A legal symposium co-sponsored by Seton Hall University School of Law and Free Speech For People

Friday, April 1, 2016

9am – 4:45pm
8:30am Continental Breakfast

Seton Hall University School of Law
Newark, New Jersey

This symposium will bring together leading scholars from across the country to help develop new thinking and proposed solutions for overhauling our nation’s campaign finance system.

Keynote Speaker:

Justice Cheri Beasley, of the North Carolina Supreme Court, will deliver the keynote address.

  • Mark Alexander, Seton Hall University School of Law
  • Richard Briffault, Columbia Law School
  • Keith Ewing, Dickson Poon School of Law at King’s College London
  • Ron Fein, Free Speech For People
  • Brent Ferguson, Brennan Center For Justice
  • Michael Gilbert, University of Virginia School of Law
  • Kent Greenfield, Boston College Law School
  • David Kairys, Temple University Beasley School of Law
  • Sheila Krumholz, Center for Responsive Politics
  • Timothy Kuhner, Georgia State University  College of Law
  • Adam Lioz, Demos
  • Eugene Mazo, Rutgers School of Law
  • Maggie McKinley, Harvard Law School
  • Bertrall Ross, University of California Berkeley School of Law
  • Kate Shaw, Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law at Yeshiva University
  • Stephen Spaulding, Common Cause

This event is free and open to the public.
To register for this symposium and reserve your seat, please send your RSVP to Oske Buckley at [email protected]


8:30-9:00am  Continental Breakfast

9:00-9:15am  Opening Remarks  (Mark Alexander, John Bonifaz, Eugene Mazo)

9:15-10:15am  Panel 1: Defining the Problem

Mark Alexander, Seton Hall Law School

Sheila Krumholz, Center for Responsive Politics
Timothy Kuhner, Georgia State University
Brent Ferguson, Brennan Center for Justice

Keith Ewing, King’s College, London
David Kairys, Temple University

10:15-10:30am  Coffee Break

10:30am-12:00pm  Panel 2: Policy Proposals within the Existing Jurisprudence

John Bonifaz, Free Speech For People

Bertrall Ross, University of California, Berkeley
Kate Shaw, Cardozo Law School
Stephen Spaulding, Common Cause
Adam Lioz, Demos

Michael Gilbert, University of Virginia
Richard Briffault, Columbia Law School

12:00-1:00pm  Lunch

1:00-1:45pm  Keynote: Justice Cheri Beasley, North Carolina Supreme Court

1:45-3:00pm  Panel 3: Policy Proposals outside the Existing Legal Regime

Mark Alexander (Seton Hall Law School)

Eugene Mazo, Rutgers Law School
Maggie McKinley, Harvard Law School
Kent Greenfield, Boston College Law School
Ron Fein, Free Speech For People

Michael Gilbert, University of Virginia
Stephen Spaulding, Common Cause

3:00-3:15pm  Coffee Break

3:15 -4:30pm  Panel 4: A New Court and a Restored Constitution

Eugene Mazo, Rutgers Law School

Richard Briffault, Columbia Law School
Ron Fein, Free Speech For People
David Kairys, Temple University
Keith Ewing, King’s College, London

Adam Lioz, Demos
Tim Kuhner, Georgia State University

4:30-4:40 pm  Closing Remarks (Mark Alexander, Ron Fein, Tim Kuhner)

4:40-5:30pm  Informal drinks

5:30pm  End of Conference


Cheri-140Justice Cheri Beasley, North Carolina Supreme Court 
In December 2012, Justice Cheri Beasley received an appointment from Governor Beverly Perdue to serve as Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of North Carolina. Prior to this appointment, Justice Cheri Beasley served as an Associate Judge on the North Carolina Court of Appeals to which she was elected in 2008. She is the only African-American woman elected to any statewide office in North Carolina without the benefit of incumbency or appointment by the Governor. She served for nearly ten years as a District Court Judge in the Twelfth Judicial District, Cumberland County, first as an appointee by Governor Jim Hunt in 1999 and subsequently as an elected and reelected candidate for that position. On the District Court level, Judge Beasley served as a Family Court Judge, a certified Juvenile Court Judge and well as a Criminal, Traffic and Civil Court Judge.

During her tenure as a member of the judiciary, Judge Beasley has lectured for other judges at the New District Court Judges School at UNC-CH School of Government and for law enforcement and other court personnel in North Carolina. She has served as a faculty member of the National Institute for Trial Advocacy, and lectures for Appellate Advocacy and Trial Advocacy classes at UNC School of Law and NCCU School of Law. Beasley hold memberships in the American Bar Association, Appellate Judicial Division, N.C. Bar Association, Cumberland County Bar Association, Wake County Bar Association, and Junior League of Fayetteville. Beasley is a 2012 Henry Toll Fellow of the Council on State Governments.

In December 1991, Beasley graduated from The University of Tennessee College of Law in Knoxville after completing a summer of law studies at Oxford University in England. She is a graduate of Douglass College of Rutgers University with majors in Economics and Political Science. From 1994 – 1999, Beasley served as an Assistant Public Defender in the Twelfth Judicial District.

Judge Beasley is married to Curtis Owens who is a clinical research scientist. They are the proud parents of twelve-year-old twin sons, Thomas and Matthew, who are eighth graders. They are members of First Baptist Church, South Wilmington Street, Raleigh, where Rev. Dr. Dumas A. Harshaw, Jr. is pastor. Their home church is First Baptist Church, Moore Street, Fayetteville, Rev. Dr. Cureton Johnson, Pastor. Beasley is the only child of the late Dr. Lou Beasley and the late William James Beasley. She is an active member of her community serving as a member of several civic organizations and speaking at schools, churches and statewide events encouraging children to explore a wide range of carrier opportunities and educating the public on a variety of legal issues.

Judge Cheri L. Beasley serves tirelessly as a fair and impartial member of the North Carolina Supreme Court, balancing both the demands of a public career and the needs of her family. She is the best candidate for election to the North Carolina Supreme Court. Back to top.

Mark-140Mark Alexander, Seton Hall University School of Law
Mark Alexander is a law professor at Seton Hall University, specializing in Constitutional Law and the intersection of Law and Politics. Alexander is active in politics and government: he was Senior Advisor to Barack Obama, having worked on the Obama presidential campaign since January 2007. As Policy Director, he developed Senator Obama’s signature policies, built a network of policy experts and provided overall strategic guidance. He also served on the Presidential Transition Team, reviewing the Federal Election Commission, as part of the Justice and Civil Rights Team.

Professor Alexander was General Counsel to Cory Booker and the Booker Team in the 2006 Newark Municipal elections and then for Newark in Transition, as Mayor Booker moved to assume the office. Other political work includes serving as Issues Director for the Bill Bradley for President Campaign in 1999-2000. He also worked for U.S. Senators Edward Kennedy and Howard Metzenbaum, and he served a two-year term as an elected official in the Washington, D.C. government.  Alexander clerked for Chief Judge Thelton Henderson of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California and was a litigator with Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher in San Francisco before joining the Seton Hall Law School faculty in 1996. Professor Alexander was the 1996-1997 Student Bar Association Professor of the Year, and he has been nominated for the award on numerous other occasions. He received his B.A. and J.D. from Yale University. Back to top.

Richard-140Richard Briffault, Columbia Law School
Richard Briffault is the Joseph P. Chamberlain Professor of Legislation at Columbia Law School. His research, writing, and teaching focus on state and local government law, election law, government ethics, and property. In 2014, Professor Briffault was appointed Chair of the Conflicts of Interest Board of the City of New York. He is also currently the Reporter for the American Law Institute’s project on Principles of Government Ethics, and he was a member of New York State’s Moreland Act Commission to Investigate Public Corruption. Briffault is co-author of the casebook State and Local Government Law, principal author of Dollars and Democracy: A Blueprint for Campaign Finance Reform (a Report of the Commission on Campaign Finance Reform of the New York City Bar Association), and author of Balancing Acts: The Reality Behind State Balanced Budget Requirements, as well as more than seventy-five law review articles. A graduate of Columbia University and Harvard Law School, he clerked for Judge Shirley M. Hufstedler on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Back to top.

Keith-140Keith Ewing,  Dickson Poon School of Law at King’s College London
Professor Ewing has been Professor of Public Law at King’s College London since 1989, holding academic appointments previously at the Universities of Edinburgh, 1978-83 and Cambridge, 1983-1989. He has also held visiting appointments in Australia, Canada and Japan. Professor Ewing is co-author of the leading Constitutional Law text in the UK, author and editor/co-editor of several monographs and collections on party funding/campaign financing, and has published in law reviews in Australia, Canada, the UK, and the US. He is the author of numerous pamphlets and op-edit pieces on political party finance.

In addition to his scholarship, Ewing has worked as a policy advisor to the Labour Party while Labour was in government, and has been described as one of the architects of the main legislation on party funding now operating in the United Kingdom. He has appeared as an expert witness before legislative and scrutiny committees of the British Parliament (since 1993) as well as other public bodies, either in an academic capacity or as an advisor to the Trade Union-Labour Party Liaison Organisation (TULO) with which he has been closely involved since 2002.

Ewing has also acted as an adviser to the Australian Labor Party, as well as labor unions in Australia, on policy and legal questions relating to political finance. He has advised transparency NGOs in Germany, South Africa and Trinidad, and has been consulted on litigation and acted as an expert witness in Australia, Canada and South Africa. He was academic adviser to the Committee on Standards on Public Life, the United Kingdom’s governmental ethics agency, on the occasion of its recent inquiry on Political Party Finance – Ending the Big Donor Culture (2011).  Back to top.

Ron-140Ron Fein, Free Speech For People 

Ron Fein is the Legal Director for Free Speech For People. Mr. Fein previously served as Assistant Regional Counsel in the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s New England office, where he received the EPA’s National Gold Medal for Exceptional Service, the National Notable Achievement Award, and several other awards. Mr. Fein supervised the office’s Clean Air Act practice and won several major cases, including a first-in-nation air quality permit for an offshore wind farm and a nationally recognized settlement requiring a power plant to virtually eliminate its use of a local river. Mr. Fein previously clerked for the Honorable Kermit Lipez of the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit and the Honorable Douglas Woodlock of the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts.  He has also worked as an independent consultant to non-profits, as deputy campaign manager of a congressional campaign, and in software development, for which he was awarded nine patents. Mr. Fein graduated Order of the Coif from Stanford Law School and summa cum laude from Harvard College. Back to top.

Brent Ferguson, Brennan Center For Justice
Brent-140Brent Ferguson is Counsel in the Brennan Center’s Democracy program, where he works on the Money in Politics team. He has authored several publications, including After Citizens United: The Story in the States (October 2014), and has published academic articles on campaign finance reform and criminal justice in the Emory Law Journal Online, the Cornell Journal of Law & Public Policy, Hastings Constitutional Law Quarterly, and the New Mexico Law Review.

Before joining the Brennan Center, he clerked for Judge Michael Chagares of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit and Judge Jeffrey Miller of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California. Prior to his clerkships, he was a litigation associate at Dechert LLP. Brent graduated from Columbia University Law School, where he was a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar and served on the administrative board of the Columbia Law Review. He graduated cum laude from the University of Southern California with a B.A. in political science.  Back to top.

Michael GilbertMichael Gilbert, University of Virginia School of Law
Michael Gilbert is the Sullivan & Cromwell Professor of Law at the University of Virginia School of Law.  Professor Gilbert joined the faculty in 2009. He teaches courses on legislation, election law, direct democracy, and judicial decision-making. His recent papers examine judicial independence, campaign finance disclosure, and the interpretation of ballot initiatives. Prior to joining the faculty Gilbert clerked for Judge William A. Fletcher on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in San Francisco. He received his Ph.D. from the Jurisprudence and Social Policy Program at the University of California, Berkeley. He received his J.D. from Berkeley Law School, where he served as articles editor of the California Law Review. At Berkeley, he was an Olin Fellow in Law and Economics and the recipient of a grant from the National Science Foundation. Back to top.

Kent-140Kent Greenfield, Boston College Law School
Kent Greenfield is Professor of Law and Law Fund Research Scholar at Boston College Law School, where he teaches and writes in the areas of business law, constitutional law, decision making theory, legal theory, and economic analysis of law. He is the past Chair of the Section on Business Associations of the American Association of Law Schools. In addition, he is the author of the book The Myth of ChoiceGreenfield also has had journal articles published in the Yale Law Journal, the Virginia Law Review, the Boston College Law Review, the George Washington Law Review, and Constitutional Commentary, among others. Greenfield has received teaching awards from the Boston College law school’s Black Law Student Society, the Lambda Law Students’ Association, and the Business Law Society. He also received the Kevin Larkin Memorial Award for Public Service from the Massachusetts Lesbian and Gay Bar Association in 2005.

He was the founder and president of the Forum for Academic and Institutional Rights (FAIR), an association of three dozen law schools and other academic institutions organized to fight for academic freedom and against discrimination. Greenfield is a graduate of the University of Chicago Law School, where he graduated with honors and was awarded membership into the honorary society Order of the Coif. He also served as Topics and Comments Editor of the University of Chicago Law Review. He received an A.B., with highest honors, from Brown University, where he studied economics and history. Back to top.

David Kairys, Temple University Beasley School of Law
David Kairys, professor of constitutional law and James E. Beasley Chair (2001-07) at Temple University, is a leading constitutional scholar and civil rights litigator.  He wrote Philadelphia Freedom, Memoir of a Civil Rights Lawyer (2008) and With Liberty and Justice for Some (1993); edited and co-authored the bestselling progressive critique of the law, The Politics of Law (Pantheon, 1982, 1990; Basic Books, 1998); and authored over 35 articles and book chapters and over 50 commentaries in major periodicals. His recent articles focus on the history and current reality of civil rights, particularly the Supreme Court’s decisions on racial and speech issues, the role of courts, and the rule of law. He is the editor of Oxford University Press’ Law and Current Events Masters Series.

As a civil rights lawyer (full-time 1968-90), Professor Kairys won the leading race discrimination case against the FBI, won challenges to unrepresentative juries around the country, stopped police sweeps of minority neighborhoods in Philadelphia, was the lead lawyer in the most significant acquittal of anti-Vietnam War activists (the Camden 28 case), and represented Dr. Benjamin Spock in a free speech case before the Supreme Court. In the 1990s, he conceived and sometimes litigated the city lawsuits against handgun manufacturers brought by over 40 cities, and his public-nuisance theory has become a major basis for a range of challenges to corporate practices that endanger public health or safety. Back to top.

Sheila-140Sheila Krumholz, Center for Responsive Politics
Sheila is the Center for Responsive Politics’ chief administrator, the liaison to its board and major funders and its primary spokesperson. Sheila became executive director in 2006, having spent eight years as the Center’s research director, supervising data analysis for OpenSecrets.org and CRP’s clients. She first joined the organization in 1989 as assistant editor of the very first edition of Open Secrets, the Center’s flagship publication. In 2010, Fast Company magazine named Sheila to its “Most Influential Women in Technology” list. Sheila has a degree in international relations and political science from the University of Minnesota. Back to top.

Timothy KuhnerTimothy Kuhner, Georgia State University College of Law
Timothy K. Kuhner, is an associate professor of law at Georgia State University. Kuhner’s scholarship focuses on campaign finance, corruption, and democratic theory.  Kuhner is the author of Capitalism v. Democracy: Money in Politics and the Free Market Constitution (Stanford University Press 2014). In articles published by law journals at Harvard University, the University of California at Berkeley, the University of Virginia, and Indiana University, he has addressed campaign finance reform from the standpoints of constitutional law, democratic and economic theory, comparative law, and international law.

Since joining Georgia State Law in 2012, Kuhner has received the Patricia T. Morgan Award and the Provost’s Faculty Fellowship Award. Before moving to Atlanta, he worked for three years as associate professor of Anglo-American Law at la Universidad de Navarra in Pamplona, Spain. Kuhner’s professional background includes clerking on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit, conducting field research on conflict resolution in Argentina, Ecuador and Costa Rica as a Thomas J. Watson Fellow, working in an international negotiation firm and most recently, being approved as a court-connected mediator and mediation trainer by the Supreme Court of Georgia’s Commission on Dispute Resolution. Kuhner received his J.D. and LL.M., magna cum laude, from Duke University School of Law in 2004. He graduated in the top 10 percent of his class and was elected to the Order of the Coif. He received his A.B., magna cum laude, from Bowdoin College where he was awarded highest honors in sociology and the Romance Languages Prize. Back to top.

Adam Lioz-140Adam Lioz, Demos 
Adam is a lawyer and policy advocate who joined 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 PostUSA 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.  He recently published “Breaking the Vicious Cycle: How the Supreme Court Helped Create the Inequality Era and Why a New Jurisprudence Must Lead Us Out” in the Seton Hall Law Review.  Adam received his J.D. from Yale Law School in 2007 and his B.A. from Duke University in 1998. Back to top.

Gene-140Eugene Mazo, Rutgers School of Law
Professor Eugene Mazo is an expert in the law of democracy and a visiting professor at Rutgers Law School in Newark, New Jersey. He writes in the areas of election law, legislation, and constitutional law. His first book, Election Law Stories (with Joshua A. Douglas), is being published by Foundation Press in 2016. He is currently working on a second book, Democracy by the People: Reforming Campaign Finance in America (with Timothy K. Kuhner), which will result from the ideas presented at this symposium.  Professor Mazo has been a post-doctoral scholar and research fellow at the Center on Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law, an affiliated scholar of the Center for International Security and Cooperation, and a visiting researcher at the Center for Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies, all at Stanford University. He has been awarded grants for his research by the John M. Olin Foundation, the Social Science Research Council, and the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.

Professor Mazo is the Chair-Elect of the Section on New Law Professors at the Association of American Law Schools. He also serves on the Executive Committee of the Section on Election Law and of the Section on Constitutional Law. Professor Mazo has often been cited in the media. His name has appeared in the New York Times, Financial Times, International Herald Tribune, San Jose Mercury News, and Foreign Policy. A graduate of Columbia College, Professor Mazo received a master’s degree from Harvard, a doctorate in politics from Oxford, and a law degree from Stanford. Back to top.

Maggie McKinley, Harvard Law School
Maggie McKinley (Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Ojibwe) is Climenko Fellow and Lecturer of Law at Harvard Law School.  She researches and writes on legislation, theories of interpretation, minority rights and representation, the architecture of lawmaking institutions, and federal Indian law. Her most recent project combines empirical, historical, and theoretical inquiry to define the practice, function, and constitutional contours of federal lobbying and petitioning. Maggie currently serves as co-principal investigator of the “Language of Lobbying” Project at the University of Chicago, a qualitative and quantitative study of federal tax lobbyists, and as a collaborator with the North American Petitions Project at the Harvard Department of Government.

She holds a J.D. from Stanford Law School and a B.A. in linguistic anthropology from UCLA. Before attending law school, she served as Manager of Research at the UCLA Ethnography of Autism Project and Principal Policy Producer at the Sloan Center on the Everyday Lives of Families. Following law school, she clerked for Chief Judge James Ware of the Northern District of California and Judge Susan Graber of the Ninth Circuit, and practiced civil litigation on behalf of unions and labor federations at Bredhoff & Kaiser in Washington, DC. Her work was awarded the Steven M. Block Civil Liberties Award for excellence in writing in the area of personal freedom and has been supported by the American Political Science Association and the Warren E. Miller Fellowship in Electoral Politics, among others. Back to top.

Bertrall-140Bertrall Ross, University of California Berkeley School of Law
Betrall Ross is Assistant Professor of Law and Co-Director of Thelton E. Henderson Center for Social Justice at the University of California Berkley School of Law.  Prior to joining U.C. Berkeley School of Law, Bertrall was a Kellis Parker Academic Fellow at Columbia Law School. He also clerked for the Honorable Dorothy Nelson of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and the Honorable Myron Thompson of the Middle District of Alabama. He received his J.D. from Yale Law School and has an M.Sc in the Politics of the World Economy from the London School of Economics, a Masters in Public Affairs from Princeton University Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, and a B.A. in International Affairs and History from the University of Colorado, Boulder.

His research is driven by a normative concern about democratic responsiveness and the political inclusion of marginalized communities. Methodologically, he seeks to integrate history, political theory and empirical social science in examining the U.S. Constitution, legal doctrine, and the institutional role of courts in democratic design. In his current scholarship, Ross is exploring how evolving conceptions of politics have influenced the Supreme Court’s equal protection jurisprudence. He is also undertaking an empirical project that seeks to challenge the Supreme Court’s assumptions about the political power of the poor. His past scholarship is in the areas of statutory interpretation, voting rights, and democratic design. Back to top.

Kate-140Kate Shaw, Cardozo School of Law at Yeshiva University

Before joining Cardozo, Professor Shaw worked in the White House Counsel’s Office as a Special Assistant to the President and Associate Counsel to the President. She clerked for Justice John Paul Stevens of the U.S. Supreme Court and Judge Richard A. Posner of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.

She graduated with a B.A. magna cum laude from Brown University and with a J.D. magna cum laude and Order of the Coif from Northwestern University, where she served as the Editor-in-Chief of the Northwestern University Law Review. Professor Shaw’s teaching and research interests include constitutional law; legislation; executive power and the separation of powers; federal courts; the Supreme Court; election law; and gender and sexual orientation and the law. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in the Northwestern University Law Review, the Columbia Law Review, and theGeorgetown Law Journal. Back to top.

Stephen SpaldingStephen Spaulding, Common Cause
Stephen works to reduce the undue influence of money in politics, expand access to democracy and uphold strong ethical standards in government. Stephen has appeared on national television and radio programs, including CBS’ 60 Minutes, NPR’s All Things Considered, C-SPAN’s Washington Journal, MSNBC’s Melissa Harris-Perry, Up with Steve Kornacki, and Politics Nation, and CNN’s The Lead.  He has been quoted by The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, NPR, Salon, Politico, Slate, USA Today, The Atlantic, Talking Points Memo, The Boston Globe, The San Francisco Chronicle, The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Hill and Roll Call (among others) about matters concerning Congress, campaign finance, Senate rules, ethics and voting rights.  He is the co-author of several reports for Common Cause including “Bullies at the Ballot Box,” “The New Nullification at Work,” and “Did We Fix That?,” and his writing has appeared in Politico and The Hill.

Before joining Common Cause, Stephen was a litigation associate at Goodwin Procter LLP and a law clerk in the Office of Legal Counsel to Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley. Before attending law school, Stephen was a trial preparation assistant in the Rackets Bureau of the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office, where he worked on corruption and racketeering investigations. Stephen earned his B.A. degree in political science from Haverford College and his J.D. from Boston College Law School, where he graduated cum laude. He is a member of the bars of the District of Columbia and Massachusetts. Back to top.