Brooklyn Boro

Lawyers create task force to help journalists and politicians monitor presidential race

September 14, 2020 Rob Abruzzese

With so much focus being placed on the fairness of the upcoming presidential election, the New York State Bar Association has decided to create a task force designed to help local politicians and journalists make sense of election-related issues that may arise.

To do this, the NYSBA has created a task force of scholars led by election lawyer Jerry Goldfeder to advise attorneys, journalists, politicians and members of the public on issues related to the election that may arise.

“The work of this task force is crucial to making sure that the law of the land is the winner on Election Day,” said Scott Karson, president of the NYSBA. “We believe that fostering a deep understanding of how our democracy works ensures that the election will be civil and orderly and that we can all agree on the rightful winner who will assume the important task of moving the country forward at this difficult moment in our collective history.”

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The task force will feature eight members and will focus on constitutional and statutory provisions that govern the election process and potential challenges that will arise with the expected high-volume of mail-in ballots. They expect potential issues involving disputes over the Electoral College, how Congress must count votes, and procedures in place that must be followed on Election Day.

The NYSBA said the task force will be nonpartisan and will stay in place through Jan. 20, 2021, Inauguration Day, to serve as a resource.

Goldfeder is special counsel at Stroock & Stroock & Lavan and an adjunct professor of election law at Fordham Law School.

“We believe that an informed public facilitates an orderly election,” Goldfeder said. “I am very pleased that some of New York’s most pre-eminent election law scholars have agreed to serve on this task force to help the public understand the electoral process, and the media to report it accurately.”

In addition to Goldfeder, the task force includes: Ava Ayers, director of the Government Law Center at Albany Law School; Wilfred Codrington, an assistant professor of law at Brooklyn Law School; James A. Gardner, a SUNY distinguished professor; John “Jack” Hardin Young, chair of the American Bar Association’s Senior Lawyer Division; Deborah Pearlstein, professor of law and co-director of the Floersheimer Center for Constitutional Democracy at Cardozo Law; Richard Pildes, professor of constitutional law at NYU School of Law; and Jed Shugerman, a professor at Fordham University School of Law.

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