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About the Speakers  

Law Review

The Changing Landscape of Election Law

Date of Symposium: Friday, October 26, 2012 | 6 NY/NJ CLE Credits | $150
$25 per CLE credit, includes parking, breakfast and lunch
Complimentary for law students and Seton Hall Law faculty

Rick Plides

Richard H. Pildes

Professor of Constitutional Law
New York University School of Law

Richard H. Pildes is the Sudler Family Professor of Constitutional Law at New York University School of Law. He is one of the nation's leading scholars, lawyers, and public commentators on issues involving the legal structures, processes, and institutions of democracy. His work addresses issues such as the design of democratic institutions, the processes of elections and voting, the Voting Rights Act, separation of powers, constitutional theory and history, administrative law, and national-security law. He is a co-author of the casebook, THE LAW OF DEMOCRACY (4TH ED. 2012), and a co-editor of the book, THE FUTURE OF THE VOTING RIGHTS ACT (2006). Some of his major recent academic articles include Law and the President; Why the Center Does Not Hold: The Causes of Hyperpolarized Democracy in America; Is the Supreme Court a “Majoritarian” Institution; The Constitutionalization of Democratic Politics; and Separation of Parties, Not Powers. He recently was a speaker at the 2012 Aspen Ideas Festival, and he has lectured around the world, including in Australia, Italy, Israel, Argentina, Hungary, and many other places. The Supreme Court has cited his academic work frequently. As a public commentator, he was nominated for an Emmy Award, for his legal analysis during the 2000 Presidential election litigation, as part of the nomination of an NBC team for Outstanding Coverage of a Breaking News Story. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and has received Guggenheim and Carnegie fellowships. He served as a law clerk to Justice Thurgood Marshall, at the United States Supreme Court.


 Mickey Edwards - Law Review Panelist

Mickey Edwards

Vice President
Aspen Institute

Mickey Edwards is Vice President of the Aspen Institute and serves as Director of the Aspen Institute’s Rodel Fellowships in Public Leadership. Mr. Edwards was a Republican member of Congress from Oklahoma from 1977 to 1992, serving as a member of the House Republican Leadership and as a member of the Appropriations and Budget Committees. After leaving the Congress, he taught for 11 years at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, where he was the John Quincy Adams Lecturer in Legislative Practice, and for five years as a lecturer at Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. He has also been a visiting professor at the University of Maryland Law School and at Georgetown University’s Public Policy Institute and a visiting lecturer at Harvard Law School. Early in his career he was a newspaper reporter and editor, worked in advertising and public relations, and served as a magazine editor. Mr. Edwards is a member of the Board of Directors of The Constitution Project, has co-chaired task forces on judicial independence and the war power, and served on the American Bar Association Task Force on Presidential Signing Statements and the American Society of International Law Task Force on the International Criminal Court. He and former White House Counsel Lloyd Cutler co-chaired Citizens for Independent Courts, a task force dedicated to preserving judicial independence, and he and Federal Judge Abner Mikva co-chaired a task force on the constitutional amendment process. Mr. Edwards is the author or co-author of four books, including Reclaiming Conservatism, published in 2008 by Oxford University Press.

John C. Fortier

John C. Fortier

Director of the Democracy Project
Bipartisan Policy Center

John C. Fortier joined the Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC) in April 2011. He is a political scientist who focuses on governmental and electoral institutions.

Prior to coming to BPC, he was a research fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, where he also served as the principal contributor to the AEI-Brookings Election Reform Project, the executive director of the Continuity of Government Commission, and the project manager of the Transition to Governing Project. He was also a regular contributor to AEI’s Election Watch series. He also served as the director of the Center for the Study of American Democracy at Kenyon College.

He has a Ph.D. in political science from Boston College and a B.A. from Georgetown University. Learn more about John C. Fortier on the Bipartisan Policy Center Website


 Joel Gora

Joel M. Gora

Professor of Law
Brooklyn Law School

Joel M. Gora has been a Professor of Law at Brooklyn Law School for thirty-five years, teaching Constitutional Law and other subjects and serving two separate terms as the law school’s Associate Dean for Academic Affairs. Professor Gora has also been a long-time lawyer for the American Civil Liberties Union. During his ACLU career he worked on a number of landmark Supreme Court cases involving civil rights and civil liberties. These included all of the Court’s significant campaign finance cases, starting with Buckley v. Valeo in 1976, which he personally argued before the High Court, through Citizens United v. FEC in 2010. Professor Gora is also the author or co-author of a number of books and articles dealing with First Amendment rights in general, as well as with the more specific First Amendment problems posed by campaign finance laws and restrictions. His books include THE RIGHTS OF REPORTERS (1974), DUE PROCESS OF LAW (1976), THE RIGHT TO PROTEST (1991) BETTER PARTIES, BETTER GOVERNMENT: A REALISTIC PROGRAM FOR CAMPAIGN FINANCE REFORM (2009). 



 Reed Gusciora

Reed Gusciora

15th Legislative District

Assemblyman Reed Gusciora got his start in New Jersey state politics working on the 1989 gubernatorial campaign of the late Barbara Boggs Sigmund. Prior to that, he attended Seton Hall Law School earning his J.D. in 1988. He studied international relations at The Catholic University of America in Washington, DC, where he worked his way through college at the Library of Congress. After graduation, he worked on Capitol Hill in the congressional offices of U.S. Representatives Andy Ireland (D-FL) and the late Mike Synar (D-OK). Mr. Gusciora was reelected to his ninth term in 2011. He is Vice-Chairman of the Assembly Environment Committee, serves on the Assembly Judiciary Committee, the Governor’s Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS, and the New Jersey State Museum Board of Trustees.

Ryan Haywood

Ryan P. Haygood

Director of the Political Participation Group
NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc.

Ryan P. Haygood is the Director of the Political Participation Group at the NAACP Legal Defense & Educational Fund, Inc. In that capacity, Ryan oversees LDF’s voting rights docket and litigates cases that challenge racially discriminatory practices in the political process on behalf of African-Americans.

Ryan was a member of LDF’s litigation team in Northwest Austin Municipal Utility District No. One v. Holder that successfully defended a core provision of the Voting Rights Act against a constitutional challenge before the United States Supreme Court in 2009. That same year, Ryan represented African-American voters in Jefferson Parish, Louisiana in Williams v. McKeithen, a challenge to the method of electing judges to the state court of appeals. In response to the Williams litigation, the Louisiana legislature created a new district that provided Jefferson Parish’s Black community, for the first time in history, with the opportunity to elect a candidate of its choice.

Ryan has also served as counsel in several voting rights challenges to discriminatory state laws that disproportionately deny voting rights to people with felony convictions, widely recognized as the next phase of voting rights movement. Learn more about Ryan P. Haywood at the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund Website.

Laurence Laufer - Law Review Speaker 

Laurence Laufer

Genova Burns Giantomasi & Webster

Partner in the firm’s New York City office, Mr. Laufer heads the firm’s Corporate Political Activity Law and Non-Profit and Tax Exempt Organizations Practice Groups. Mr. Laufer counsels corporations, trade associations, tax exempt organizations, political action committees (PACs), political candidates, and other individuals and entities in the legal aspects of political activity and interaction with government officials and agencies. This includes, but is not limited to, guidance in campaign finance, government affairs/lobbying, conflicts of interest, and government ethics matters, and representation in enforcement proceedings and other compliance disputes. His expertise is frequently sought in government audits, civil and criminal investigations, and by public officials. From 1988 to 2000, Mr. Laufer served as Counsel to the Executive Director and as General Counsel of the New York City Campaign Finance Board.


 Adam Lioz

Adam Lioz


Adam is a lawyer and policy advocate who joined the Demos in November 2011. He focuses on litigation to enforce the National Voter Registration Act and end prison-based gerrymandering; and policy advocacy to promote political equality and democratic fairness through safeguarding the right to vote and curbing the influence of big money on the political process. Prior to joining Demos, Adam worked on environmental issues with PennPIRG/PennEnvironment; promoted campaign finance reform and election administration reform for U.S. PIRG; and organized to elect progressive candidates in three election cycles with MoveOn PAC and Progressive Future (now Fair Share Alliance). Adam has lobbied extensively in the Pennsylvania State House and U.S. Congress; written or edited more than a dozen reports on environmental and good government issues; been quoted, published, or featured in leading media outlets such as The New York Times (op-ed Mar. 2002), Washington Post, USA Today, NPR, CNN, CSPAN; and played leadership roles in grassroots electoral campaigns that have made face-to-face contact with hundreds of thousands of voters. Adam received his J.D. from Yale Law School in 2007 and his B.A. from Duke University in 1998.


Myrna Perez

Myrna Pérez

Democracy Program

Ms. Pérez works on a variety of voting rights related issues, including redistricting, voter registration list maintenance, and access to the ballot box. Prior to joining the Center, Ms. Pérez was the Civil Rights Fellow at Relman & Dane, a civil rights law firm in Washington, D.C. Ms. Pérez graduated from Columbia Law School in 2003, where she was a Lowenstein Public Interest Fellow. Following law school, Ms. Pérez clerked for the Honorable Anita B. Brody of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania and for the Honorable Julio M. Fuentes of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.

Ms. Pérez earned her undergraduate degree in Political Science from Yale University in 1996. She obtained a masters degree in public policy from Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government in 1998, where she was the recipient of the Robert F. Kennedy Award for Excellence in Public Service. Prior to law school, she was a Presidential Management Fellow, serving as a policy analyst for the United States Government Accounting Office where she covered a range of issues including housing and health care.

Glen Staszewski

Glen Staszewski

Associate Dean for Research, Professor of Law & The A.J. Thomas Faculty Scholar
Michigan State University School of Law

Professor Staszewski was a trial attorney in the Federal Programs Branch of the Civil Division of the U.S. Department of Justice before joining the Michigan State University College of Law faculty in 2001. He served as Editor in Chief of the Vanderbilt Law Review during law school and was subsequently elected to the Order of the Coif. Upon graduation, he clerked for thDee Honorable Fortunato P. Benavides of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. Professor Staszewski's scholarship focuses on issues of democratic theory and practice that arise in the making and implementation of law in the modern regulatory state. His articles about administrative law, statutory interpretation, democratic accountability, and direct democracy have appeared or are forthcoming in the Emory Law Journal, Indiana Law Journal, Iowa Law Review, Minnesota Law Review, Vanderbilt Law Review, and Wisconsin Law Review. Professor Staszewski also organized and contributed to a couple of major symposia that were recently published in the Michigan State Law Review on "Administrative Statutory Interpretation" and Barry Friedman's book, "The Will of the People." Professor Staszewski regularly teaches Administrative Law, Civil Procedure, and Legislation. Learn more about Glen Staszewski at the Michigan State University School of Law Website.