Jamie Raskin

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Jamie Raskin
Jamie Raskin Official Portrait 2019.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Maryland's 8th district
Assumed office
January 3, 2017
Preceded byChris Van Hollen
Member of the Maryland Senate
from the 20th district
In office
January 10, 2007 – November 10, 2016
Preceded byIda G. Ruben
Succeeded byWill Smith
Personal details
Jamin Ben Raskin

(1962-12-13) December 13, 1962 (age 58)
Washington, D.C., U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
(m. 1990)
MotherBarbara Bellman
FatherMarcus Raskin
EducationHarvard University (BA, JD)
OccupationAuthor, politician
WebsiteHouse website

Jamin Ben "Jamie" Raskin (born December 13, 1962) is an American lawyer and politician who is the U.S. Representative from Maryland's 8th congressional district since 2017. The district is located in Montgomery County, an affluent suburban county northwest of Washington, D.C., and extends through rural Frederick County to the Pennsylvania border. A Democrat, he was a member of the Maryland State Senate from 2007 to 2016.

Prior to his election to Congress, he was a constitutional law professor at American University Washington College of Law, where he co-founded and directed the LL.M. program on Law and Government and co-founded the Marshall-Brennan Constitutional Literacy Project.[1][2]

Early life[edit]

Raskin was born in Washington, D.C. on December 13, 1962 to a Jewish family.[3][4][5] He is the son of progressive activist Marcus Raskin—a former staff aide to President John F. Kennedy on the National Security Council and co-founder of the Institute for Policy Studies—and Barbara (née Bellman) Raskin, a journalist and novelist. He graduated from Georgetown Day School in 1979, and received a B.A. from Harvard College (magna cum laude) in 1983 and a J.D. from Harvard Law School (magna cum laude) in 1987. He is a past editor of the Harvard Law Review.[6] He served as general counsel for Jesse Jackson's National Rainbow Coalition from 1989 to 1990,[7] and represented Ross Perot in 1996 when Perot sued over being excluded from the Presidential Debates and Raskin also wrote a Washington Post op-ed which strongly condemned the Federal Election Commission and the Commission on Presidential Debates.[8]

Maryland legislature[edit]

In November 2006, he was elected as a Maryland state senator for district 20, representing parts of Silver Spring and Takoma Park in Montgomery County.[9] In 2012, he was named the majority whip for the Senate and was the chairman of the Montgomery County Senate Delegation, chairman of the Select Committee on Ethics Reform, and a member of the Judicial Proceedings Committee.[4]

Raskin was a strong proponent of liberal issues in the Maryland Senate and worked well with Republicans and moderate Democrats.[10]

He was the sponsor of bills advocating the repeal of the death penalty in Maryland, the expansion of the state ignition interlock device program, and the establishment of the legal guidelines for benefit corporations, a type of for-profit corporation that include a material societal benefit in their bylaws and decision-making processes.[11][12][13][14]

Raskin helped lead the fight to legalize same-sex marriage in Maryland.[10] On March 1, 2006, during a Maryland State Senate hearing regarding same-sex marriage, Raskin was noted for his response to an opposing lawmaker: "Senator, when you took your oath of office, you placed your hand on the Bible and swore to uphold the Constitution. You did not place your hand on the Constitution and swear to uphold the Bible."[15][16][17][18]

Raskin long championed efforts to reform marijuana laws and legalize medical marijuana in Maryland.[19][20] Raskin introduced a medical marijuana bill in 2014 that was signed by Governor Martin O'Malley and went into effect in January 2015.[21]

A former board member of FairVote, Raskin introduced and sponsored the first bill in the country for the National Popular Vote, a plan for an interstate compact to provide for the first popular presidential election in American history.[22]

U.S. House of Representatives[edit]

Raskin speaking at the 2017 Tax March



On April 19, 2015, The Baltimore Sun and The Washington Post reported that Raskin announced his campaign for Congress and stated, "My ambition is not to be in the political center, it is to be in the moral center." The district's seven-term incumbent, fellow Democrat Chris Van Hollen, gave up the seat to make an ultimately successful run for the United States Senate.[23][24]

During the primary, Raskin enjoyed the endorsement of the Progressive Action PAC, the political arm of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, which grew from 72 members at the time of the endorsement, to 92 members in early 2020.[25] Raskin won the crowded seven-way Democratic primary—the real contest in this heavily Democratic district—with 33 percent of the vote.[26] He was viewed as the most liberal candidate in the race.[10] The primary election was the most expensive House race in 2016, and Raskin was heavily outspent.[27]

During the general election, Raskin was endorsed by the Bernie Sanders-affiliated political organizing network Our Revolution,[28] and the community organizing effort People's Action. [29] Raskin prevailed in the general election, defeating Republican Dan Cox with 60 percent of the vote.[30]


Trump election[edit]

As his first action in Congress, Raskin and several other members of House of Representatives objected to certifying the election of Donald Trump as president because of Russian interference in the election and voter suppression efforts. Vice President Joseph Biden ruled the objection out of order because it had to be sponsored by at least one member of each chamber, and it had no Senate sponsor.[31]

In late June 2017, Raskin was the chief sponsor of legislation to establish a congressional "oversight" commission with the authority to declare a President "incapacitated" and removed from office under the 25th Amendment to the United States Constitution.[32]

Congressional Freethought Caucus[edit]

In April 2018, Raskin, along with Jared Huffman, Jerry McNerney, and Dan Kildee, launched the Congressional Freethought Caucus. Its stated goals include "pushing public policy formed on the basis of reason, science, and moral values," promoting the "separation of church and state," and opposing discrimination against "atheists, agnostics, humanists, seekers, religious and nonreligious persons."[33] Huffman and Raskin are co-chairs.


Raskin supports banning discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. In 2019, he voted in favor of the Equality Act and urged Congress members to do the same.[34][35]

In the midst of the Trump–Ukraine scandal, Raskin received a packet of documents from Rudy Giuliani by way of Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.[36]


On January 12, 2021, Raskin was named the lead impeachment manager for the second impeachment of President Trump.[37] He was the primary author of the impeachment article, which charged Trump with inciting an insurrection by sparking the storming of the Capitol.

Committee assignments[edit]

Party leadership and caucus membership[edit]

Electoral history[edit]

Democratic primary, Congress, Maryland 8th district, 2016[26]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Jamie Raskin 43,776 33.6%
Democratic David Trone 35,400 27.1%
Democratic Kathleen Matthews 31,186 23.9%
Democratic Ana Sol Gutierrez 7,185 5.5%
Democratic William Jawando 6,058 4.6%
Democratic Kumar P. Barve 3,149 2.4%
Democratic David M. Anderson 1,511 1.2%
Democratic Joel Rubin 1,426 1.1%
Democratic Dan Bolling 712 0.5%
Majority 8,376 6.5%
Total votes 130,403 100.0%
Congress, Maryland 8th district, 2016[30]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Democratic Jamie Raskin 220,657 60.6% -0.3
Republican Dan Cox 124,651 34.2% -5.5
Green Nancy Wallace 11,201 3.1% +3.1
Libertarian Jasen Wunder 7,283 2.0% +2.0
Write-ins 532 0.1% -0.1
Majority 96,006 26.4% +4.7
Total votes 364,324 100.0%
Democratic primary, Congress, Maryland 8th district, 2018
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Jamie Raskin 74,303 90.5%
Democratic Summer Spring 4,759 5.80%
Democratic Utam Paul 3,032 3.70%
Majority 69,544 84.70%
Total votes 82,094 100.0%
Congress, Maryland 8th district, 2018
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Democratic Jamie Raskin 217,679 68.2% +7.6
Republican John Walsh 96,525 30.2% -4.0
Libertarian Jasen Wunder 4,853 1.5% -0.5
Write-ins 273 0.1% -
Majority 121,154 37.9% +11.5
Total votes 319,330 100.0%
Democratic primary, Congress, Maryland 8th district, 2020
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Jamie Raskin 97,087 86.6
Democratic Marcia H. Morgan 9,160 8.2
Democratic Lih Young 4,261 3.8
Democratic Utam Paul 1,651 1.5
Total votes 112,159 100.0%
Congress, Maryland 8th district, 2020
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Democratic Jamie Raskin 274,716 68.2% +0.1
Republican Gregory Coll 127,157 31.6% +1.4
Write-ins 741 0.2% +0.1
Majority 147,559 36.7% -1.3
Total votes 402,614 100.0%

Personal life[edit]

Raskin is married to Sarah Bloom Raskin, who served as the Maryland Commissioner of Financial Regulation from 2007 to 2010, and was nominated by President Barack Obama to the Federal Reserve Board on April 28, 2010.[45] On October 4, 2010, she was sworn in as a governor of the Federal Reserve Board by Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke.[46] She served as the United States Deputy Secretary of the Treasury from March 19, 2014 to January 20, 2017.[47] They live in Takoma Park.

Raskin and his wife Sarah have two adult daughters, Hannah and Tabitha. On December 31, 2020, Raskin's office announced that his son Thomas (Tommy), a graduate of Amherst College and a second-year student at Harvard Law School, died at the age of 25.[48] On January 4, 2021, Raskin and his wife posted a tribute online which stated that Thomas had died by suicide after a prolonged battle with depression.[49][50] Thomas was buried on January 5, 2021, and the following day the Congressman found himself locked in his office with his daughter and son-in-law, fending off rioters.[51][52] Hours later he began drafting an article of impeachment against President Donald Trump, and six days later House Speaker Nancy Pelosi named Raskin the lead manager of Trump's second impeachment.[53][54]

Raskin has been vegetarian since 2009.[55] He is a colon cancer survivor, having been diagnosed in May 2010. Raskin received six weeks of radiation and chemotherapy, and surgery to remove part of his colon, followed by more chemotherapy through early 2011.[56]


Raskin is the author of We the Students: Supreme Court Cases for and about Students[57] and Overruling Democracy: The Supreme Court versus the American People.[58] Raskin co-authored Youth Justice in America with Maryam Ahranjani and Andrew G. Ferguson.[59] In 1994, Raskin and John Bonifaz co-authored The Wealth Primary: Campaign Fundraising and the Constitution.[60]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ One child is deceased.


  1. ^ "AUWCL's Program on Law and Government Celebrates 25 Years". American University Washington College of Law. April 23, 2018.
  2. ^ Peck, Louis (January 3, 2017). "Raskin Looking To Transfer Some Teaching Skills from Law School to Capitol Hill". Bethesda Magazine.
  3. ^ Friends of Jamin Raskin (2006). "Biography". Jamie Raskin for State Senate campaign. Archived from the original on August 27, 2006. Retrieved May 4, 2006.
  4. ^ a b "Jamin B. (Jamie) Raskin". Maryland Manual Online. Maryland State Archives. Retrieved January 17, 2017.
  5. ^ Levmore, Rachel (May 2, 2012). "Should the Government 'Get' Involved?". The Forward.
  6. ^ Editorial Board listing in "Front Matter." Harvard Law Review, vol. 100, no. 1, 1986, p. 99.
  7. ^ Turque, Bill (April 6, 2016). "Five things to know about state Sen. Jamie Raskin". The Washington Post. Washington, D.C. Retrieved November 18, 2020.
  8. ^ "The Washington Post: Breaking News, World, US, DC News and Analysis". Washington Post.
  9. ^ "Official 2006 Gubernatorial General Election results for State Senator". Maryland State Board of Elections. 2006. Retrieved October 20, 2010.
  10. ^ a b c Turque, Bill (April 5, 2016). "Jamie Raskin: The most liberal congressional candidate in a crowded field". The Washington Post.
  11. ^ Raskin, Jamie; et al. (January 25, 2008). "Senate Bill 290 (2008)". Retrieved September 11, 2014.
  12. ^ Raskin, Jamie; et al. (January 18, 2013). "Senate Bill 276 (2013)". Retrieved September 11, 2014.
  13. ^ Raskin, Jamie; et al. (January 25, 2008). "Senate Bill 803 (2011)". Retrieved September 11, 2014.
  14. ^ Raskin, Jamie; et al. (February 10, 2010). "Senate Bill 690 (2010)". Retrieved September 11, 2014.
  15. ^ Turque, Bill (April 6, 2016). "Five things to know about state Sen. Jamie Raskin". The Washington Post.
  16. ^ Stone, Gene (March 15, 2006). "A Rare Moment of Sense". Huffington Post.
  17. ^ "Emotions flare over same-sex marriage". The Baltimore Sun. March 2, 2006. Archived from the original on June 17, 2006. Retrieved April 17, 2006.
  18. ^ Mikkelson, David (March 28, 2006). "The Difference Between the Bible and the Constitution". Snopes. Retrieved October 20, 2010.
  19. ^ Metcalf, Andrew (May 27, 2015). "Hogan Veto of Marijuana-Related Bill Defies Logic, State Senator Says". Bethesda Magazine.
  20. ^ Raskin, Jamie (January 10, 2011). "Jamie Raskin's medical marijuana battle gets personal". The Washington Post.
  21. ^ Raskin, Jamie; et al. (January 31, 2014). "Senate Bill 924 (2007)". Retrieved September 11, 2014.
  22. ^ Raskin, Jamie; et al. (February 2, 2007). "Senate Bill 634 (2007)" (PDF). Retrieved September 11, 2014.
  23. ^ Fritze, John (April 19, 2015), Raskin Announces Bid for Congress.
  24. ^ Turque, Bill (April 19, 2015), "State Sen. Jamie Raskin announces run for Van Hollen seat", Baltimore Sun
  25. ^ Fritze, John (December 22, 2015). "Raskin earns nod from congressional progressives". The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved February 23, 2020.
  26. ^ a b "2016 Election Results". Maryland State Board of Elections.
  27. ^ Turque, Bill (April 27, 2016). "Raskin wins Md.'s 8th Congressional District primary". Washington Post.
  28. ^ Jewish Telegraphic Agency (September 1, 2016). "Bernie Sanders' new movement endorses candidates with a range of Israel views". The Jerusalem Post. Retrieved February 23, 2020.
  29. ^ Fulton, Diedre (October 18, 2016). "To Build the Political Revolution, Grassroots Group Endorses 22 "People's Candidates"". Common Dreams. Retrieved February 23, 2020.
  30. ^ a b "2016 Presidential General Election Results". Maryland State Board of Elections. Retrieved July 13, 2017.
  31. ^ DeBonis, Mike. "'It is over': Biden quiets Democrats as Congress meets to make Trump victory official". The Washington Post. Retrieved July 1, 2017.
  32. ^ Isikoff, Michael (June 30, 2017). "Bill to create panel that could remove Trump from office quietly picks up Democratic support". Yahoo! News. Retrieved July 1, 2017.
  33. ^ Manchester, Julia. "Dem lawmakers launch 'Freethought' congressional caucus". The Hill. Retrieved April 30, 2018.
  34. ^ "Final Vote Results for Roll Call 217".
  35. ^ "House Debate on the Equality Act". C-SPAN. May 17, 2019.
  36. ^ VOA News (October 2, 2019). "Democrats Puzzled by State IG's 'Urgent' Meeting". voanews.com. Retrieved October 3, 2019.
  37. ^ "Pelosi Names Impeachment Managers". Speaker Nancy Pelosi. January 12, 2021. Retrieved January 13, 2021.
  38. ^ "Cummings Announces Subcommittee Chairs and Full Committee Vice Chair". House Committee on Oversight and Reform. January 24, 2019. Retrieved February 7, 2019.
  39. ^ "Pelosi Names Select Members to Bipartisan House Select Committee on the Coronavirus Crisis". Speaker Nancy Pelosi. April 29, 2020. Retrieved May 11, 2020.
  40. ^ "Caucus Members". Congressional Progressive Caucus. Retrieved January 30, 2018.
  41. ^ "Members". House Baltic Caucus. Retrieved February 21, 2018.
  42. ^ "Members". Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus. Retrieved May 17, 2018.
  43. ^ "Members". Congressional NextGen 9-1-1 Caucus. Retrieved June 14, 2018.
  44. ^ Jamie Raskin. "Committees and Caucuses". Retrieved February 5, 2019.
  45. ^ Reddy, Sudeep (April 29, 2010). "Obama Nominates Yellen, Raskin, Diamond to Fed Board". The Wall Street Journal.
  46. ^ Fed Press Release federalreserve.gov, October 4, 2010 (October 9, 2010)
  47. ^ "Sarah Bloom Raskin profile". U.S. Treasury Department. Retrieved February 3, 2017.
  48. ^ Flynn, Meagan (December 31, 2020). "Rep. Jamie Raskin announces the death of his 25-year-old son". The Washington Post. Retrieved January 2, 2021.
  49. ^ Lapin, Tamar (January 5, 2021). "Rep. Jamie Raskin, wife say son lost battle with depression in heart-wrenching tribute". New York Post. Retrieved January 7, 2021.
  50. ^ Raskin, Rep Jamie (January 4, 2021). "Statement of Congressman Jamie Raskin and Sarah Bloom Raskin on the Remarkable Life of Tommy Raskin". Medium. Retrieved January 7, 2021.
  51. ^ Hendrickson, John (January 8, 2021). "Jamie Raskin Lost His Son. Then He Fled a Mob". The Atlantic. Retrieved January 11, 2021.
  52. ^ Stolberg, Sheryl Gay (January 12, 2021). "Grieving Son's Death, Maryland Lawmaker Fights to Impeach Trump". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved January 12, 2021.
  53. ^ Stolberg, Sheryl Gay (January 12, 2021). "Grieving Son's Death, Maryland Lawmaker Fights to Impeach Trump" – via NYTimes.com.
  54. ^ "Pelosi Names Impeachment Managers". Speaker Nancy Pelosi. January 12, 2021.
  55. ^ Harless, Kailey (August 4, 2009), Why I Went Veg with Maryland's Jamie Raskin, VegNews
  56. ^ Marimow, Ann E. (January 10, 2011). "Jamie Raskin's medical marijuana battle gets personal". The Washington Post. Retrieved November 10, 2018.
  57. ^ Raskin, Jamie B. (July 1, 2014), We the Students: Supreme Court Cases for and about Students (Fourth ed.), CQ Press, ISBN 978-1-4833-1919-3
  58. ^ Raskin, Jamin B. (February 14, 2003), Overruling Democracy: The Supreme Court versus The American People, Routledge, ISBN 978-0415934398
  59. ^ Raskin, Jamin B.; Ahranjani, Maryam; Ferguson, Andrew G. (July 28, 2014), Youth Justice in America (Second ed.), CQ Press, ISBN 978-1483319162.
  60. ^ Raskin, Jamin B.; Bonifaz, John (1994), The Wealth Primary:Campaign Fundraising and the Constitution, Center for Responsive Politics, ISBN 978-0939715213

External links[edit]

U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
Chris Van Hollen
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Maryland's 8th congressional district

U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
Jimmy Panetta
United States Representatives by seniority
Succeeded by
John Rutherford