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The American Bar Foundation to Host Event on the 2020 Election

October 23, 2020, Press releases

CHICAGO, Oct. 23, 2020 - The 2020 election is taking place at a time of deep uncertainty for the United States. The COVID-19 pandemic, recent rampant polarization, and violence have marked the run-up to the election. Yet even after the election concludes, the slow processes of democratic erosion may continue to pose a risk to constitutional democracy in the United States. The American Bar Foundation (ABF) will lead a discussion on the 2020 election and the future of U.S. democracy on Thursday, October 29, 2020 at 4:00 PM CT.

The event will feature Tom Ginsburg, ABF Research Professor, Leo Spitz Professor of International Law and Professor of Political Science at the University of Chicago. Ginsburg will be joined by Aziz Z. Huq, the Frank and Bernice J. Greenberg Professor of Law at the University of Chicago Law School.

Ginsburg and Huq are co-authors of “How to Save a Constitutional Democracy,” which examines the structural forces that can break democratic societies and the role the constitutional system plays in democratic failure and as well as its prevention. During the event, they will provide an analysis of the election landscape and proposals for managing the risk of democratic decline going forward.

The event will also feature Susan Stokes, Tiffany and Margaret Blake Distinguished Service Professorand Director of the Chicago Center for Democracy at the University of Chicago. She will discuss the implications of the election for the health of U.S democracy. Ben Griffith, Principal of Griffith Law Firm and Adjunct Professor at the University of Mississippi Law School, will moderate the discussion.

“The American Bar Foundation is honored and excited to host this time discussion with some of the world’s leading scholars in constitutional democracy,” ABF Executive Director Ajay K. Mehrotra said. “As we continue to work through these extraordinary times, it is more critical than ever to survey the political landscape and examine the health of liberal democracy in the United States.”

About Tom Ginsburg

Tom Ginsburg is an ABF Research Professor and Leo Spitz Professor of International Law, Ludwig and Hilde Wolf Research Scholar and Professor of Political Science at the University of Chicago. He is the co-director of the Comparative Constitutions Project; an effort funded by the National Science Foundation to gather and analyze the constitutions of all independent nation-states since 1789. His book, Judicial Review in New Democracies (2003), won the C. Herman Pritchett Award from the American Political Science Association. Ginsburg works with numerous international development agencies and foreign governments on legal and constitutional reform.

About Aziz Z. Huq

Aziz Z. Huq is the Frank and Bernice J. Greenberg Professor of Law at the University of Chicago. His teaching and research interests include constitutional law, criminal procedure, federal courts, and legislation. His scholarship concerns the interaction of constitutional design with individual rights and liberties. Huq’s pieces have won the AALS Junior Scholars Paper Competition Award in Criminal Law and been selected for the Harvard/Stanford/Yale Junior Faculty Forum. He is also a former clerk of Judge Robert D. Sack of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit and of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg of the U.S. Supreme Court.

About Susan Stokes

Susan Stokes is the Tiffany and Margaret Blake Distinguished Service Professor and Director of the Chicago Center on Democracy at the University of Chicago. Her research interests include democratic theory and how democracy functions in developing societies; distributive politics; and comparative political behavior.Stokes’ research has been supported by the National Science Foundation, the MacArthur Foundation, among many others. Her co-authored book, Brokers, Voters, and Clientelism (Cambridge, 2013) won the Luebbert Prize from APSA. Stokes’ articles have appeared in journals including the American Political Science Review, World Politics, and the Latin American Research Review.

About Ben Griffith

Ben Griffith is the Principal of Griffith Law Firm in Oxford, MS. Mr. Griffith’s practice has focused on federal and state civil litigation, with emphasis on voting rights and election law. Among the publications in his field of practice are the four editions of America Votes! Challenges to Modern Election Law and Voting Rights (ABA 1st ed. 2008; e-Supp. 2009, 2nd ed. 2012, 3rd ed. 2016, 4th ed. 2020). “Voting Rights and Remedies from an International Perspective” contained in International Election Remedies (J. Young, Editor, ABA 2017), “Effective, Timely, Appropriate, and Enforceable Remedies” (coauthor), in International Election Principles –Democracy and the Rule of Law (J. Young, Editor, ABA 2009), and “Continuity of Essential Legal Services in the Wake of Catastrophe: Fair Elections and the Judicial System” (co-author), in Homeland Security and Emergency Management (E. Abbot and O. Hetzel, Editors, 2nd ed., ABA 2010).


Event Details:

The 2020 Election and the Fate of U.S. Constitutional Democracy

October 29, 2020

5:00 PM ET/ 4:00 PM CT/ 3:00 PM MT/ 2:00 PM PT

For more information on the event:

This event requires registration. To register for the event:

About the American Bar Foundation

The American Bar Foundation (ABF) is among the world’s leading research institutes for the empirical and interdisciplinary study of law. The ABF seeks to expand knowledge and advance justice through innovative, interdisciplinary, and rigorous empirical research on law, legal processes, and legal institutions.  To further this mission the ABF will produce timely, cutting-edge research of the highest quality to inform and guide the legal profession, the academy, and society in the United States and internationally. The ABF’s primary funding is provided by the American Bar Endowment and the Fellows of The American Bar Foundation.

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