Person

Wendy Weiser

Lives:

New York, NY

Occupation:

Vice President of the Democracy Program, Brennan Center for Justice

Wendy Weiser is a left-leaning attorney and elections activist who currently works as the director of the Democracy Program at the Brennan Center for Justice, a left-leaning think tank and legal activist organization housed at the New York University Law School. Weiser’s work at the Brennan Center focuses around promoting left-of-center policies around election administration, voting laws, campaign finance, and redistricting. She is a frequent television commentator and opinion writer with appearances on dozens of national networks and in national publications. [1]

Background

Weiser attended Yale Law School and served as a law clerk for Federal District Judge Eugene H. Nickerson, an appointee of President Jimmy Carter, in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York. Weiser then worked as an associate at the large corporate law firm Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton and Garrison before beginning her career in left-of-center as a senior attorney for the NOW Legal Defense and Education Fund, [2] a left-leaning public interest law firm founded by the National Organization for Women (NOW) that is now called Legal Momentum. [3]

Following her tenure at the NOW Legal Defense and Education Fund, Weiser joined the Brennan Center for Justice as the director of the Democracy Program in 2004. In May 2019, she was promoted to vice president of democracy for the organization. During her time at the Brennan Center, Weiser has worked as an adjunct assistant professor at New York University Law School, as a Woodrow Wilson visiting fellow at the Council of Independent Colleges, and as a commissioner on the New York City Charter Revision Commission. [4]

Political Work

Weiser is a frequent commentator on a variety of left-leaning voting and election issues and has appeared on CBS News, CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, PBS, ABC News, and NPR. She has authored a variety of opinion pieces and articles in many national publications including the New York Times, the Washington Post, and USA Today. [5] Weiser has also been a featured speaker at far-left organizing conference Netroots Nation, where she gave a presentation entitled “Voting Rights for a Shifting Demographic.” [6]

During her time at the Brennan Center for Justice, Weiser has worked in policy research and litigation, directing suits to further the organization’s stances on voting and elections. Weiser founded and directed the Brennan Center’s Voting Rights and Elections Project, which engaged in direct litigation over voting and election policies. [7]

Much of Weiser’s writings and activism centers around opposing Republican-backed policies on election security and redistricting. She was staunchly opposed to the Trump administration’s proposal to add a question about citizenship status to the 2020 Census, claiming that it would suppress census-taking and hamper left-leaning redistricting efforts. [8]

In the lead up to the 2020 election, Weiser advocated for the “For The People Act,” a bill in the 116th and 117th Congresses supported by Democratic House Leadership and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) that would enact several left-of-center election and campaign finance policies, including federal bans on voter identification laws and bans on purging deceased voters from voting rolls. [9]

References

  1. “Wendy Weiser.” Brennan Center for Justice. Accessed February 11, 2021. https://www.brennancenter.org/experts/wendy-r-weiser ^
  2. “Wendy Weiser.” Brennan Center for Justice. Accessed February 11, 2021. https://www.brennancenter.org/experts/wendy-r-weiser ^
  3. “Legal Momentum/The Women’s Legal Defense and Education Fund.” Battered Women’s Justice Project. January 2015. Accessed February 11, 2021. https://www.bwjp.org/resource-center/resource-results/legal-momentum-the-women-s-legal-defense-and-education-fund.html ^
  4. “Wendy Weiser.” LinkedIn Profile. Accessed February 11, 2021. https://www.linkedin.com/in/wendy-weiser-b5036653/ ^
  5. “Wendy Weiser.” Brennan Center for Justice. Accessed February 11, 2021. https://www.brennancenter.org/experts/wendy-r-weiser ^
  6. “The Path Forward on Democracy Reform with Wendy Weiser.” Yale Law School Calendar. November 14, 2019. Accessed February 11, 2021. https://law.yale.edu/yls-today/yale-law-school-events/path-forward-democracy-reform-wendy-weiser ^
  7. “Wendy Weiser.” Brennan Center for Justice. Accessed February 11, 2021. https://www.brennancenter.org/experts/wendy-r-weiser ^
  8. Weiser, Wendy and Wolf, Thomas. “Why The Census Asking About Citizenship Is Such A Problem.” Common Dreams. March 28, 2018. Accessed February 11, 2021. https://www.commondreams.org/views/2018/03/28/why-census-asking-about-citizenship-such-problem ^
  9. Weiser, Wendy and Weiner, Daniel. “It’s Time to Close the Loopholes That Are Harming the 2020 Election.”  Truthout. March 8, 2020. Accessed February 11, 2021. https://truthout.org/articles/its-time-to-close-the-loopholes-that-are-harming-the-2020-election/ ^
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