Last updated on: 8/12/2014 | Author:

Gillian E. Metzger, JD Biography

Professor of Law, Columbia University Law School
Pro to the question "Should People Who Have Completed Felony Sentences Be Allowed to Vote?"

“American has gradually rid itself of arbitrary and discriminatory restrictions on the right to vote. Constitutional amendments and Supreme Court decisions granted the vote to women, 18-to-20-year-olds and the poor, and the Voting Rights Act of 1965 ensured that minorities could in reality exercise their theoretical voting rights. Yet one restriction of the franchise continues to exist largely unremarked: state laws that deny the vote to convicted criminal offenders…

Whether there is a case to be made for removing voting rights from felons while they are imprisoned, there can be no legitimate Constitutional basis for disenfranchising them once the state has freed them to reintegrate into society. Denying them the right to participate in the core of democratic governance only raises the barriers to their rehabilitation as law-abiding members of the community.”

“Cruel and All Too Usual,”, June 28, 1999

Involvement and Affiliations:
  • Professor of Law, Columbia University Law School, 2001-Present
  • Executive Articles Editor, Columbia Law Review, Present
  • Executive Committee, The Association of American Law Schools, Present
  • Attorney in the Democracy Program at the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law, 1998-2001
  • Law Clerk to Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg of the U.S. Supreme Court, 1997-1998
  • Law Clerk to Judge Patricia M. Wald in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, 1996-1997
  • JD, Columbia Law School, 1996
  • BPhil, Philosophy, Oxford University, 1990
  • BA, Yale University, 1987
  • None found
Quoted in:
  1. Does the US Congress Have Authority to Legislate the Enfranchisement of People with Felony Convictions in Federal Elections?