Last updated on: 2/5/2009 | Author:

Jamin Raskin, JD Biography

Professor of Law and Director of the Law and Government Program at the Washington College of Law at American University
Pro to the question "Should People Who Have Completed Felony Sentences Be Allowed to Vote?"

“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
  • JD, magna cum laude, Harvard Law School, 1987
  • BA, magna cum laude, Harvard College, 1983
  • None found