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June 18, 2018

Note: Justice Talking's grant funding expired in 2008 and the project has been closed. This website is an archive of the entire run of Justice Talking shows through June 30, 2008.
It is no longer being maintained. We apologize for any stale or broken links.
Featured Program

Liberty Lost: Felon Disenfranchisement
Last Featured: 5/29/2001

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Note: Justice Talking ceased production on June 30 of 2008. Link information on this site is not maintained and is provided for historical interest only. Although correct when posted, The Annenberg Public Policy Center makes no claim as the the accuracy or continued availability of any third party web links found on this site.

During the presidential election last November, the spotlight was on butterfly ballots and the disputed hand recounts in Florida, yet some 500,000 voting age residents had to watch the electoral drama from the sidelines unable to cast a ballot. The reason, at one point or another in their lives, they had been convicted of a felony. Florida is one of a number of states that permanently deny ex-felons their right to vote. But now, the law is being challenged in the state legislature and in the courts.

Nancy Northup is the President of the Center for Reproductive Rights. She has extensive experience in constitutional impact litigation, criminal law, and reproductive rights advocacy. From 1996 to 2002, she was the Director of the Democracy Program at the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law, where she litigated nationwide a wide range of electoral reform cases and promoted equal participation rights in our democratic processes. She also taught constitutional law as an adjunct professor at NYU. Prior to joining the Brennan Center, she was a consulting attorney with the ACLU’s Reproductive Freedom Project. From 1989 to 1996, she prosecuted federal crimes as an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, and served as Deputy Chief of Appeals.

Ron Godbey is a member of the New Mexico House of Representatives where he serves on the Judiciary, Corrections and Courts and Criminal Justice Committees among others. Godbey gave up his law practice in 1980 to return to active military service under the Reagan-Bush administration. A retired Air Force colonel, Godbey has been active in local government, serving as Chief Deputy Treasurer and as Director of the County Bureau of Elections in Bernalillo, New Mexico. Godbey is a certified consulting meteorologist and received his law degree from Southern Methodist University.

Closing Quote
"There are two parts of good government. One is the obedience of citizens to the law. The other part is the goodness of the laws which they obey."

— Aristotle

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Join the Debate
NOTE: Justice Talking Blogs and Forums have been closed.
Special Announcements
Justice Talking’s last broadcast & podcast was June 30, 2008.
Allard and Mauer “Regaining the Vote: An Assessment of Activity Relating to Felon Disenfranchisment Laws” The Sentencing Project
The Brennan Center for Justice: Democracy Program: Voting and Representation
Bynoe, Is Felon Disenfranchisement the New Jim Crow?,
Civic Participation and Rehabilitation Act of 1999,
Eisenkraft, Taxation without Representation: In denying prisoners the right to vote, we continue a bleak history of limited democracy
The Sentencing Project
The Right to Vote: The Contested History of Democracy in the United States
by Alexander Keyssar
Who Votes?
by Raymond E. Wolfinger, Steven J. Rosenstone (Contributor)
Election Reform
Political Speech in the Race for President
Presidential Primaries