chevron-down Created with Sketch Beta.
March 13, 2024

ABA Task Force for American Democracy to hold listening tour event in Detroit

CHICAGO, March 13, 2024 –The American Bar Association’s Task Force for American Democracy will hold the second in a series of listening tour events Friday, March 15, with a program in Detroit featuring local leaders, legal scholars and defenders of democracy. The event, titled “Taking the Next Step: Ensuring Trusted Elections and Civics for Michiganders,” will be held at Wayne State University Law School and will address vital election integrity issues and the need to support poll workers. The event will be livestreamed, and a recording will be available afterwards.

Taking the Next Step: Ensuring Trusted Elections and Civics for Michiganders”ABA Task Force for American Democracy

Friday, March 15, 1-4:30 p.m. EDT

Spencer M. Partrich Auditorium,
Wayne State University Law School
471 West Palmer
Detroit, Michigan

Register at: [email protected]

Introductory remarks will be delivered by ABA President Mary Smith; Dean of Wayne State University Law School Richard Bierschbach; Past ABA President and former Mayor of Detroit Dennis Archer; and State Bar of Michigan President Daniel D. Quick.

Attendees will partake in discussions and expert panelists will offer insights on safeguarding our electoral process. Former federal judge and co-chair of the ABA Task Force for American Democracy J. Michael Luttig will talk about the “Threat to Democracy” and Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson will speak about “Making the Best System and Defending Against Attacks.” Closing remarks will be delivered by former Secretary of Homeland Security and Co-chair of the ABA Task Force for American Democracy Jeh Charles Johnson.

The event is co-sponsored by Keep the Republic, the Levin Center for Oversight and Democracy and Wayne State Law School. The event can be livestreamed here.

Program information can be found here.

The first listening tour event was held in Atlanta Feb. 13 and can be viewed here

Panels include:

“Election Integrity 2024: What to Expect and Challenges”

  • David Becker, executive director, Center for Election Innovation and Research
  • Aghogho Edevbie, Michigan deputy secretary of state
  • Lisa Posthumus Lyons, Kent County clerk
  • Justin Roebuck, Ottawa County clerk
  • Chris Thomas, former Michigan director of elections

“Restoring Civics and Civility in Michigan”

  • Jim Townsend, director, Levin Center for Oversight and Democracy, Wayne State University Law School; former representative (26th District)
  • Rev. Dr. Wendell Anthony, president, Detroit Branch NAACP
  • Kurtis Wilder, former justice, Michigan Supreme Court; immediate past chair, Michigan Chamber of Commerce
  • Anne Mervenne, special advisor to former Michigan Gov. John Engler; political leadership chair emeritus
  • Gary Torgow, chairman of the board, Huntington Bank; chairman, Business Leaders for Michigan

The task force is committed to safeguarding the integrity of the nonpartisan administration of elections and providing support for election workers. Moving forward, the task force will:

  • Work to mobilize the legal profession to uphold its duty to support and defend the Constitution and the rule of law.
  • Ensure lawyers are educated regarding their professional obligations.
  • Leverage the legal profession to educate the public on the reasons for, and the importance of, democracy and the rule of law.

The next listening tour event will be held in Philadelphia as part of the 2024 Law Day celebration on May 1. Events are also being planned for Wisconsin, Nevada, North Carolina and Arizona. Each session will include local election officials and community leaders discussing issues they face and how public confidence in the election process can be enhanced.

All media must be credentialed, and interviews will be available. To register, contact [email protected]. Media check-in will start at 11:30 a.m.

The ABA is the largest voluntary association of lawyers in the world. As the national voice of the legal profession, the ABA works to improve the administration of justice, promotes programs that assist lawyers and judges in their work, accredits law schools, provides continuing legal education, and works to build public understanding around the world of the importance of the rule of law. View our privacy statement online. Follow the latest ABA news at and on X (formerly Twitter) @ABANews.