Who Is Jamie Raskin? (Record & Background)

Learn more about the congressman from Maryland's 8th district.
Jamie Raskin Official Portrait 2019

Jamie Raskin Official Portrait 2019

Who Is Jamie Raskin?

Jamie Raskin, the Democratic congressional representative for Maryland’s 8th district, taught constitutional law for 25 years, served as a state senator in Maryland, and authored several books under his full name, Jamin B. Raskin. Now in his second term, Raskin sits as the chairman of the Subcommittee on Expedited Procedures under the Rules Committee, and as vice chairman of the Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties.

Prior to his run for Congress, while a law professor at American University Washington College of Law, Raskin offered testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee on the viability of a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United v. FEC, a seminal Supreme Court decision which severely limited campaign finance laws. Raskin also acted as a senior fellow for People for the American Way, a not-for-profit organization focused on equality, justice, access and opportunity founded in the 1980s in part by Norman Lear and former Democratic Texas Congresswoman Barbara Jordan.

Raskin served as Senate Majority Whip in the Maryland State Senate. His books include: Overruling Democracy: The Supreme Court versus the American People; and Students: Supreme Court Cases For and About America’s Students.

How Long Has Jamie Raskin Been A Congressman?

First elected to Congress in 2016, after previous Democratic seat-holder Chris Van Hollen launched a successful bid for the Senate, Jamie Raskin beat out a field of nine Democrats to win the primary with a third of the vote. In the general election, Raskin won 60.6% of the vote, defeating Republican Dan Cox, Green Party candidate Nancy Wallace and Libertarian Jasen Wunder.

In 2018, only two Democrats challenged Raskin in the primary, Summer Spring and Utem Paul; Raskin received 90.5% of the primary vote. He won the general with 68% over Republican John Walsh and Libertarian Jasen Wunder

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What Committees Does Jamie Raskin Belong To?

In his first term, Jamie Raskin sat on the House Judiciary Committee, the Committee on Oversight and Reform and the House Administration Committee. Raskin’s current committee assignments:

  • House Committee on Rules
    • Subcommittee on Expedited Procedures (Chairman)
  • House Judiciary Committee
    • Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties (Vice Chair)
    • Subcommittee on Antitrust, Commercial, and Administrative Law
  • House Committee on Oversight and Reform
    • S​ubcommittee on Civil Rights and Civil Liberties (Chairman)
    • Subcommittee on Government Operations
  • Committee on House Administration (Vice Chair)
  • House Democratic Steering and Policy Committee

Jamie Raskin’s Record As A Congressman

On December 17, 2019, speaking on behalf of the Judiciary Committee, Jamie Raskin made the case for President Donald Trump’s impeachment to the House Rules Committee. After meticulously covering the constitutional basis for each of the two counts against Trump, Raskin boiled down why Trump’s actions demanded impeachment:

“If accepted and normalized now, it will undermine perhaps for all time the Congressional impeachment power itself, which is the people’s last instrument of constitutional self-defense against a sitting President who behaves like a King and tramples the rule of law. By obstructing an impeachment inquiry with impunity, the President will have power to actively destroy the people’s final check on his own corrupt misconduct and abuse of power. The Framers insisted that we have impeachment in the Constitution precisely to protect ourselves from a president becoming a tyrant and a despot, and we cannot and we will not allow the impeachment power itself to be destroyed.”

Like the breadth of his committee assignments, Jamie Raskin’s sponsored bills cover wide-ranging issues. Raskin is a sponsor of The Ranked Choice Voting Act, which would require all elections for the House and the Senate to allow voters to select a first, second and third choice. He is also a sponsor of the Handgun Purchaser Licensing Act, which would permit state, local and tribal governments to implement gun licensing programs.

Raskin, along with Congresswoman and impeachment manager Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) offered the Stopping Harmful Interference in Elections for a Lasting Democracy (SHIELD) Act in the hopes of securing our elections. Another of his sponsored bills, the CAMRA Act, would allow for National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding for research into the effect of media on human development.

As Chairman of the Subcommittee on Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, with Oversight Committee Chair Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY), Raskin repeatedly demanded answers from the Department of Homeland Security regarding the separation of families at the border, and the deaths of detainees in custody.

When is Jamie Raskin Up For Re-election?

Jamie Raskin faces re-election in 2020. He has three Democratic challengers for the primary on April 28, 2020: Marcia Morgan; Utam Paul; and Lih Young. Six Republicans will vie to unseat him, including Gregory Coll, Bridgette Cooper, Nicholas Gladden, Patricia Rogers, Shelly Skolnick, Michael Yadeta.

Raskin won re-election in 2018 with nearly 70% of the vote. Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton won the district in 2016 with 64% of the vote

Personal Details About Zoe Lofgren

  • Age: 57
  • Birthday: December 13, 1962
  • Religion: Jewish
  • Hometown: Washington, D.C.
  • Education: Harvard College; Harvard Law School
  • Spouse: Sarah Bloom Raskin
  • Twitter: @RepRaskin
  • Professional contact details:
    • Phone: Washington, D.C: 202-225-5341; Rockville, MD: 301-354-1000
    • Email: Use this form

The Rantt Rundown

Jamie Raskin, a second-term congressman from Maryland, had a long career teaching constitutional law before serving in the Maryland State Senate, earning the leadership position of Majority Whip. The author of several books, Raskin’s issues cover wide ground and include civil rights, gun control, election security, and democracy and the effects of media. After last winning his district with over 68% of the vote, Raskin will seek re-election in 2020.

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Rantt 101 // Congress / Democratic Party