Announcing the New “Safeguarding Democracy Project” at UCLA Law

As scooped by this morning’s Politico, I’m delighted to announce that I have created and will serve as the Director of the “Safeguarding Democracy Project” at UCLA Law. From the project’s website, here is the mission statement:

The Safeguarding Democracy Project at UCLA Law promotes research, collaboration, and advocacy aimed at ensuring continued free and fair elections in the United States, conducted in accordance with democratic norms and the rule of law. The events following the 2020 presidential elections, which led to the dangerous January 6, 2021 insurrection at the United States Capitol, demonstrated that the American electoral system depends as much, if not more, on people acting in good faith as upon mere legal constraints. Since those events, this risk of election subversion has been coupled with new efforts to make it harder for some eligible voters to register and to vote. These changes threaten the cornerstone of American democracy: that all eligible voters, and only eligible voters, will be able to freely cast a vote that will be fairly and accurately counted, with the winner of the election peacefully taking office and accepted as legitimate.

Under the leadership of UCLA Law Professor Richard L. Hasen, one of the nation’s leading election law scholars, the Safeguarding Democracy Project is built upon the premise that tackling issues of U.S. election integrity must be collaborative: across ideologies, across scholarly disciplines, and as a bridge between theory and practice.

The Safeguarding Democracy Project brings together in dialogue scholars, election administrators, legislators, lawyers, voting rights advocates, and concerned citizens to develop practical solutions to urgent problems. It holds conferences, produces reports, and files legal briefs to educate and serve the public good.

From the press release:

Under Hasen’s leadership, the Safeguarding Democracy Project will work across ideologies and scholarly disciplines to build a bridge between theory and practice – producing cutting-edged scholarship, issuing recommendations, engaging in advocacy, and holding events to educate the public on the risks to American democracy. The project’s diverse advisory board includes J. Michael Luttig, former judge, United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit (appointed by George H.W. Bush); Janai S. Nelson, president and director-counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund; Alex Stamos, director of the Stanford Internet Observatory and former Chief Security Officer of Facebook; prominent election lawyers Bob Bauer, who headed Barack Obama’s campaign legal team; Ben Ginsberg, who headed Mitt Romney’s campaign legal team; leading election law scholars, political scientists, and other scholars; and current and former state and local election officials. The full advisory board list is below.

Among the first events of the project will be a Sept. 20 discussion with Supreme Court journalists Joan Biskupic (CNN), Adam Liptak (New York Times), and Dahlia Lithwick (Slate), moderated by Hasen, on the Supreme Court’s role in preserving American democracy, and a scholarly roundtable on the independent state legislature doctrine. In early 2023, the Project will convene a public symposium, “Can American Democracy Survive the 2024 Elections?”…

Members of the Safeguarding Democracy Project Advisory Board (institutional affiliations for identification purposes only)

Floyd Abrams, Senior Counsel, Cahill Gordon & Reindel LLP

Adam Ambrogi, Senior Director for Voting and Elections, National League of Women Voters

Bob Bauer, Former White House Counsel and General Counsel to Obama for America (2008 and 2012) Presidential Campaigns; Co-Chair, Presidential Commission on Election Administration (2013-2014); Co-Chair, Election Official Legal Defense Network (2021-present); Professor of Practice and Distinguished Scholar in Residence, NYU Law School

Guy-Uriel Charles, Charles J. Ogletree, Jr. Professor Law, Harvard University

Erwin Cherminsky, Dean and Jesse H. Choper Distinguished Professor of Law, UC Berkeley

Judd Choate, State Election Director, Colorado Department of State

Danielle K. Citron, Jefferson Scholars Foundation Schenck Distinguished Professor in Law, University of Virginia

Louis DeSipio, Professor of Political Science and Chicano/Latino Studies, UC Irvine

Larry Diamond, Senior Fellow, The Hoover Institution and Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies, Stanford University

Renee DiResta, Technical Research Manager, Stanford Internet Observatory, Stanford University

Joan Donovan, Research Director, The Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy, Kennedy School, Harvard University

Pam Fessler, Former NPR Voting Rights Correspondent

Joseph Fishkin, Professor of Law, UCLA

Edward B. Foley, Charles W. Ebersold and Florence Whitcomb Ebersold Chair in Constitutional Law, Ohio State University

Benjamin Ginsberg, Former Counsel to Bush-Cheney (2000 and 2004) and Romney (2008 and 2012) Presidential Campaigns; Distinguished Visiting Fellow, The Hoover Institution, Stanford University; Co-Chair, Election Officials Legal Defense Network

Sara Wallace Goodman, Professor of Political Science, UC Irvine

Michele Bratcher Goodwin, Chancellor’s Professor of Law, UC Irvine

Trey Grayson, Former Secretary of State, Commonwealth of Kentucky (2004-11); Member, Frost Brown Todd

Gretchen Helmke, Thomas H. Jackson Distinguished University Professor, University of Rochester

Elizabeth Howard,Senior Counsel, Democracy, Brennan Center for Justice

Samuel Isaacharoff, Bonnie and Richard Reiss Professor of Constitutional Law, NYU Law

David Kaye, Clinical Professor of Law and Director, International Justice Clinic, UC Irvine

Neal Kelley, Registrar of Voters, Orange County, Calif. (Ret.)

Claire Jean Kim, Professor of Political Science and Asian American Studies, UC Irvine

Kate Klonick, Assistant Professor Law, St. John’s University

Jack I. Lerner, Clinical Professor of Law, UC Irvine

Steven Levitsky, David Rockefeller Professor of Latin American Studies and Professor of Government, Harvard University

Leah Litman, Professor of Law, University of Michigan

Sarah Longwell, CEO, Longwell Partners; Publisher, The Bulwark

J. Michael Luttig, Former Judge, United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth District

Matthew Masterson, Former Commissioner, U.S. Election Assistance Commission and Senior Cybersecurity Advisor at the Department of Homeland Security; Director of Information Integrity, Microsoft Democracy Forward

Jon D. Michaels, Professor of Law, UCLA

Michael T. Morley, Associate Professor of Law, Florida State University

Derek T. Muller, Professor of Law, University of Iowa

Janai Nelson, President and Director-Counsel, NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF)

Brendan Nyhan, James O. Freedman Presidential Professor, Professor of Government, Dartmouth College

Norman J. Ornstein, Emeritus Scholar, American Enterprise Institute

Nathaniel Persily, James B. McClatchy Professor of Law, Stanford University

Richard H. Pildes, Sudler Family Professor of Constitutional Law, NYU

Betrall Ross, Professor of Law, University of Virginia

Alex Stamos, Director, Stanford Internet Observatory

Charles Stewart III, Kenin Sahin Distinguished Professor of Political Science, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Michael Tesler, Professor of Political Science, UC Irvine

Franita Tolson, George T. and Harriet E. Pfleger Chair in Law, University of Southern California

Lynn Vavreck, Marvin Hoffenberg Professor of American Politics, UCLA Political Science

Amy Wilentz, Author and Professor of English (Literary Journalism), UC Irvine

Adam Winkler, Connell Professor of Law, UCLA

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