Election Law - Today and Beyond

Washburn Law's Center for Law and Government and the Washburn Law Journal are pleased to host a symposium that will explore and discuss in a critical manner the current state and future direction of election law and regulation in America, with a focus on the 2016 Presidential election. Distinguished experts will make presentations and participate in several panels, including:

  1. Campaign Finance
  2. Election Law Federalism
  3. Voting Rights Act

"Election Law – Today and Beyond" will be held Thursday, February 25, 2016, at the Memorial Union Washburn Room at SW 18th Street and SW Jewell Avenue on the Washburn University Campus. Free parking is available northwest and west of Memorial Union.

Symposium Schedule

Speakers and times subject to change.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

9:00 a.m. – Registration

9:30 a.m. – Welcome

  • Thomas J. Romig, Dean and Professor of Law, Washburn University School of Law

9:45 a.m. – Panel 1 - Campaign Finance

This panel will focus on the current state of campaign finance law in the wake of Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission and McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission. Panelists will discuss current and anticipated trends in the law, the impact of political campaign contributions on the 2016 Presidential election, as well as proposals for reform.

Moderator: William Rich, James R. Ahrens Chair in Torts and Constitutional Law and Professor of Law, Washburn University School of Law

Photograph: Michael Morley. Photograph: Mary O'Grady. Photograph: Stephen Klein. Photograph: Scott Gessler.

  • Michael T. Morley, Assistant Professor of Law, Barry University Dwayne O. Andreas School of Law
  • Mary R. O'Grady, Attorney, Osborn Maledon, P.A. (Phoenix, Arizona)
  • Stephen R. Klein, Attorney, Pillar of Law Institute (Washington, DC)
  • Scott Gessler, Adjunct Professor, University of Denver Sturm College of Law

11:45 a.m. – Box Lunch (provided to registrants)

12:45 p.m. – Panel 2 - Election Law Federalism

This panel will discuss the role of federalism in the election process, including the proper balance of power between the states and the federal government in the administration of elections. This discussion will primarily focus on state voter identification laws and Congress' authority to regulate voter registration requirements.

Moderator: Myrl L. Duncan, Professor of Law, Washburn University School of Law

Photograph: Joshua Douglas. Photograph: Derek Muller. Photograph: Atiba Ellis.

  • Joshua A. Douglas, Robert G. Lawson & William H. Fortune Associate Professor of Law, University of Kentucky College of Law
  • Derek T. Muller, Associate Professor of Law, Pepperdine University School of Law
  • Atiba R. Ellis, Professor of Law, West Virginia University School of Law

2:30 p.m. – Break

2:45 p.m. – Panel 3 - Voting Rights Act

This panel will address the modern-era application of the Voting Rights Act, redistricting, and the Act's important role in our nation's political process. The panelists will debate the implications of Shelby County v. Holder as well as the function of the judicial branch in the redistricting process. Of particular importance is the issue of how to best produce competitive districts while simultaneously preserving the integrity of the democratic process.

Moderator: David Rubenstein, Professor of Law, Washburn University School of Law

Photograph: Ashira Ostrow. Photograph: Nicholas Stephanopoulos. Photograph: Patty Ferguson-Bohnee.

  • Ashira Ostrow, Professor of Law, Hofstra University Maurice A. Deane School of Law
  • Nicholas Stephanopoulos, Assistant Professor of Law, University of Chicago Law School
  • Patty Ferguson-Bohnee, Clinical Professor of Law, Arizona State University Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law

4:30 p.m. – Symposium Adjourns

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Registrations for this symposium are no longer being accepted.
You are welcome to attend the symposium but we are unable to provide lunch for individuals who have not pre-registered.

General Information

Date and Location
Thursday, February 25, 2016
Washburn University
Memorial Union, Washburn Room

There is no charge for this event.

Those who pre-register will receive a box lunch.

No continuing legal education (CLE) credit is available to attendees.

Washburn Law Journal Special Issue

Washburn Law Journal, volume 55, issue 3 (summer 2016), will be dedicated to the topic of this symposium, and articles written by the participants will be featured. Participants are encouraged, but not required, to submit an article, essay, etc., to take advantage of this opportunity for publication. Authors who cannot attend the symposium, but would like to submit, will also be considered for publication in the Journal.

Recent symposium issues of the Washburn Law Journal have focused on the future of housing, Brown v. Board of Education at 60, immigration law, oil and gas law, the rule of law and the war on terrorism (part 1 | part 2), and humanizing legal education. See the Journal's archive for other past issues.

Inquiries about publication opportunities in the Washburn Law Journal should be directed to Nathaniel Martens, Editor-in-Chief, at nathaniel.martens@washburn.edu or (785) 670-1683.

General Inquiries

Shawn Leisinger
Executive Director, Centers for Excellence
(785) 670-2464

Professor David Rubenstein
Director, Center for Law and Government
(785) 670-1682.

Media Contact

Shelia Summers
Director of Marketing Communications
(785) 670-1784