Defending Democracy

Defending Democracy

Weekly podcast from Democracy Docket going over the top voting rights, elections and democracy news.

Episodes

March 1, 2024 40 mins

Abortion rights activist and founder of We Testify Renee Bracey Sherman joins the podcast to discuss how gerrymandering is an issue for both voting rights and abortion rights. Bracey Sherman talks with Marc about how we can’t secure reproductive rights for all until fair ballot access is secured for all.

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While Republicans have focused on voter suppression laws, Michigan Democrats are using their trifecta to pass legislation focused on expanding ballot access, updating old election laws and ensuring that voters are fairly represented. Michigan Senator Jeremy Moss (D), President Pro Tempore of the state Senate, joins Marc Elias to talk about the state of voting rights and the Republican Party in the Great Lake State.  

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Democracy champion Congressman Jamie Raskin joins the podcast to discuss the threat a second Trump presidency could pose to the U.S. Constitution, democracy and voting rights.

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For a transcript of this episode, please email transcripts@democracydocket.com.

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February 9, 2024 29 mins

The U.S. Supreme Court recently heard oral argument in the Colorado lawsuit seeking to disqualify former President Donald Trump from the ballot under Section 3 of the 14th Amendment. Marc and Paige explain the top takeaways from the proceedings:1. Donald Trump won’t be disqualified from the ballot

2. Trump’s lawyer focused on questions of procedure, not the insurrection

3. Trump’s lawyer said Jan. 6 was “shameful, criminal and viol...

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Every election, tens of thousands of ballots are rejected. Many of these rejections are due to minor mistakes made by voters or officials that cause otherwise valid ballots to be tossed. The Republican Party has been involved in efforts to expand what types of errors cause a ballot to be rejected and limit voters’ opportunities to correct errors in key states like Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, North Carolina and more. Marc and Paige exp...

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On Feb. 8, 2024, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral argument in a case that will likely determine if Donald Trump is eligible for office following the Colorado Supreme Court’s decision to disqualify him from the state’s ballot under Section 3 of the 14th Amendment. Marc and Paige break down the central questions in this case and give an update on some of Trump's legal troubles.   

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December 15, 2023 32 mins

Over 20 lawsuits are using the 14th Amendment to challenge former President Donald Trump’s eligibility to serve a second term in office due to his involvement in the January 6th Insurrection. Marc and Paige explain what these lawsuits are doing, the issues they face and when a decision might come on the issue.   

For a transcript of this episode, please email transcripts@democracydocket.com.

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Texas Congresswoman Jasmine Crockett joins Marc to discuss voter suppression in Texas, the cowardice of Republicans to stand up for democracy and what gives her hope. Plus, her thoughts on George Santos’ expulsion from Congress.

For a transcript of this episode, please email transcripts@democracydocket.com.


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Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act was having a good year — until the 8th Circuit ruled that there’s no private right of action under the statute. Marc and Paige break down that the 8th Circuit’s decision means, new threats facing the Voting Rights Act and a group of new lawsuits seeking to protect ballot access using lesser-known parts of the landmark law. 

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Democracy was on the ballot this past Election Day — and it won. Marc and Paige discuss major takeaways from this year’s election and what it means for 2024.

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Ohio:

-Article: Ohio Voters Overwhelmingly Approve Abortion Rights Amendme...

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November 10, 2023 25 mins

Marc Elias answers the top questions from Defending Democracy listeners about democracy, voting rights, and litigation. Plus, Marc shares what gives him hope for the 2024 election.

For a transcript of this episode, please email transcripts@democracydocket.com.

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Recently, labor unions have exercised power in ways not seen in decades. Former political director of the AFL-CIO Mike Podhorzer joins the podcast to discuss the surge of activity in the labor movement, how the fight for democracy and labor rights are connected and what you should look out for as we get closer to the 2024 election.

For a transcript of this episode, please email transcripts@democracydocket.com.

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October 27, 2023 29 mins

Across the country, there are growing reports of small groups and individuals harassing voters, challenging people’s rights to vote and spreading election disinformation. This movement of election vigilantism is poised to become one of the biggest threats to the 2024 elections. Marc and Paige break down exactly what these groups are doing, the new technologies supporting their work and how to stop them.

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October 20, 2023 30 mins

The redistricting cycle is far from over. Litigation over congressional maps continues in 12 states, but in 5 key southern states, there is a path for fair maps in 2024. Marc and Paige break down these states — Alabama, Louisiana, Georgia, South Carolina and Florida — where they’re at in the litigation process and why every American should care. 

For a transcript of this episode, please email transcripts@democracydocket.com.

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When the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in the Dobbs decision, it was allegedly returning the question of abortion to the states and voters. However, the same forces that work to reduce abortion access also aim to suppress voters. Skye Perryman, CEO of Democracy Forward, joins the podcast to discuss how the fight for abortion access is connected to the fight for democracy and you can’t have one without the other.


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Republicans in North Carolina are taking voter suppression and election subversion to a new level. Anderson Clayton, chair of the North Carolina Democratic Party, joins to discuss anti-democratic acts from the GOP, redistricting, how she plans to engage young and rural voters, plus, who exactly is the interim speaker of the U.S. House? For a transcript of this episode, please email transcripts@democracydocket.com. Donate to the No...

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America is facing a judicial crisis. From lower courts to the U.S. Supreme Court, it’s clear that reform is needed to protect democracy and secure our rights. And as the Supreme Court is about to start a new term, change is needed more than ever. Rakim Brooks, Democracy Docket contributor and president of the Alliance for Justice, joins to discuss the issues plaguing the judiciary and what reforms are needed. 

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The Wisconsin GOP has a new scheme: remove the state’s top elections official and impeach newly-elected state Supreme Court Justice Janet Protasiewicz. Why? So they can cling to majority rule with minority support and avoid accountability. Democratic Leader of the Wisconsin Assembly Rep. Greta Neubauer explains what’s going on, why Republicans are doing this and what she thinks will happen.

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In August, the 5th Circuit struck down a Jim Crow-era provision of the Mississippi Constitution that permanently disenfranchised Mississippians with certain felony convictions. The 2-1 opinion held that the provision violates the 8th Amendment’s prohibition on cruel and unusual punishment.


Paloma Wu of the Mississippi Center for Justice and Hannah Williams of Mississippi Votes join Marc Elias to discuss Mississippi's harsh...

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The U.S. Supreme Court wrapped up its latest term last month, issuing decisions affecting elections, affirmative action, student loan relief and more as justices faced allegations of ethics violations. Marc and Paige discuss the rulings in the face of falling confidence in and support for the nation’s highest court.

For a transcript of this episode, please email transcripts@democracydocket.com.

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