Last updated on: 10/27/2014 | Author: ProCon.org

John Conyers, Jr., LLB Biography

Title:
Former Member of the US House of Representatives (D-MI)
Position:
Pro to the question "Should Felons Who Have Completed Their Sentence (Incarceration, Probation, and Parole) Be Allowed to Vote?"
Reasoning:

“The United States may have the most restrictive disenfranchisement policy in the world. Such prohibitions on the right to vote undermine both the voting system and the fundamental rights of ex-offenders.”

Congressional address, Mar. 16, 2005

Theoretical Expertise Ranking:
    Experts
Individuals with PhD's, JD's, or equivalent advanced degrees in fields relevant to felon voting issues. Also top-level government officials (such as foreign leaders, US presidents, Founding Fathers, Supreme Court Justices, members of legislative bodies, cabinet members, military leaders, etc.) with positions relevant to felon voting issues.
Involvement and Affiliations:
  • Member, U.S. House of Representatives (D-MI), 1964-2017
  • Ranking Democrat, House Committee on the Judiciary, 1994-2017
  • Former Chairman, House Committee on Government Operations (renamed House Committee on Government Reform), 1989-1994
  • Recipient, Southern Christian Leadership Conference Award (presented to him by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.)
  • Co-Founder, Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) (one of 13 founding members), 1964
  • Executive Board Member, American Civil Liberties Union, Detroit, 1964-unknown
  • Executive Board Member, NAACP, Detroit, 1963-unknown
  • General Counsel for three labor locals in Detroit, 1959-1964
  • Staff, US Representative John D. Dingell, Jr., 1958-1961
  • Served in the United States Army Corps of Engineers, 1950-1954
  • Served in the US National Guard, 1948-1950
Education:
  • LLB, Wayne State University, 1958
  • BA, Wayne State University, 1957
Other:
  • Introduced the Democracy Restoration Act of 2014 on Apr. 10, 2014. The act, according to congress.gov, “[d]eclares that the right of a U.S. citizen to vote in any election for federal office shall not be denied or abridged because that individual has been convicted of a criminal offense unless, at the time of the election, such individual is serving a felony sentence in a correctional institution or facility.”
Quoted in:
  1. Does the US Congress Have Authority to Legislate Felon Enfranchisement in Federal Elections?