On July 6th, the National Constitution Center hosted a panel to present the reports of teams participating in the Center’s Restoring the Guardrails of Democracy project. The project brings together three teams of leading experts— conservative, libertarian, and progressive—to identify institutional, legal, and technological reforms that might address current threats to American democracy. Team conservative is comprised of Sarah Isgur, Jonah Goldberg, and David French—all of The Dispatch. Team libertarian includes Clark Neily and Walter Olson of the Cato Institute, and Ilya Somin of the Antonin Scalia Law School at George Mason University. Team progressive is comprised of Edward Foley of The Ohio State University and Franita Tolson of USC Gould School of Law.
The three team leaders—Sarah Isgur, Clark Neily, and Ned Foley—presented their reports and discussed their various suggested reforms, including those on which they agree and disagree about. Jeffrey Rosen, president and CEO of the National Constitution Center, moderated.
This episode was produced by Tanaya Tauber, John Guerra, Lana Ulrich, and Melody Rowell. It was engineered by Kevin Kilbourne. Research was provided by Lana Ulrich, Samuel Turner, Vishan Chaudhary, and Colin Thibault.
Edward B. Foley holds the Ebersold Chair in Constitutional Law at The Ohio State University, where he also directs its Election Law Program. He is a contributing opinion columnist for The Washington Post, and for the 2020 election season, he served as an NBC News election law analyst. His latest book is Presidential Elections and Majority Rule: The Rise, Demise, and Potential Restoration of the Jeffersonian Electoral College.
Sarah Isgur is a staff writer at The Dispatch, where she also co-hosts the legal podcast, Advisory Opinions. She also serves as an analyst for ABC News and as a contributing editor to Politico Magazine. Prior to joining The Dispatch, Isgur worked in the Department of Justice as the director of the Office of Public Affairs and senior counsel to the Deputy Attorney General. She also previously worked on three Republican presidential campaigns.
Clark Neily is senior vice president for legal studies at the Cato Institute. He served as co-counsel in District of Columbia v. Heller (2008), in which the Supreme Court held that the Second Amendment protects an individual’s right to own a gun. Neily is the author of Terms of Engagement: How Our Courts Should Enforce the Constitution’s Promise of Limited Government.
Jeffrey Rosen is the president and CEO of the National Constitution Center, a nonpartisan nonprofit organization devoted to educating the public about the U.S. Constitution. Rosen is also professor of law at The George Washington University Law School and a contributing editor of The Atlantic.
- Learn more about the Restoring the Guardrails of Democracy initiative and read the full reports on the National Constitution Center’s website.
- Restoring the Guardrails of Democracy: Team Conservative (Sarah Isgur, David French, and Jonah Goldberg)
- Restoring the Guardrails of Democracy: Team Progressive (Edward B. Foley and Franita Tolson)
- Restoring the Guardrails of Democracy: Team Libertarian (Clark Neily, Walter Olson, and Ilya Somin)
- Bush v. Gore (2000)
- United States v. Alvarez (2012)
- Electoral Count Act of 1887
- The Carter-Baker Commission on Federal Election Reform (2005)
- “The End of 'Pen and Phone'” by Declan Garvey and Esther Eaton for The Dispatch
- National Constitution Center’s “Restoring the Guardrails of Democracy” Project, by Ned Foley for Election Law Blog
- National Constitution Center Releases Reports on "Restoring the Guardrails of Democracy," Reason Magazine
- More on the National Constitution Center "Restoring the Guardrails of Democracy" Project, Reason Magazine
- “What a Reckoning at the Supreme Court Could Look Like,” by Ezra Klein for The New York Times
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