January 27, 2022

The Power Struggle Over Elections Event Graphic

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.

Brennan Center president Michael Waldman moderated a discussion with election scholar Franita Tolson, historian Rosemarie Zagarri, and The Atlantic senior editor Ron Brownstein that broke down the Elections Clause and explored 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. The Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law provides reasonable accommodations to people with disabilities. Requests for accommodations for events and services should be submitted at least two weeks if possible before the date of the accommodation need. Please email adrienne.yee@nyu.edu or call 646-925-8728 for assistance.

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Speaker Details

  • 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