[Postponed] California Law Review 2020 Symposium: Democracy Reform

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UC Berkeley School of Law, Booth Auditorium

2745 Bancroft Avenue

Berkeley, CA 94720

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Update: This event has been postponed.

About this Event

Update - March 18, 2020

In light of the global COVID-19 pandemic, we have decided to postpone our 2020 Symposium: Democracy Reform for the 21st Century until the fall.

Our highest priority is the health and well-being of everyone involved with our Symposium. We are working hard to reschedule for sometime in September or October 2020, and we will share updates as soon as we confirm it. Thank you for your patience and understanding as we navigate this period of uncertainty.

Meanwhile, we hope you and your loved ones are staying healthy during this difficult time. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to reach out to


The California Law Review’s 2020 Symposium: Democracy Reform for the 21st Century promises to bring together scholars, legal practitioners, public servants, community leaders, and political experts to identify and evaluate key initiatives to strengthen our democracy.

Drawing on diverse expertise, they will debate what is possible and how we get there—by amendment, statute, regulatory device, community mobilization, etc. Discussions will be organized around three guiding principles: (1) Every person should be able and encouraged to cast an informed vote; (2) Every vote should count equally; and (3) Every voter should have confidence that their vote matters.

This event is hosted in partnership with Jeff Bleich, former Special Counsel to the President and Editor-in-Chief of the California Law Review ('89). The lunch discussion is also in partnership with the Center on Race, Sexuality, & Culture at Berkeley Law.

Follow #CLRDemocracyReform for updates, and check out our website and social media channels for more content:


8:30am - Continental breakfast & MCLE registration

9:00am - Welcome, land acknowledgement, and opening remarks by Jeff Bleich

9:10am - Keynote remarks by K. Sabeel Rahman, President, Demos

9:45am - Principle 1: Every Person Should Be Able and Encouraged to Cast an Informed Vote. Featuring:

  • Emily Rong Zhang, PhD Candidate, Stanford University & Skadden Fellow, ACLU Voting Rights Project, 2017-2019 (Facilitator)
  • Gilda Daniels, Director of Litigation, Advancement Project & Professor, University of Baltimore Law
  • Jacqueline De Leon, Staff Attorney, Native American Rights Fund
  • Michael Morse, PhD Candidate, Harvard University
  • Paul Smith, Vice President of Litigation & Strategy, Campaign Legal Center

11:00am - Break

11:10am - Principle 2: Every Vote Should Count Equally. Featuring:

  • Bertrall Ross, Professor, Berkeley Law (Facilitator)
  • Kathay Feng, National Redistricting Director, Common Cause
  • Charlotte Hill, PhD Candidate, UC Berkeley & Board member, RepresentUs and Fair Vote
  • Justin Levitt, Professor, Loyola Law School & Former Deputy Assistant Attorney General, U.S. DOJ Civil Rights Division
  • Nick Stephanopoulos, Professor, Harvard Law School

12:25pm - Break

12:40pm - Lunch Discussion: Critical Race Theory, the 2020 Election, and Structural Reform. Featuring:

  • Russell Robinson, Professor, Berkeley Law & Faculty Director, Center on Race, Sexuality & Culture (Facilitator)
  • Khiara Bridges, Professor, Berkeley Law
  • Guy-Uriel Charles, Professor, Duke Law & Co-Director, Duke Law Center on Law, Race and Politics
  • Ian Haney-Lopez, Professor, Berkeley Law & Director, Racial Politics Project, Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society
  • Cheryl I. Harris, Professor, UCLA Law
  • K-Sue Park, Associate Professor, Georgetown Law

1:50pm - Break

2:00pm - Principle 3: Every Voter Should Have Confidence That Their Vote Matters. Featuring:

  • Erwin Chemerinsky, Dean, Berkeley Law
  • Larry Diamond, Senior Fellow, Hoover Institution and Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies, Stanford University
  • Lawrence Lessig, Professor, Harvard Law School
  • Ann Ravel, Former Commissioner, Federal Election Commission & Candidate for California Senate, District 15
  • Daniel Tokaji, Professor, Moritz College of Law, Ohio State University

3:15pm - The Call to Civic Duty. Featuring:

  • Bertrall Ross, Professor, Berkeley Law (Facilitator)
  • Caroline Fredrickson, Senior Fellow, Brennan Center for Justice & Former President, American Constitution Society
  • Manu Meel, CEO, BridgeUSA
  • Janani Ramachandran, Berkeley Law 3L & Commissioner, Oakland Public Ethics Commission
  • Jonathan Stein, Staff Attorney & Voting Rights Program Manager, Asian Americans Advancing Justice-Asian Law Caucus

4:15pm - Break

4:30pm - Judicial Perspectives on Democracy Reform. Featuring:

5:30pm - Closing remarks

5:45pm to 6:45pm - Reception

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UC Berkeley School of Law, Booth Auditorium

2745 Bancroft Avenue

Berkeley, CA 94720

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