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IQ2US Debates: The Electoral College Has Outlived Its Usefulness

Start Date:5/20/2020

Start Time:6:00 PM EDT

Duration:90 minutes

Abstract:

Five American presidents — two in the last 20 years — have assumed office without winning the popular vote. The most recent example, President Trump’s election in 2016, renewed vigorous debate about the Electoral College’s role in American politics. Supporters argue that the Founders wisely established the college to safeguard the republic against mob rule and ensure voters in less populous states have a voice in presidential elections. But opponents claim the college was created to protect the institution of slavery and that, in the modern era, it subverts the will of people and unfairly prioritizes voters in rural and swing states. As the nation looks to another Electoral College decision in 2020 and the Supreme Court prepares to rule on the landmark “faithless elector” case, we ask: Has the Electoral College outlived its usefulness?

This debate is presented in partnership with the Northwestern Pritzker School of Law as part of the Newt and Jo Minow Debate Series.

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Speakers

John Donvan

Host & Moderator

The moderator of Intelligence Squared U.S. debates since 2008, John Donvan is an author and correspondent for ABC News. He has served as ABC’s White House Correspondent, along with postings in Moscow, London, Jerusalem, and Amman. John is the co-author of “In a Different Key: The Story of Autism” (Crown, 2016). In addition to premiering his first one-man show, “Lose the Kid,” in 2013 in Washington, D.C., John is a four-time Emmy Award winner and was a National Magazine Award finalist in 2010.

Jamelle Bouie

Columnist

New York Times

Jamelle Bouie is a columnist for The New York Times and political analyst for CBS News. He covers campaigns, elections, national affairs, and culture. Previously, Bouie was chief political correspondent for Slate magazine. Before that, he was a staff writer at The Daily Beast and held fellowships at The American Prospect and The Nation magazine.

Link to full bio here: https://jamellebouie.net/

Kate Shaw

Law Professor & Supreme Court Contributor

ABC News

Kate Shaw is a law professor at the Cardozo School of Law and the co-director of the Floersheimer Center for Constitutional Democracy. She is a Supreme Court contributor for ABC News and co-host of the Strict Scrutiny podcast. Shaw is a graduate of the Northwestern Pritzker School of Law and served as an associate counsel in the Obama White House.
Link to full bio here: https://cardozo.yu.edu/directory/kate-shaw

Tara Ross

Author,

Why We Need the Electoral College

Tara Ross is nationally recognized for her expertise on the Electoral College. She is the author of several books on the Electoral College, including: 'Why We Need the Electoral College,' 'The Indispensable Electoral College,' and 'We Elect A President.' A retired lawyer, Ross served as editor-in-chief of the Texas Review of Law and Politics.

Link to full bio here: https://www.taraross.com/about

Bradley A. Smith

Law Professor & Former Chairman

Federal Election Commission

Bradley A. Smith is one of the nation’s leading authorities on election law and campaign finance. Under President George W. Bush, he served as commissioner, vice chairman, and chairman of the Federal Election Commission. He is a professor at Capital University Law School and co-author of 'Voting Rights and Election Law,' a leading casebook in the field.

Link to full bio here: https://law.capital.edu/Faculty/Bios/bsmith.asp
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