The Voting Rights and Democracy Forum (VRDF) launched its first issue in November, featuring timely essays and articles about the state of democracy in America.
The Forum is a part of the Law School’s Voting Rights and Democracy Project, a nonpartisan initiative launched this year with the goal of educating students on topics related to election law, campaign finance, and protecting democracy.
“The Voting Rights and Democracy Project is extremely pleased to publish the first issue of our Forum, which includes essays by students, faculty and practitioners,” said Jerry H. Goldfeder, director of the Voting Rights and Democracy Project and a renowned expert on election law. “I hope these and future articles contribute to the discussion of how we can effectively sustain our constitutional democracy. The students who worked on the Forum did terrific work and should be very proud.”
The first issue of the Forum features an essay from Dean Emeritus John D. Feerick ’61, who offers a historical perspective on voting rights issues and how they compare to the issues faced today, as well as an essay from Dean Erwin Chemerinsky of UC Berkeley School of Law, who wrote about Merrill v. Milligan, a case argued before the U.S. Supreme Court in October with the potential to reshape the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
With their latest issue, Forum editors have also attempted to make legal writing more readable and accessible to their audience. In addition to traditional essays and articles, the Forum will publish short “commentaries,” allowing experts and students to express “immediate reactions and analysis of today’s most pressing legal issues affecting voting rights and the practice of democracy,” says VRDF editor-in-chief Jason D’Andrea ’23, as well as a “resources” page that “provides succinct explanations” of a number of complex election law topics.
Over 60 Fordham Law students assisted in producing the issue, led by an 18-member editorial board that has been working for the last year to launch the Forum. The Forum was created out of “a need for a publication devoted specifically to voting rights and democracy issues,” said managing editor Sarah Seo ’23. “Given the increasingly political time that we live in, it is especially critical for something like the Forum to be launched at Fordham now,” said Seo.
“I think that the 2022 midterms exit polls showed that democracy was at the forefront in the minds of a lot of voters,” D’Andrea added. “[So] having a robust platform that’s truly dedicated to voting rights and democracy is essential.”