Last updated on: 2/5/2009 | Author: ProCon.org

Jamin Raskin, JD Biography

Title:
Professor of Law and Director of the Law and Government Program at the Washington College of Law at American University
Position:
Pro to the question "Should Felons Who Have Completed Their Sentence (Incarceration, Probation, and Parole) Be Allowed to Vote?"
Reasoning:

“Felon disenfranchisement is obviously not a strategy of penal deterrence, for it deters no one; or individual rehabilitation, for it clearly educates and reforms no one; or even meaningful punishment, as it is not part of sentencing but is simply imposed on all convicts, regardless of the character of their offense. Rather, it is a strategy of mass electoral suppression, a point that becomes especially vivid when we consider that 1.7 million former offenders have been permanently disenfranchised in eight states, disproportionately in the Deep South….

A right-to-vote constitutional amendment could enfranchise all people who have been convicted of felonies and stripped of their voting rights or the subgroup of ex-offenders in eight states who have successfully served their time but still remain disenfranchised…. This commonsense proposal likely would pass.”

“Lawful Disenfranchisement: America’s Structural Democracy Deficit,” Human Rights magazine, Spring 2005

Involvement and Affiliations:
  • Professor of Law, Director of the Law and Government Program, Washington College of Law at American University, 1990-Present
  • Board Member, Public Justice Center, MD, Present
  • Elected Kerry-Edwards Delegate to the Democratic National Convention, 2004
  • Scholar-Teacher of the Year, American University, 2000
  • Chairman, Maryland State Higher Education Labor Relations Board, 1999
  • Founder, Marshall-Brennan Constitutional Literacy Project, 1999
  • Clinton-Gore Transition Team, 1992
  • Member, Takoma Park Redistricting Task Force, 1990
  • General Counsel, National Rainbow Coalition, 1989-1990
  • Assistant Attorney General, Commonwealth of Massachusetts, 1987-1989
  • Editor, Harvard Law Review, 1987
  • Teaching Fellow, Harvard University Government Department, 1985-1987
  • Board Member, FairVote, Takoma Park, MD, 1985-1987
  • Benjamin A. Trustman Travelling Fellowship, 1983-1984
  • Presidential Scholarship (awarded by the White House under President Carter), 1979
Education:
  • JD, magna cum laude, Harvard Law School, 1987
  • BA, magna cum laude, Harvard College, 1983
Other:
  • None found
Quoted in:
  1. Should Felons Who Have Completed Their Sentence (Incarceration, Probation, and Parole) Be Allowed to Vote?
  2. Other Than Felons, Who Else Can Be Prevented from Voting?