Mitchell Hamline School of Law will host several events during the week of March 22 to commemorate the work of activists in Minnesota who ensured the right to vote for women, as well as to discuss current debates and litigation over the Equal Rights Amendment and the Voting Rights Act. The series is called “Julia B to Kamala D: From woman suffrage to equal rights” and is presented by Mitchell Hamline and Hamline University.
“Some of today’s important civil rights battles, especially those affecting people of color and women, have roots in the woman suffrage movement,” said Mitchell Hamline professor Marie Failinger. “We hope this series sheds light on how our past has shaped today’s debates.”
A total of seven CLE credits have been approved for these events, which will happen as follows:
Monday, March 22, 6-8 pm CST
Screening and discussion of Citizen
This documentary, produced by Twin Cities Public Television, tells the story of the generations of Minnesota women who worked for the franchise. It will be followed by a Q&A discussion with two people who made the documentary: Producer Daniel Bergin and Production Assistant Anne Guttridge.
Tuesday, March 23, 5-7 pm CST
Historians panel discussion
The Minnesota Historical Society Press produced for its Fall 2020 issue of Minnesota History an entire issue focused on women’s suffrage. The authors of those pieces will join the lively roundtable conversation, which features audience questions:
- Annette Atkins, professor emerita of history, Saint John’s University/College of Saint Benedict.
- Kristin Mapel Bloomberg, professor of women’s and gender studies, legal studies faculty affiliate, and Hamline University Endowed Chair in the Humanities.
- Jacqueline deVries, professor of history, Augsburg University.
- Elizabeth Dillenburg, assistant professor of history, Ohio State University at Newark.
- Hannah Dyson, Augsburg University, class of 2020.
- Sara Egge, Claude D. Pottinger Associate Professor of History, Centre College, Kentucky.
- William D. Green, professor of history and M. Anita Gay Hawthorne Professor of Critical Race and Ethnic Studies, Augsburg University.
- Frederick L. Johnson, independent scholar; Minnesota regional history author.
- Lori Ann Lahlum, professor of history, Minnesota State University Mankato.
- Kate Roberts, Senior Exhibit Developer, Minnesota Historical Society.
- Laura Weber, Editor, Minnesota History, Minnesota Historical Society.
- J.D. Zahniser, independent scholar; co-author, Alice Paul: Claiming Power.
Wednesday, March 24, 4:30-5:30 pm CST
Next Step for the ERA: SCOTUS, Congress, or start over?
Join Mitchell Hamline Professor Joanna Woolman and University of Florida, Levin College of Law Professor Dayana Wright for a conversation about the future of the Equal Rights Amendment.
When Virginia became the 38th state to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment in 2020, it set up a series of unprecedented constitutional questions around whether the amendment is now law. How would the Supreme Court answer those questions? Can Congress still get involved? Or should proponents just start over?
Wright and Woolman will dive into these questions and more.
Thursday, March 25, 11:30 am-12:30 pm CST
Voting Rights Act: Past, Present, Future
Tune in to hear this presentation from Mitchell Hamline professor Raleigh Levine on the Voting Rights Act.
First passed in 1965, the Voting Rights Act has never faced a more uncertain future. The Supreme Court has already found some of its provisions unconstitutional and could diminish the law further in a case just heard. Proponents in Congress want to pass a new version of the Voting Rights Act but would probably need to alter or end the Senate filibuster to do so.
Aretha Haynes, president of Mitchell Hamline’s Black Law Students Association, will moderate a discussion after Levine’s presentation.
Friday, March 26, 12:45 pm-1:45 pm CST
State Equal Rights Amendments: How the Language of the Law Affects Women’s Rights
Many states started adding Equal Rights Amendments to their state constitutions in the 1960s. What effect have they had? This presentation will include a rundown of outcomes of cases brought under these amendments.
Presenters include Madeline Thieschafer, a Hamline University alum who works at Mid-Minnesota Legal Aid and whose senior thesis focused on state ERAs, and David Schultz, a political science and legal studies professor at Hamline University.