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ELS Speaker Series: Will Consovoy

By: Nate Burchard

On October 25, 2016, the William & Mary Election Law Society Speaker Series hosted attorney Will Consovoy. Consovoy is an appellate attorney and founding partner of Consovoy McCarthy Park LLC, co-director of the George Mason University School of Law Supreme Court Clinic, and former law clerk to Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.

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Linda Greenhouse Speaks at William & Mary School of Law

By: Caiti Anderson & Kelsey Dolin

William & Mary Law School had the pleasure of hosting Linda Greenhouse on September 22. Ms. Greenhouse is a Pulitzer Prize winning columnist for the New York Times who has covered the Supreme Court for thirty years.

She is also a Senior Research Scholar in Law, Knight Distinguished Journalist in Residence, and Joseph Goldstein Lecturer in Law at Yale Law School, where she teaches various courses on the Supreme Court. Her books include Becoming Justice Blackmun, Before Roe v. Wade: Voices that Shaped the Abortion Debate Before the Supreme Court’s Ruling, The U.S. Supreme Court: A Very Short Introduction and The Burger Court and the Rise of the Judicial Right (written with Michael J. Graetz).

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William & Mary Law School Election Law Society Annual Symposium Cancelled Due to Weather

By: The William & Mary Election Law Society

Due to inclement weather in Williamsburg, William & Mary’s Annual Election Law Society symposium has been cancelled as  result of school closings. In the early morning on February 26th, Williamsburg received several inches of snow, which resulted in the law school closing for the day. Several symposium panelists had also previously alerted the Election Law Society of flight cancellations in anticipation of weather. Will Cooke and Jacob Kipp of the Election Law Society did an incredible job planning and organizing this event, and society members were disappointed as months of planning evaporated in an evening.

William & Mary Law School to Host 9th Annual Election Law Symposium

By The William & Mary Election Law Society

WILLIAMSBURG, VA – The Election Law Society and the Election Law Program at William & Mary Law School announce the Ninth Annual Election Law Symposium, which will take place on Thursday, February 26. Featuring prominent election attorneys, voting rights advocates, and a former Texas Solicitor General, the symposium addresses the topic “Pre-election Litigation: Judicial Influence Before Election Day” and evaluates the current state of pre-election litigation and the challenges courts face when hearing election litigation prior to an election. Continue reading

Symposium Report: Voting tech from the front lines

by Andrew McCoy, Special Contributor

On February 21 the William and Mary Election Law Society held its annual Symposium with a focus on election day delays.  During the symposium three panel discussions were held, and I had the pleasure of being present in the Voting Technology panel.  This discussion was facilitated by Paul Herrnson and included three William and Mary Law students, two Virginia Registrars: Kirk Showalter and Greg R, and a Member of an Electoral Board: Al Ablowich.  We were meant to look at voting technology problems, their impact on voting day delays, and potential solutions.

We were unable to note any specific solutions, partially because we could not pinpoint the impact of technological problems.  Mr. Riddlemoser stated that there were no technology related delays in his county, and Ms. Showalter noted that, absent voter or poll worker errors, there was only one technology problem in her county and the resulting delay cleared by mid-morning.  Mr. Ablowich did note some technology problems on election day, but these were related to the age of the machines and human error.  Based on this panel discussion it appears that reports of delays caused by voting machine failures may have mis-identified other issues with technology failures. Continue reading

When judges take money: Campaign contributions in judicial elections

by Kevin Elliker

On March 29, 2012, the William & Mary Election Law Society and Election Law Program held a symposium entitled, “More Money, More Problems: Money in Judicial Elections” in Williamsburg, Virginia. The afternoon symposium featured two panels of distinguished speakers moderated by SCOTUSblog reporter Lyle Denniston.

The first panel focused on the financial issues surrounding judicial elections, specifically whether campaign contributions work differently in judicial elections than in legislative elections and if campaign donations result in some form of civic harm even when they do not reach the level of outright bribery. The panelists included: James Bopp, election mega-lawyer and litigator of Citizens United; Justice Thomas R. Phillips, former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Texas; and former Federal Elections Commission Chairman Bradley Smith, who currently serves as Josiah H. Blackmore/Shirley M. Nault Professor of Law at Capital University Law School and Chairman of the Center for Competitive Politics, an organization he founded. Continue reading

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