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The Right to Vote: A Constitutional History
What did the original Constitution say about the right to vote? How did that change over time, and why? In celebration of the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment and 150th anniversary of the 15th Amendment, join election law experts Alexander Keyssar of the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, Derek Muller of the University of Iowa College of Law, and Franita Tolson of the University of Southern California Gould School of Law for a conversation exploring the evolution of suffrage from the American Revolution to today. Jeffrey Rosen, president and CEO of the National Constitution Center, moderates.

This program is made possible through the generous support of SteegeThomson Communications and as part of the Center’s yearlong initiative, Women and the Constitution, celebrating the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment.

Jul 20, 2020 12:00 PM in Eastern Time (US and Canada)

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Alexander Keyssar
Matthew W. Stirling Jr. Professor of History and Social Policy @Harvard Kennedy School of Government
An historian by training, Alexander Keyssar has specialized in the exploration of historical problems that have contemporary policy implications. His books include, “The Right to Vote: The Contested History of Democracy in the United States,” “Why Do We Still Have the Electoral College?,” among others. In addition, he has co-edited a book series on Comparative and International Working-Class History. Previously, Keyssar chaired the Social Science Research Council's National Research Commission on Voting and Elections, and he writes frequently for the popular press about American politics and history.
Derek Muller
Professor of Law @Caruso School of Law
Derek Muller's research and writing focus on election law, particularly federalism and the role of states in the administration of elections. Before joining Pepperdine, he was a Visiting Assistant Professor and Shughart Scholar at Penn State Law. He clerked for the Honorable Raymond W. Gruender on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit and practiced as a litigation associate at Kirkland & Ellis LLP in Chicago. His opinion pieces have been published in the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times and his work has appeared in a number of law review journals.
Franita Tolson
Vice Dean for Faculty and Academic Affairs, and Professor of Law @University of Southern California Gould School of Law
Franita Tolson’s scholarship is focused on the areas of election law, constitutional law, legal history, and employment discrimination. Her forthcoming book is “In Congress We Trust?: The Evolution of Federal Voting Rights Enforcement from the Founding to the Present.” Tolson previously served as the Betty T. Ferguson Professor of Voting Rights at Florida State University College of Law and a visiting assistant professor at Northwestern University School of Law. She clerked for the Honorable Ann Claire Williams of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit and the Honorable Ruben Castillo of the Northern District of Illinois. Her research also has appeared in leading law reviews and she has written or appeared as a commentator for various mass media outlets.