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The Electoral College Has Outlived Its Usefulness
Hosted By John Donvan
Wednesday, April 1, 2020 -
19:00 to 20:45
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Wednesday, April 1, 2020
07:00 PM − 08:45 PM EDT
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Upcoming Debate April 1, 2020
The Electoral College Has Outlived Its Usefulness
Electoral College

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 University Pritzker School of Law as part of the Newton and Jo Minow Debate Series.  

About The Debaters
For The Motion
An image of Jamelle Bouie
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,... read bio
An image of Kate Shaw
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... read bio
Against The Motion
An image of Tara Ross
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... read bio
An image of Bradley A. Smith
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... read bio
Main Points
For The Motion
Against The Motion