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Law School Podcast: Election law and gerrymandering

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As the November midterm elections loom, issues of election law continue to have a significant impact on the voting process. In episode 25 of Northwestern Pritzker School of Law’s Planet Lex podcast series, new host James Speta, vice dean at Northwestern Law, talks to Professor Michael Kang about everything election law -- from partisan gerrymandering and the constitutional issues involved in redistricting to the effects of voter ID laws. They discuss redistricting, the urban/rural divide and the role of state courts in the voting process.

Kang is the William G. and Virginia K. Karnes Research Professor at Northwestern Law and a nationally recognized expert on campaign finance, voting rights, redistricting, judicial elections and corporate governance.

Excerpt from the interview 
Kang on political versus partisan considerations in redistricting process:

“Political considerations are the usual stuff of redistricting. Who gets elected, whether you comply with the Voting Rights Act, whether you keep a city together, whether you respect county boundaries -- all those things are political. Partisan is something more specific -- which party wins, which party gets more seats, which party gets less seats. The government’s purpose shouldn’t be exclusively partisan. 

“It’s inevitable that you consider political considerations in redistricting, that determines what sort of character of politics you want to have. It’s legitimate to think about what type of rural representation you want or urban representation you want, whether you want to have big districts, small districts. What the government shouldn’t do is explicitly and intentionally do things simply because they want one side to win.”

About Planet Lex

The Legal Talk Network produces the Planet Lex podcast series. The podcasts typically feature interviews with prominent Northwestern faculty members, discussing the law’s role in changing global, societal and technological landscapes.

Topics of earlier episodes include defending Brendan Dassey; the evolution of music copyright law; sexual misconduct on campus; the regulation of public corruption; technological advancements and the law; law enforcement and implicit bias; and integrating the law and STEM-focused multidisciplinary education; online privacy and cybersecurity; and the U.S. Supreme Court.

Listen to all 25 episodes.

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