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Nearly every single state forbids convicted felons from voting to varying degrees. Critics of such laws argue that felon disenfranchisement statutes have a discriminatory effect on racial minorities in violation of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Numerous federal appellate courts, including the Ninth Circuit, Eleventh Circuit and the Second Circuit, have heard challenges to felon disenfranchisement statutes, and many legal observers expect the United States Supreme Court to ultimately weigh in on this issue. This panel will provide an overview and a history of felon disenfranchisement laws, debate whether such laws violate the Voting Rights Act of 1965, and discuss the implicated constitutional issues.
- Mr. Roger Clegg, Center for Equal Opportunity
- Mr. George T. Conway, III, Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz
- Mr. Marc Mauer, The Sentencing Project
- Mr. Erik Jaffe, Law Offices of Erik S. Jaffe, Moderator
Date: May 10, 2006
Location: National Press Club