Advanced Topics in Law: Voting Rights Law



Course Number



The United States established principles of democratic governance over two hundred years ago, but it has never fully lived up to them. Huge swaths of the country continue to be formally excluded from the fundamental right to vote. Hundreds of pieces of legislation have been introduced to shrink and disempower the electorate, and other branches of government have been unwilling to meaningfully intervene. There are major fights for multiracial representative democracy on the horizon. This course aims to prepare students for the future of voting rights law by studying past and present legal battles. Students will examine laws expanding or constraining the franchise and how those laws have been interpreted by the courts. Students will learn to identify and understand what the law is, and will be encouraged to imagine what the law could be.

This course will be taught by Madiba Dennie.

Madiba Dennie serves as counsel in the Brennan Center’s Democracy program. Her work focuses on issues related to the 2020 Census, and advancing fair and equitable representation in our political process. Her legal and political commentary has appeared in outlets including The Washington Post and The Nation.

Prior to joining the Brennan Center, Dennie served as Counsel to the New York City Council Committee on Public Housing. Additionally, she provided services to low-income Black women who were survivors of domestic violence as a Kirkland & Ellis Public Service Fellow at Her Justice.

Dennie earned her JD from Columbia Law School and her undergraduate degree from Princeton University, where she concentrated in Politics and earned a certificate in African-American Studies.

Link to her page on the Brennan Center.


Fall 2021