Media Appearances

Television and Online Video

The Truth about Voting Rights, Tea Time with the Robert H. Jackson Center, Jamestown, NY. February 24, 2022.
Conversation with Professor Atiba Ellis about voting rights as part of the Jackson Center’s programming theme of “Democracy on Trial.” The Center hosted conversations on the pressures on, challenges to, and opportunities for democracy and democratic institutions in the United States and around the world.  (1:01:22)

On The Issues: Changes to Election Laws — Is Your Right to Vote Secure?, Marquette University Law School, Eckstein Hall, October 20, 2021
Mike will be focusing on recent changes to state election laws across the country and their potential impact on future elections. Supporters of the changes say they are a response to concerns about voter fraud, particularly in the 2020 election cycle. But voting rights advocates say that there is no proof of widespread voter fraud, and that the new legislation is an effort to suppress voter turnout. In this conversation, we’ll hear from two people concerned about the new wave of legislation. Molly McGrath is a voting rights attorney, advocate, and organizer for the American Civil Liberties Union’s Voting Rights project.  She is a Brooklyn Law School graduate and previously worked on voting rights issues for the organization VoteRiders. Atiba Ellis is professor of law at Marquette University Law School, whose research focuses on voting rights law. (50:30)

Panelist, “Election Lies and the First Amendment,” Lies and the Law Series, Knight Foundation for the First Amendment, Columbia Law School, October 13, 2021
How should the government regulate election-related speech? Should lies about where, when, or how to vote be illegal? What of lies about election results, as in Trump’s “Big Lie”? Should such lies be regulated more aggressively by the social media platforms, or even the government? Other election-related lies also raise thorny free speech questions. Can or should foreign actors be able to intervene in electoral speech in the run-up to elections? How much should campaign finance law be used to patrol misinformation and disinformation about election donations and spending? Is it possible to regulate election-related speech more stringently without giving government officials power to undermine the integrity of the democratic process? More fundamentally, how exceptional should we consider the electoral context when it comes to the regulation of lies? And how do race, nationality, and gender play into both election-related disinformation and its regulation? Featuring: Richard Hasen, University of California, Irvine School of Law; Janell Byrd-Chichester, THurgood Marshall Institute of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc.; Atiba Ellis, Marquette University Law School; and Matt Perrault, Center on Technology Policy at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Moderated by Genevieve Lakier, Knight First Amendment Institute. (1:38:33)

Pandem-ocracy: Voting Rights and Access During the COVID Crisis, American Constitution Society, May 5, 2020
In this panel, sponsored by the ACS University of Idaho College of Law Student Chapter, the ACS Madison Lawyer Chapter, and the ACS At-Large Chapter, our expert speakers engaged in a discussion on the implications of RNC v. DNC for the WI elections and what the case might indicate about SCOTUS’ role in the upcoming presidential elections. Featuring: Atiba Ellis, Professor of Law and ACS Faculty Advisor, Marquette University Law School; Jeff Mandell, Partner, Stafford Rosenbaum LLP; President, ACS Madison Lawyer Chapter; Franita Tolson, Vice Dean for Faculty and Academic Affairs and Professor of Law, USC Gould School of Law; Member, ACS National Board of Directors & Board of Academic Advisors. Moderator: Benjamin Cover, Associate Professor of Law, University of Idaho College of Law. (1:08:48)

The Political Economy of Inequality, Democracy, and Oligarchy, Law and Political Economy Project, Yale Law School, November 13, 2020.
This panel discussion will focus upon the erosion of democratic institutions and the rise of oligarchy that has followed in the wake of unprecedented economic inequality. The panel will address elite efforts to entrench themselves politically as well as economically, including the consequences of such efforts in terms of human development. The panel will focus upon the specific context of election 2020 and the uncertainty it is creating. The subversion of democracy and the law governing our democracy naturally holds many costs, and each panelist will address such costs. Each panelist will also seek to articulate some mechanism for a path forward.  Panelists: Emma Coleman Jordan, Georgetown Law Center; andré douglas pond cummings, William H. Bowen School of Law; Atiba Ellis, Marquette University Law School; Steven Ramirez, Loyola University of Chicago School of Law; and Gerald Torres, Yale Law School

Fair Representation in an Increasingly Diverse AmericaVoting and Representation Symposium, NYU Law Review and Brennan Center for Justice, NYU School of Law, October 9, 2020.
This panel will look at how the United States is changing demographically and how we can ensure fair representation in light of those changes. SPEAKERS: -Atiba Ellis, Professor of Law, Marquette University Law School -Ming Hsu Chen, Associate Professor, University of Colorado Law School -Thomas A. Saenz, President and General Counsel, MALDEF -Moderator: Michael Li, Senior Counsel, Democracy Program, Brennan Center for Justice. (1:12:07)

Critical Race Theory, the 2020 Election and Structural ReformDemocracy Reform for the 21st Century, California Law Review Symposium, UC Berkeley School of Law, September 14, 2020.
The California Law Review’s 2020 Symposium brought together scholars, legal practitioners, public servants, community leaders, and political experts to identify and evaluate key initiatives to strengthen our democracy. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, nationwide uprisings against racism and police killings, and the threat of interference in the upcoming election, ensuring the equity, integrity, and future of our democracy is now more important than ever. Drawing on diverse expertise, our participants discussed what is at stake, what is possible, and how we get there—by amendment, statute, regulatory device, polling, etc.  Participants: Cheryl Harris, Professor, UCLA Law (Facilitator); Barbara Arnwine, President and Founder, Transformative Justice Coalition & President Emeritus, Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law; Guy-Uriel Charles, Professor, Duke Law; Atiba Ellis, Professor, Marquette University Law; Luis Fuentes-Rohwer, Professor, Indiana University Maurer School of Law. (1:18:48)

The Voting Rights Paradox: Ideology and the Incompleteness of Democratic Practice,” Colorado Law School 2020 Rothgerber Conference, Women’s Enfranchisement: Beyond the Nineteenth Amendment, Justice Byron R. White Center for Constitutional Law, April 3, 2020. Panelists: Dara Strolovitch (Princeton); Bertrall Ross (Berkeley Law); Atiba Ellis (Marquette Law); Ming H. Chen (Colorado Law). (1:48:33)

The Perils and Possibilities of Election Commissions,” American Constitution Society, National Press Club, Washington, D.C., January 18, 2018.
In the nearly two decades since the controversial 2000 presidential election, numerous commissions have been formed to examine and reform our voting processes. In 2017, the Trump Administration established a “Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity,” which was recently dissolved amid controversy and litigation. This development presents an opportunity to better understand how commissions are supposed to function and how they shape election law and voters’ experiences. Panelists: Robert Bauer, Partner, Perkins Coie; Former White House Counsel; Co-Chair of the Presidential Commission on Election Administration; Atiba Ellis, Professor of Law at West Virginia University; Member, U.S. Commission on Civil Rights West Virginia State Advisory Committee; Jenni Katzman, Director of Policy and Programs, ACS; Benjamin Ginsberg, Partner, Jones Day; Former National Counsel to Bush-Cheney Campaigns; Co-Chair of the Presidential Commission on Election Administration; Natalie Tennant, Manager of State Advocacy on voting rights and elections at the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law, Former Secretary of State of West Virginia (1:22:47)

Using Memes to Break out of Voter Fraud Talk, TEDxOshkosh, Grand Opera House, Oshkosh, WI, November 4, 2017.
Voter fraud talk has dominated our last two elections, and policy makers and voters have divergent views of the problem. This talk will show us how the lens of memes can help us focus on the first principles of voting and the evidence around what makes voting effective.

On the Issues: Atiba Ellis and Molly McGrath, Marquette University Law School, Eckstein Hall, November 16, 2017.
Since the 2010 election, more than 20 states have enacted new voting laws. They range from photo ID requirements, to limits on early voting, to changes in voter registration rules. Supporters of the changes say the goal of the legislation is to guarantee the integrity of elections and prevent voter fraud. But opponents say the new laws make it harder to vote, and have a disproportionate impact on minority communities. Molly McGrath says she’s seen the impact first-hand. McGrath is a voting rights advocate, organizer, and attorney who has led voter access projects in several states, including Wisconsin. She is currently with the ACLU’s Voting Right Project. Professor Atiba Ellis is a faculty member at the West Virginia University College of Law and a visitor this semester at Marquette. Together, Ellis and McGrath will discuss how voting laws have changed in recent years, and what impact those changes might be having on our elections.

Voting rights battles continue, head to court, On the Record, WRAL-TV, Raleigh, N.C. Feb. 18, 2017.
Professor Atiba Ellis, Professor of Law, Francis De Luca of the Civitas Institute, and Mark Binker, WRAL Investigative Reporter, discuss why voting rights laws are so contentious and analyze past and present voting rights court battles. (23:28)

A Divided Nation, Feedback, U92/WWVU-FM, Morgantown, WV. Dec 1, 2016.
Atiba Ellis and fellow WVU professors Patrick Hickey (Political Science) and Jesse Wozniak (Sociology) explore the nature of the divisions and challenges that face American society, including race, politics, the 2016 presidential election, social media, and the impoverishment of discourse in society. (1:00:32)

Resolved: State Voter ID Laws Are Unconstitutional, National Constitution Center. Oct 5, 2016.
Hans von Spakovsky, Heritage Foundation, and Atiba Ellis, West Virginia University College of Law, debate voter ID laws in a event in Chicago moderated by Jeffrey Rosen, President and CEO, National Constitution Center. (1:34:45)

WVU Ask An Expert: Election Law 101, West Virginia University. Aug 25, 2016.
WVU law professor Atiba Ellis, whose research focuses on voting rights laws, explains why voting is getting more complicated in the US. (2:09)

What They Won’t Tell You About Diversity Week, WVU College of Law. Sept 30, 2015.
Professor Atiba Ellis joined his West Virginia University colleagues Kendra Fershee (Law), Jonathan Hall (Geography), and Cynthia Gorman (Geography) explore the meaning and future of diversity in higher education and American society at large. (2:19:20)

The Voting Rights Act at 50: Past Successes, Future Challenges, WVU College of Law. Sept 17, 2015.
Professor Atiba Ellis, West Virginia University College of Law, and Brad Smith, Capital University College of Law, discuss the Voting Rights Act during a Constitution Day Lecture. (1:24:56)

Eliminating Fraud or Infringing a Right? – Voter I.D. Laws, Duke University School of Law. Feb 7, 2012.
A Federalist Society debate on Voter Identification Laws between Mr. J. Christian Adams from the Election Law Center and Professor Atiba Ellis, from the West Virginia University College of Law. Mr. Adams is an election lawyer who served in the Voting Rights Section at the U.S. Department of Justice and a columnist for Professor Ellis focuses his research and writing on the law of democracy with a specific interest in voting rights law, and the intersection of democratic theory with race, class, and other critical legal perspectives. Co-sponsored by the Duke University Program in Public Law. (57:40)

Podcasts & Radio

The Voting Rights Act, All Sides with An Fisher, June 22, 2022
The congressional lines drawn in a number of states face lawsuits calling them racially discriminatory and illegal under the Voting Rights Act. The landmark piece of legislation isn’t as strong as it used to be, however, and in many cases, disputed maps are still in place for the 2022 midterms. Today we are taking a look at the history and future of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
GUESTS: Yurij Rudensky, Senior Counsel, Brennan Center for Justice Democracy Program; Hasan Kwame Jeffries, associate professor of history, The Ohio State University; and Atiba Ellis, Professor, Marquette University Law School

Susan Davis and Carrie Johnson, “The Rise and Fall of the Voting Rights Act of 1965” NPR Politics Podcast, July 29, 2021.
The Voting Rights Act of 1965 was born from the civil rights movement of the ’50s and ’60s, but in recent years the Supreme Court has effectively nullified its key provisions. We explore why the law was first passed and what it means for voters of color now that its powers have been gutted.

Legal Eagle Review, WNCU, North Carolina Central University. Feb 26, 2017.
Professor Atiba Ellis sat down with hosts Irving Joyner and April Dawson, law professors at North Carolina Central University School of Law to discuss the past, present, and future of lowing rights in the U.S. The discussion emphasizes the parallels between the past of racial voter suppression and the present, the impact of the Shelby County v. Holder decision on the enforcement of voting rights, and the possible futures for voting rights in the Trump era.

You Down with VRA?!, B-Side Conversations. Aug 26, 2016.
Professor Atiba Ellis talks about the Voting Rights Act (VRA). Much of the context surrounding VRA is largely unknown to most people, but it is key for understanding the social tensions that have given rise to our increasingly vitriolic political environment. (1:31:12)

Policing Gone Black (Part 1), B-Side Conversations. Nov 1, 2015.
Professor Atiba Ellis gives his thoughts on police killings of young Black men and women over the past year, his own experiences with racism, and the beginnings of stop and frisk. (52:41)

Policing Gone Black (Part 2), B-Side Conversations. Nov 1, 2015.
Part two of Professor Atiba Ellis’s conversation with host Jonathan Hall on police killings of young Black men and women, racism, and stop and frisk. (59:04)

News Media

Susan Davis and Carrie Johnson, “The Rise and Fall of the Voting Rights Act of 1965” NPR Politics Podcast, July 29, 2021

Courtney Gerrish, “Expert Says Trump Campaign’s Lawsuit Will be ‘Uphill Battle’” Spectrum News Wisconsin, December 2, 2020

“Here and Now” Weekly News Magazine, “Presidential Recount and Marginalized Communities,” PBS Wisconsin, November 27, 2020.

‘Embarrassing for Texas’: Wisconsin AG slams Texas for suing over Wisconsin election,” CBS 58 News, December 8, 2020

Scott Hurley and Charlee Rubesky, “Green Bay mayor, clerk named as defendants in latest Trump lawsuit,” FOX 11 News (Green Bay, WI) December 3, 2020.

Brendan Cullerton, “Experts see Trump legal strategy to win White House as a longshot,” CBS 58 News, November 6, 2020.

Kay Burley, “How will Trump’s court challenges work?” SKY News, November 5, 2020

RTE News (Ireland) at 9 Interview, Litigation regarding the 2020 Election, November 5, 2020

BBC TV (London, England) Challenges around the 2020 Election, November 4, 2020

Gerald Owens, “Professor: Efforts to interfere with vote counting amount to ‘desperation’” WRAL-TV November 4, 2020.

Sarah Matusek, “Poll watching: Democratic safeguard or intimidation” Christian Science Monitor October 23, 2020

Caroline Reinwald, “On ‘Loving Day’ experts point out many things have not changed since Civil Rights movement,” WISN-TV, June 13, 2020.

Mary Spicuzza and Alison Dirr, “In suspicions raised about validity of Milwaukee’s vote, leaders see harmful racial undertones” Milwaukee Journal Sentinel November 18, 2020.

WVU Experts Say Mass Voter Fraud Not an Issue in Upcoming Election, WBOY News, Morgantown, WV. Nov 07, 2016.

Election Law 101, Ask An Expert, West Virginia University. Aug 25, 2016.

Clouded campaign finances: Public financing loopholes, ambiguities dim new WV program’s good intentions, WBOY News, Morgantown, WV. Mar 31, 2016.

Commission awards WVU professor with ‘Living the Dream’ award, The DA, Morgantown, WV. Mar 12, 2015.

Panel talks Ferguson, race, The DA, Morgantown, WV. Nov 19, 2014.

WVU reacts to recent DOMA rulings, The DA, Morgantown, WV. Jul 3, 2013.

‘Democracy in Motion’ Stops in Morgantown, WBOY News, Morgantown, WV. Feb 11, 2013.

Panel discusses case involving campaign laws, The DA, Morgantown, WV. Nov 4, 2010.

%d bloggers like this: