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Two notices remind me to remind you to turn your clocks back tonight at 2 a.m. — but only by one hour! (The second one is a local event — so be sure to read on past the video!)
The subject is voting rights — so meet 12-year-old Madison Kimrey of North Carolina, Ground Zero in this year’s voting rights wars. We Californians are lucky enough to have one of the best Secretaries of State in the country in Debra Bowen, who in her two terms has championed making voter registration easier and more accurate, including allowing teenagers to “pre-register” to vote before they turn 18 (and for all of us to register via the Internet!)
Not every state is so fortunate. Some states are downright lousy — such as North Carolina. Madison will tell you about that:
Election law decisions — Bush v. Gore and Citizens United and last year’s Shelby County case (which allowed this year’s voting shenanigans) and probably this year’s McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission (which would blow the top off of individual limits on direct contributions to federal campaigns) — are among the Supreme Court’s most important and far-reaching. You may not live in North Carolina, but California is still part of the U.S. — so if you want to know more about them, you’re lucky to live in a county with one of the nation’s foremost legal experts on the topic: Prof. Rick Hasen of UCI’s Law School.
Hasen is speaking on the topic of “Voting Rights, Voting Wars & the Supreme Court” in Laguna Woods this Monday. (It’s a regular meeting of the Democratic Club there, but their business should end by about 7:00, at which time he’s scheduled to begin. Hasen is a top expert in that area of voting/election/campaign law. The talk and Q&A from Hasen is described by an informant as “Chemerinsky-level” — that’s like a five-star hotel rating — but will focus entirely on election law: the Supreme Court (and other court) cases, voter-suppression tactics, litigation push-back against same, politics and legal points of Congress reviving the Voting Rights Act, etc.
So turn remember back those clocks tonight — but try to leave yourself in November 2013. (2009 would be better, so far as election law goes, but many of our readers don’t have that level of time machine technology.)