Kirkus Reviews Calls My Forthcoming Book, A Real Right to Vote, “A persuasive, up-to-date proposal that deserves widespread attention.”

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.”

More reviews:

“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:

Continue reading Kirkus Reviews Calls My Forthcoming Book, A Real Right to Vote, “A persuasive, up-to-date proposal that deserves widespread attention.”
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“Pluribus AM: All redistricting, all the time”

From Reid Wilson’s indispensable morning newsletter on news around the states:

In Politics & Business

We should just rename this section “Today in Redistricting Litigation”

ALABAMA: The U.S. Supreme Court rejected Alabama’s bid to keep a U.S. House district map that had only one Black-majority district. A special master has submitted three proposed maps to a three-judge panel in district court, all of which include a second Black-majority district that will favor Democrats. ( The Alabama Democratic Party’s Black caucus intends to file an objection to those three maps, and to submit a proposal of their own. (

FLORIDA: A federal trial over U.S. House district maps in Florida opened Tuesday as lawyers representing Black voters allege Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) intentionally dismantled a Black-majority district that stretched from Tallahassee to Jacksonville. DeSantis vetoed the legislature’s map that would have preserved the district. (Associated Press)

NEW MEXICO: Trial begins today in state court as a judge considers whether Democrats improperly divided communities of interest in redrawing the southern 2nd U.S. House district ahead of the 2022 elections. After Democrats redrew the map, Rep. Gabe Vasquez (D) ousted ex-Rep. Yvette Herrell (R). (Associated Press)

OHIO: The state Redistricting Commission unanimously approved new House and Senate district maps that will be used through the 2030 elections. The maps will give Republicans an advantage in about 62% of state House districts and 70% of state Senate districts. Democrats said the maps are fairer than previous iterations, despite their baked-in disadvantage. (Columbus Dispatch)…

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“Trump Lawyers Assail Gag Order Request in Election Case”


Lawyers representing former President Donald J. Trump against federal charges accusing him of seeking to overturn the 2020 election offered an outraged response on Monday to the government’s request for a gag order, saying the attempt to “muzzle” him during his presidential campaign violated his free speech rights.

In a 25-page filing, the lawyers sought to turn the tables on the government, accusing the prosecutors in the case of using “inflammatory rhetoric” themselves in a way that “violated longstanding rules of prosecutorial ethics.”

“Following these efforts to poison President Trump’s defense, the prosecution now asks the court to take the extraordinary step of stripping President Trump of his First Amendment freedoms during the most important months of his campaign against President Biden,” one of the lawyers, Gregory M. Singer, wrote. “The court should reject this transparent gamesmanship.”

The papers, filed in Federal District Court in Washington, came 10 days after prosecutors in the office of the special counsel, Jack Smith, asked Judge Tanya S. Chutkan, who is overseeing the election interference case, to impose a narrow gag order on Mr. Trump. The order, they said, was meant to curb Mr. Trump’s “near-daily” barrage of threatening social media posts and to limit the effect his statements might have on witnesses in the case and on the potential jury pool for the trial. It is scheduled to take place in Washington starting in March.

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Fascinating Election Law Issue Raised in Petition for Review to California Supreme Court

The Petition for Review in Alliance San Diego v. City of San Diego raises a very interesting issue:


1. The City of San Diego (the “City”) held an election on an initiative proposing a special tax (Measure C) on the express condition and with the uncontradicted public understanding that a two-thirds majority vote of the electorate was required for its passage. The measure undeniably failed to garner enough “yes” votes to meet that threshold, yet after the votes were cast and counted, the City declared that the measure had actually passed by a simple majority vote. May a city change the outcome of an election by lowering the applicable vote threshold after the election had already been completed?

2. The Elections Code requires that a city council “declare the results” of an election on a ballot measure “no later than the next regularly scheduled city council meeting following presentation of the 28-day canvass of the returns, or at a special meeting called for this purpose.” (Elec. Code, § 10263, subd. (b); see also Elec. Code § 15400.) Here, the City Council waited a full year after receiving the canvass of the returns before declaring that Measure C had passed under a lower vote threshold than stated in the City Clerk’s certification. Does a city have the discretion to delay declaring whether a measure has passed or failed, and to contravene the official certification of the election results by the impartial elections official?

I’ll be watching this one closely.

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My New One in The Atlantic: “The Supreme Court Needs to Make a Call on Trump’s Eligibility; The question of the former president’s possible disqualification needs to be resolved sooner or later. Sooner is better than later.”

I have written this piece for The Atlantic. It begins: There’s an old saying that sometimes it is more important for the law to be certain than to be right. Certainty allows people to plan their actions knowing what the… Continue reading