary Committee)
- Ms. Danielle Lang (Senior Director, Voting Rights, Campaign Legal Center)
- Ms. Sica Matsuda (Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP)
- Ms. Terry Ao Minnis (Vice President of Census and Voting Programs, Asian Americans Advancing Justice)
- Prof. Michael Morley (Florida State Law)
- Prof. Spencer Overton (GW Law)
- Prof. Bertrall Ross (UVA Law)
- Prof. Nicholas Stephanopoulous (Harvard Law)
- Prof. Ciara Torres-Spelliscy (Stetson Law)
For questions regarding the event, contact Alexis Smith at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Lara D. Gass Symposium is named in honor of Lara Gass, a member of the Law Class of 2014 who passed away in an automobile accident in March of 2014. Gass served as Symposium Editor for the Washington and Lee Law Review, organizing the Law Review’s 2014 symposium focused on the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade. Lara was active within the Women Law Students Organization and also served as a Kirgis Fellow, the law school’s peer mentoring group, during the 2012–2013 academic year. In January 2014, Lara received recognition for her academic achievements, her leadership abilities, her service to the law school and university community, and her character when she was inducted into Omicron Delta Kappa, the National Leadership Honor Society.