The Electoral College Has Outlived Its Usefulness

The Electoral College Has Outlived Its Usefulness

Kimberly Yuracko, Dean and Judd and Mary Morris Leighton Professor of Law, cordially invites you to the 2020 Newt and Jo Minow Debate Series, presented in partnership with Intelligence Squared U.S. Debates.

Watch the Debate

Wednesday, May 20th, 2020

5:00 pm CT

Five American presidents – two in the last 20 years – have assumed office without winning the popular vote. The most recent example, President Trump’s election in 2016, renewed vigorous debate about the Electoral College’s role in American politics. Supporters argue that the Founders wisely established the college to safeguard the republic against mob rule and ensure voters in less populous states have a voice in presidential elections. But opponents claim the college was created to protect the institution of slavery and that, in the modern era, it subverts the will of people and unfairly prioritizes voters in rural and swing states. As the nation looks to another Electoral College decision in 2020 and the Supreme Court prepares to rule on the landmark “faithless elector” case, we ask: Has the Electoral College outlived its usefulness?

*This program is pending approval for 1 general CLE credit hours in the State of Illinois

The Debaters

For the motion

  • Jamelle Bouie
    Jamelle Bouie
    Columnist, New York Times
  • Kate Shaw
    Kate Shaw (JD '06)
    Law Professor & Supreme Court Contributor, ABC News

Against the motion

  • Tara Ross
    Tara Ross
    Author, "Why We Need the Electoral College"
  • Bradley A. Smith
    Bradley A. Smith
    Former Chairman, Federal Election Commission

About The Debaters

Jamelle Bouie is a columnist for The New York Times and political analyst for CBS News. He covers campaigns, elections, national affairs, and culture. Previously, Bouie was chief political correspondent for Slate magazine. And before that, he was a staff writer at The Daily Beast and held fellowships at The American Prospect and The Nation magazine.

Kate Shaw (JD '06) is a law professor at the Cardozo School of Law and the co-director of the Floersheimer Center for Constitutional Democracy. She is a Supreme Court contributor for ABC News and co-host of the Strict Scrutiny podcast. Shaw is a graduate of the Northwestern Pritzker School of Law and served as an associate counsel in the Obama White House.

Tara Ross is nationally recognized for her expertise on the Electoral College. She is the author of several books on the Electoral College, including: "Why We Need the Electoral College," "The Indispensable Electoral College," and "We Elect A President." A retired lawyer, Ross served as editor-in-chief of the Texas Review of Law and Politics.

Bradley A. Smith is one of the nation’s leading authorities on election law and campaign finance. Under President George W. Bush, he served as commissioner, vice chairman, and chairman of the Federal Election Commission. He is a professor at Capital University Law School and co-author of “Voting Rights and Election Law,” a leading casebook in the field.

This event is part of The Newton and Jo Minow Debate Series