Jan. 27 Brennan Center Event on the Elections Clause and the Midterms

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Trump’s Big Lie has convinced a staggering number of Americans that the 2020 presidential election was “stolen” — and now some states are trying to create new rules that would allow them to control election results. What does the Constitution say?

The right to vote has erupted as a power struggle between states and the federal government in the wake of the 2020 election, but who really wields the power? The Constitution’s Elections Clause paints a clear picture of the broad authority given to Congress to formulate election rules. But the far-right is now seeking to contort the little-known clause to justify their voter suppression and election subversion plots.

Join us as Brennan Center president Michael Waldman moderates a discussion with election scholar Franita Tolson, historian Rosemarie Zagarri, and The Atlantic senior editor Ron Brownstein to break down the Elections Clause and explore what the future of voting — and the fight over it — will look like as we approach the midterm elections.

Produced in partnership with New York University’s John Brademas Center


  • Ronald Brownstein, Senior Editor, The Atlantic; Senior Political Analyst, CNN
  • Franita Tolson, Vice Dean for Faculty and Academic Affairs, Professor of Law, University of Southern California Gould School of Law
  • Rosemarie Zagarri, University Professor and Professor of History, George Mason University; Author, The Politics of Size: Representation in the United States, 1776–1812
  • Moderator: Michael Waldman, President, Brennan Center for Justice
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