On March 8, 40 Fordham Law students affiliated with the Law School’s Voting Rights and Democracy Project traveled to Washington, D.C., for a full day of eventful meetings with federal leaders—including a chance for students to meet Associate Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson at the U.S. Supreme Court. The trip also included a stop at the Federal Elections Commission for a Q&A with FEC Chair Dara Lindenbaum and Commissioner Allan Dickerson and a meeting with Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg.
Professor Jerry Goldfeder, director of the Voting Rights and Democracy Project, organized the trip, which included a visit to the Supreme Court to meet Justice Jackson. “The justice was very engaging, exuding warmth, intelligence, and authenticity,” he said. “It was an experience of a lifetime—inspiring and quite moving.”
“The meeting was a reminder of the importance of creating opportunities that expose law students to the possibilities of the law,” said Afrika Owes ’24, president of Fordham Law’s chapter of the Black Law Students Association. “It was a beautiful moment of connection.”
At the DOT, Secretary Pete Buttigieg spoke to students about the work of his office. Along with a top aide, the secretary addressed the recent derailment of a train carrying hazardous materials in East Palestine, Ohio, and how various agencies are responding to the disaster and working to aid the people affected. They also addressed how the DOT facilitates better safety regulations and the department’s efforts to compensate airline consumers when flights are canceled or delayed. Secretary Buttigieg also encouraged students intrigued by the discussion to explore working for the department, saying it hires many lawyers right out of law school.
The trip also included a robust presentation by Lindenbaum and Dickerson, who both serve on the Federal Elections Commission. The party affiliations of the two commissioners, one Democrat and one Republican, reflected the bipartisan nature of the agency. The commissioners talked about how they regulate federal elections, audit campaign finance disclosure reports, and investigate improper conduct.
Great to have @JerryGoldfeder’s @FordhamLawNYC @FLSdemocracy students at the @FEC today. I hope Commissioner Dickerson and I showed them that bipartisanship is alive and that through consensus, we can enforce federal campaign finance law and do the work Congress mandated us to do pic.twitter.com/cayqnKACQN
— Dara Lindenbaum (@DaraLind) March 9, 2023