Nadine Strossen
Former President, ACLU; Professor of Law; New York Law School
02:14

Nadine Strossen: Should people be required to vote?

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Voting should be easier, Strossen says.

Nadine Strossen

Nadine Strossen has written, lectured, and practiced extensively in the areas of constitutional law, civil liberties, and international human rights. From 1991 through 2008 she served as president of the American Civil Liberties Union, the first woman to head the nation’s largest and oldest civil liberties organization. Professor Strossen retains leadership positions with the ACLU as a member of its National Advisory Council and Co-Chair of its Campaign for the Future.

The National Law Journal has twice named Professor Strossen one of “The 100 Most Influential Lawyers in America.” In 1996, Working Woman Magazine listed her among the “350 Women Who Changed the World 1976–1996.” In 1997, Upside Magazine included her in the “Elite 100: 100 Executives Leading The Digital Revolution.” In 1998, Vanity Fair Magazine included Professor Strossen in “America’s 200 Most Influential Women.” In 1999, Ladies’ Home Journal included her in “America’s 100 Most Important Women.” In 2005, Professor Strossen was honored by the University of Tulsa College of Law and the Tulsa Law Review, which made her scholarly work the subject of their Fifth Annual Legal Scholarship Symposium titled “Nadine Strossen: Scholar as Activist.”

Professor Strossen’s writings have been published in many scholarly and general interest publications (more than 250 published works). Her book, Defending Pornography: Free Speech, Sex, and the Fight for Women’s Rights (Scribner, 1995), was named by The New York Times as a “Notable Book” of 1995 and was republished in 2000 by NYU Press, with a new introduction by the author. Her coauthored book, Speaking of Race, Speaking of Sex: Hate Speech, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties (NYU Press, 1995), was named an “outstanding book” by the Gustavus Myers Center for the Study of Human Rights in North America.

Professor Strossen graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Harvard College (1972) and magna cum laude from Harvard Law School (1975), where she was an editor of the Harvard Law Review. Before becoming a law professor, she practiced law for nine years in Minneapolis (her hometown) and New York City.

Transcript

Question: Should people be required to vote?

Nadine Strossen:  I think we should make voting much easier. I hasten to add I completely oppose what I sometimes hear advocated that people should be required to vote, but people should be encouraged to vote. We should be able to vote by mail, we should be able to vote by email. I have…if somebody is going to say well there are technology problems, I mean…please I know that those can be solved and if there is a will to do it and there are states in their countries that use those approaches. To the contrary, we are moving in the opposite direction, making it harder and harder and one of the very scary cases before the Supreme Court is the Indiana voter id law which requires so strictly certain forms of government issued photo id ostensibly to protect against impersonation fraud at the ballot box even though the state acknowledged that there was no one single documented instance of such fraud and it clearly seems that it was intended to disenfranchise people who are believed to be more likely to vote Democratic, but the ACLU was representing the people who are most disproportionately, adversely impacted by this law which our elderly people, disabled people, poor people, people living in inner cities and our brief included stories you just wouldn't believe of people who are so persistent in getting their birth certificates, and it was so expensive to get their birth certificates if they had been born in a different state and then there was a catch 22 they couldn't their birth certificate unless they had a passport and people would just spend so much money and so much time, this is not the way to encourage people to vote and it is not necessary because there was no problem. It is not solving a problem. It is creating a problem.

 

 

 

Recorded On: 2/14/07


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