Election Integrity in a Time of Political Polarization: Gerrymandering, Redistricting Commissions and the 2020 Census Citizenship Question

Friday, October 4, 2019 - 8:30am - 5:00pm
Location: 1801 Euclid Ave, Cleveland, Ohio 44115 (Moot Court Room)


Part 1 (9:00am-10:15am)

Part 2 (10:30am-12:30pm)

Part 3 (12:45pm-1:45pm)

Part 4 (2:00pm-3:15pm)

Part 5 (3:30pm-5:05pm)

This Conference, the purpose of which is to educate members of the both the law school and larger community about core voting issues, will occur at a critical time. The United States Supreme Court issued decisions in both the gerrymandering and census question cases at the end of the spring term (June 2019). Thus, scholars and other experts will still be assessing the significance of those two decisions by the time of the Conference. It is also anticipated that there will be additional legal challenges to various aspects of our voting procedures and system of representation - from independent redistricting commissions to efforts to halt alleged voter fraud - in the run-up to the 2020 general election. Given the political polarization to which the title of the Conference refers, the outcome of the upcoming election will likely have important consequences for years to come.

Resources Page


Morning keynote speaker:

Allegra Lawrence-Hardy, Esq.

Attorney, Lawrence & Bundy, LLC

Allegra Lawrence-Hardy is a litigator at Lawrence & Bundy, LLC with a focus on
Business and Commercial Litigation, and Labor and Employment. Formerly, she
served as Chair of Stacey Abrams’ campaign for the Georgia governorship. She
received her Bachelor’s degree from Spelman College, and her J.D. from Yale Law
School. Currently, Ms. Lawrence-Hardy serves as legal counsel for Fair Fight Action, which works to overhaul Georgia’s election system to eliminate barriers to disenfranchised voters. She also worked on the Bush v. Gore presidential election dispute in 2000.

Afternoon keynote speaker:

Melody Stewart

Justice, Ohio Supreme Court

Melody Stewart was elected in 2018 to serve on the Ohio Supreme Court, having formerly served on the Ohio Eighth District Court of Appeals since 2006. Justice Stewart’s thirty years of experience includes roles as a civil defense litigator, law school administrator, and professor. She has been a member of many professional and civic boards, including the Ohio Criminal Justice Recodification Committee and the Ohio Supreme Court Judicial College. Justice Stewart earned her Bachelor’s degree from the University of Cincinnati, J.D. from Cleveland-Marshall College of Law, and Ph.D. from Case Western Reserve University.


Emmet J. Bondurant II

Partner, Bondurant, Mixson & Elmore

Emmet Bondurant is a nationally recognized litigator, and founding partner of Bondurant, Mixson & Elmore. At age twenty-six, he successfully argued Wesberry v. Sanders before the Supreme Court, which held for the first time that congressional districts throughout the United States must contain equal populations. Most recently, Mr. Bondurant argued before the Supreme Court in Rucho v. Common Cause (decided June 27, 2019), a case asserting partisan gerrymandering of congressional districts in North Carolina. Mr. Bondurant earned his LL.B. from the University of Georgia School of Law, and his LL.M. from Harvard Law School.

Panel Discussions

Panel 1: Partisan Gerrymandering 
Panel summary

Thomas Humphrey

Associate Professor, Cleveland State University

Thomas Humphrey is an Associate Professor of early American History, and the Chair of the History Department at Cleveland State University. His research specializations include Colonial and Revolutionary America, and capitalism in early America. Mr. Humphrey earned his Ph. D. in American History from Northern Illinois University, and his Master’s degree and Bachelor’s degree in American History from John Carroll University.


Freda Levenson

Legal Director, ACLU of Ohio

Freda Levenson is the legal director for the ACLU of Ohio. Ms. Levenson served as lead counsel in Ohio A. Philip Randolph Institute v. Householder, which was decided by a three-judge federal district court panel in May, 2019. That court concluded that Ohio’s voting map for seats for the U.S. House of Representatives was an unconstitutional partisan gerrymander. Ms. Levenson also litigated APRI, et al. v. Husted, which challenged Ohio’s practice of purging infrequent voters, and Libertarian Party of Ohio, et al. v. Husted, protecting ballot access. She is a graduate of Wellesley College, and the University of Michigan Law School.

Hannah Wheelen

Data Specialist, Princeton Gerrymandering Project

Hannah Wheelen is a Data Specialist at the Princeton Gerrymandering Project, where she coordinates the collection of voting precinct boundary information for all fifty states plus Washington D.C. and Puerto Rico. Ms. Wheelen previously worked with the Metric Geometry and Gerrymandering Group at Tufts/MIT. Her projects there included collecting precinct data for the state of Ohio. Ms. Wheelen earned her Bachelor’s degree in Mathematics from the University of California at Berkeley.

Dave Yost

Attorney General, State of Ohio

Dave Yost currently serves as the 51st Attorney General of Ohio. As Attorney General, he appealed Ohio A. Philip Randolph Institute v. Householder, the federal court decision that Ohio’s congressional districts were unconstitutionally drawn. Attorney General Yost formerly served as Ohio Auditor of State, and as a Prosecutor in Delaware County. He earned his Bachelor’s degree from The Ohio State University, and his J.D. from Capital University Law School.

Milena Sterio, Moderator

Professor, Cleveland-Marshall College of Law

Milena Sterio is The Charles R. Emrick Jr. - Calfee Halter & Griswold Professor of Law.  An expert in the areas of International Law, International Criminal Law, Human Rights, and Maritime Piracy, she has published numerous law review articles, authored seven books, and is an editor of the IntLawGrrls Blog. In 2013, she was a Fulbright Scholar in Baku, Azerbaijan. She earned her J.D. from Cornell Law School, and a Master's degree in Private International Law and a Maitrise en droit franco-americain from the University Paris I-Pantheon-Sorbonne; and a B.A. in Political Science and French Literature from Rutgers College.


Panel 2: Redistricting Commissions
Panel 2 Summary 

Elizabeth Bonham

Staff Attorney, ACLU of Ohio

Elizabeth Bonham is a Staff Attorney at the ACLU of Ohio. She has been involved in litigating major cases, including defending voting rights in APRI v. Husted and protestor rights in Abdur-Rahim v. Columbus. Ms. Bonham received her B.A. from Warren Wilson College, and her J.D. from Cleveland-Marshall College of Law in 2015, when she received the Dean’s Learn Law, Live Justice award.



Kathleen Clyde

County Commissioner, Portage County

Kathleen Clyde currently serves as County Commissioner of Portage County. Previously, she was a representative in the Ohio House of Representatives for eight years. Ms. Clyde’s experience also includes her roles as Ohio College Coordinator for the John Kerry presidential campaign, and election official in the 2008 presidential election, where she oversaw the set-up and operation of the Early Voting Center in Franklin County. She earned her B.A. in English from Wesleyan University, and J.D. from The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law.


Jen Miller

Executive Director, The League of Women Voters of Ohio

Jen Miller is the Executive Director of The League of Women Voters of Ohio. As Executive Director, she works to restore fairness to the democratic system, increase voter turnout, and improve access to the voting polls. Ms. Miller played a lead role in the ballot initiative passed by Ohio voters in May 2018, which called for the creation of a redistricting commission to draw the state’s voting maps for U.S. House of Representatives seats. She earned her Master’s in Arts Policy, Education and Administration from The Ohio State University, and holds Bachelor’s degrees in Vocal Music and History/Ethnic Studies from Capital University.


Rich Exner, Moderator

Data Analysis Editor, Cleveland.com

Rich Exner, data analysis editor for cleveland.com, has written dozens of stories over the past few years analyzing the ill-effects of gerrymandering and highlighting best-case models for reform from other states. His series, Out of Line: Impact 2017 and Beyond, was the leading Ohio news media voice pressing for change in Ohio. Before joining cleveland.com in 2013, Mr. Exner was a reporter and an editor at The Plain Dealer and United Press International. An Ohio State graduate, Mr. Exner also has ties to CSU, as an adjunct instructor of journalism since 2016.

Panel 3: 2020 Census / Citizenship Question 
Panel 3 Summary

Elizabeth Knowles

Professor, University of Akron School of Law

Elizabeth Knowles is an Assistant Clinical Professor of Law at the University of Akron School of Law, where she supervises the Immigration & Human Rights Law Clinic, and teaches Asylum and Refugee Law. Professor Knowles previously served as Executive Director of the American Bar Association’s Immigration Justice Project. She also served as a Commissioner on the San Diego County Commission on the Status of Women. Professor Knowles earned her B.A. in Fine Arts from San Diego State University, and her J.D. and certificate in Law and Social Justice from Thomas Jefferson School of Law.

Michael Meuti

Attorney, Benesch, Friedlander, Coplan & Aronoff LLP

Michael Meuti is a litigator at Benesch, Friedlander, Coplan & Aronoff, and chairs the firm’s Appellate Practice Group. Previously, he served as Deputy Solicitor for the State of Ohio, where he represented state agencies and officeholders on appeals to the Ohio Supreme Court, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, and U.S. Supreme Court. Mr. Meuti earned his Bachelor’s degree from Bowling Green State University, and J.D. from Stanford Law School.


Mark J. Salling

Senior Fellow and Research Associate, Cleveland State University

Mark J. Salling is a Senior Fellow and Research Associate in the Maxine Goodman Levin College of Urban Affairs, having served as the Director of the College’s Northern Ohio Data & Information Service. Dr. Salling is also Chairman and Key Person for the Cleveland Census Statistical Areas Committee, and has been active in the Urban and Regional Information Systems Association since 1982. He holds a B.A. and Ph.D. in Geography from Kent State University, and an M.A. in Geography from the University of Cincinnati.


Brian Glassman, Moderator

Professor, Cleveland-Marshall College of Law

Brian Glassman has taught at the Cleveland-Marshall College of Law since 1993. He teaches primarily in the field of legal writing, but has also taught Intellectual Property and Art Law. Prof. Glassman has previously organized conferences on urban planning and the arts (collaboration with the Maxine Goodman Levin College of Urban Affairs (2003)) and the recovery of Holocaust art (at the Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage (2010)). He received his B.A. from Connecticut College, and his J.D. from the Boston University School of Law.



New Yorker cartoonist Liza Donnelly will live-draw the conference.

Liza Donnelly

Liza Donnelly is a cartoonist and writer for The New Yorker.  Additionally, she is a contributor to CBS, CNN, and The New York Times.  Ms. Donnelly’s work includes live-drawing of major events, such as he Oscars, Grammys, DNC, 2017 Inauguration and the Women's Marches.  She is also a Cultural Envoy for the U.S. State Department. In that capacity, Ms. Donnelly travels the world speaking about freedom of speech, cartoons, and women’s rights.  She received her undergraduate degree from Earlham College, and holds an honorary doctorate from the University of Connecticut.


Registration Information

The program is open to members of the Cleveland State University community and the public.  Program is FREE to those not seeking CLE credit.  Registration for CLE credit:  $150 all day (6.0 hours), $80 morning only (3.0 hours) or $80 afternoon only (3.0 hours).   Attendees are encouraged to pre-register. Limited registration will be available at the door. Lunch will be provided to those who preregister.

Sponsored by Cleveland-Marshall College of Law, Cleveland-Marshall Law Alumni Association, and the ACLU of Ohio.


CLE credit: 6.0 hours

Category: Alumni, CLE Programs, Faculty, General, Public Lectures, Student

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