Former FEC Chairman Scott Thomas to Give Election Law Conference Keynote Address at U.Va. Law School Feb. 23

February 19, 2008 — Scott Thomas, former chairman of the Federal Election Commission, will visit the University of Virginia School of Law to deliver the keynote address at a symposium on election law on Saturday, Feb. 23. The event, "The Way We Choose: A Symposium on the Future of American Election Law," is a triennial conference sponsored by the Journal of Law and Politics. Caplin & Drysdale law firm is co-sponsoring the event, which will be held in Caplin Pavilion.

The symposium features presentations by some of the field's most prominent scholars and activists, on topics including race and the future of the Voting Rights Act, campaign finance and the Carter-Baker Commission recommendations. During his keynote address, scheduled for 12:30 p.m. in Caplin Pavilion, Thomas will discuss the world of regulating campaign finance by highlighting historical milestones, loophole creation, legislative drafting, FEC decisions and Supreme Court analyses.

Events will also include a panel on voter fraud and administrative reform featuring Doug Chapin of The Pew Charitable Trusts'; Craig Donsanto of the U.S. Department of Justice's Election Crimes Branch; Ed Foley of the Moritz School of Law at Ohio State University; Curtis Gans of the Committee for the Study of the American Electorate; and Jonah Goldman of the National Campaign for Fair Elections. Panelists will interact with and question each other, and attendees will have the opportunity to pose questions to the panelists.

The symposium is free and open to the public and will include a light breakfast and lunch.

The conference schedule (all events on Saturday, Feb. 23):

• 8:30-9 a.m. - Check-in and Breakfast

• 9-9:10 a.m. - Welcoming Remarks
Justin Torres, editor in chief, Journal of Law and Politics

• 9:10-9:40 a.m. - The Future of the Voting Rights Act
Nathaniel Persily, Columbia University

• 9:40-10:15 a.m. - Race and the Voting Rights Act: U.S. v. Brown
Christopher Coates, Voting Rights Section, U.S. Department of Justice

• 10:15-10:30 a.m. - Break

• 10:30 a.m.-12 p.m. - Voter Fraud and Administrative Reform Panel
Doug Chapin, The Pew Charitable Trusts'
Craig Donsanto, Election Crimes Branch, U.S. Department of Justice
Ed Foley, Moritz School of Law, Ohio State University
Curtis Gans, Committee for the Study of the American Electorate
Jonah Goldman, National Campaign for Fair Elections

• Noon-12:45 p.m. - Lunch

• 12:45-1:15 p.m. - Regulating Campaign Finance
Scott Thomas, former chairman and commissioner of the Federal Election Commission

• 1:15-1:30 p.m. - Break

• 1:30-2:15 p.m. - Dysfunctional Decentralization and Election Management: Remedies in Theory and Practice
George Guess and Alison Prevost, Center for Democracy and Election Management, American University

• 2:15-2:30 p.m. - Closing and Thank You

For information, contact Jessica Chilson at An application for approval is pending with the Virginia Mandatory Continuing Legal Education Board.

The Journal of Law and Politics was established in 1982 under the guidance of then-Circuit Judge Antonin Scalia. It is the first and only nonpartisan publication devoted exclusively to examining the interaction between law and politics.