My book, A Real Right to Vote: How a Constitutional Amendment Can Safeguard American Democracy, is out February 20 from Princeton University Press. (You can preorder now at Amazon, Bookshop, Barnes and Noble. There is also a Kindle version, and an audiobook is on the way.) I’ll be announcing book-related events around the country as the time gets closer.
Kirkus Reviews also calls A Real Right to Vote a “lively, closely argued book is bound to ignite a public effort to achieve its ends.”
“Richard Hasen compellingly conveys the complexity and urgency of the case for an affirmative right to vote in the Constitution. He has masterfully transformed what has been an idealistic musing into a proposal that demands real consideration and engagement. We should all be heartened that the right to vote has such an informed, inventive, and effective champion.”—Janai Nelson, president and director-counsel of the Legal Defense Fund
“The foundation of a democracy is the right to vote. But for many decades, this right has been eroded by pernicious lawmakers and the Supreme Court. Richard Hasen meticulously lays out the history of voter suppression and shows how a constitutional amendment could be crafted to provide the protection for American voters necessary to preserve our republic. An urgent and persuasive call to action.”—Norman J. Ornstein, emeritus scholar, American Enterprise Institute
“This important book makes a powerful case for an amendment that would enshrine a right to vote in our Constitution. Hasen spells out the numerous ways in which such an amendment would significantly strengthen American democracy and reduce the conflicts that so often bedevil our elections. His proposal, written with bipartisan appeal, should take a prominent place in our national conversation.”—Alexander Keyssar, author of The Right to Vote: The Contested History of Democracy in the United States
“To safeguard America’s elections and her democracy, Richard Hasen, one of the nation’s leading election law experts, builds the compelling bipartisan case for a Twenty-Eighth Amendment guaranteeing the right to vote. Were the Framers writing the Constitution today, in the aftermath of the 2020 presidential election, the First Amendment might well guarantee the right to vote.”—Former US Court of Appeals Judge J. Michael Luttig
“A powerfully cogent case for the fundamental right not yet inscribed in the Constitution: the right to vote. Richard Hasen deploys his mastery of the ebb and flow of voting rights jurisprudence on the Supreme Court to demonstrate why a voting rights constitutional amendment is an imperative in the twenty-first century. This book is a serious contribution to political and constitutional discourse.”—Congressman Jamie Raskin
Below the fold you can read the book description:
Throughout history, too many Americans have been disenfranchised or faced needless barriers to vote. Part of the blame falls on the Constitution, which does not contain an affirmative right to vote. The Supreme Court has made matters worse by failing to protect voting rights and limiting Congress’s ability to do so. The time has come for voters to take action and push for an amendment to the Constitution that would guarantee this right for all.
Drawing on troubling stories of state attempts to disenfranchise military voters, women, African Americans, students, former felons, Native Americans, and others, Richard Hasen argues that American democracy can and should do better in assuring that all eligible voters can cast a meaningful vote that will be fairly counted. He shows how a constitutional right to vote can deescalate voting wars between political parties that lead to endless rounds of litigation and undermine voter confidence in elections, and can safeguard democracy against dangerous attempts at election subversion like the one we witnessed in the aftermath of the 2020 presidential election.
The path to a constitutional amendment is undoubtedly hard, especially in these polarized times. A Real Right to Vote explains what’s in it for conservatives who have resisted voting reform, and reveals how the pursuit of an amendment can yield tangible dividends for democracy long before ratification.