|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives|
from Maryland's 8th district
|Assumed office |
January 3, 2017
|Preceded by||Chris Van Hollen|
|Member of the Maryland Senate|
from the 20th district
January 10, 2007 – November 10, 2016
|Preceded by||Ida G. Ruben|
|Succeeded by||Will Smith|
Jamin Ben Raskin
December 13, 1962
Washington, D.C., U.S.
|Education||Harvard University (BA, JD)|
|Occupation||Lawyer, politician, professor|
Jamin Ben Raskin (born December 13, 1962) is an American lawyer and politician serving as the U.S. representative for 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 member of the Democratic Party, he served in the Maryland State Senate from 2007 to 2016.
In Congress, Raskin chairs the Subcommittee on Civil Rights and Civil Liberties and the Congressional Freethought Caucus, and was the lead impeachment manager for the second impeachment of President Donald Trump. 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.
Descended from Russian Jewish immigrants, Jamin Ben Raskin was born in Washington, D.C. on December 13, 1962, to Barbara (née Bellman) Raskin and Marcus Raskin. His mother was a journalist and novelist, and his father was a former staff aide to President John F. Kennedy on the National Security Council, co-founder of the Institute for Policy Studies, and a progressive activist. Raskin graduated from Georgetown Day School in 1979 and obtained a Bachelor of Arts magna cum laude from Harvard College in 1983. In 1987, he received a J.D. degree magna cum laude from Harvard Law School, where he was an editor of the Harvard Law Review.
Raskin was a constitutional law professor at American University Washington College of Law for over 25 years, where he taught future fellow impeachment manager Stacey Plaskett. He co-founded and directed the LL.M. program on law and government and co-founded the Marshall-Brennan Constitutional Literacy Project. From 1989 to 1990, Raskin also served as general counsel for Jesse Jackson's National Rainbow Coalition. In 1996, he represented Ross Perot over Perot's exclusion from the 1996 United States presidential debates. Raskin wrote a Washington Post op-ed that strongly condemned the Federal Election Commission and the Commission on Presidential Debates for their decisions.
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. 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.
Raskin was a strong proponent of liberal issues in the Maryland Senate and worked well with Republicans and moderate Democrats. 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. A former board member of FairVote, he also 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. Raskin long championed efforts to reform marijuana laws and legalize medical marijuana in Maryland. Raskin introduced a medical marijuana bill in 2014 that was signed by Governor Martin O'Malley and went into effect in January 2015.
Raskin helped lead the fight to legalize same-sex marriage in Maryland. 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."
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.
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. Raskin won the crowded seven-way Democratic primary—the real contest in this heavily Democratic district—with 33 percent of the vote. He was viewed as the most liberal candidate in the race. The primary election was the most expensive House race in 2016, and Raskin was heavily outspent.
During the general election, Raskin was endorsed by the Bernie Sanders-affiliated political organizing network Our Revolution, and the community organizing effort People's Action.  Raskin prevailed in the general election, defeating Republican Dan Cox with 60 percent of the vote.
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 Joe 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. 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.
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." 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.
On January 12, 2021, Raskin was named the lead impeachment manager for the Senate trial during the second impeachment of then-President Trump. He was the primary author of the impeachment article, along with Representatives David Cicilline and Ted Lieu, which charged Trump with inciting an insurrection on the United States Capitol. Raskin in the Senate trial recounted that his daughter was visiting the Capitol on January 6 as the mob was forceably entering and she said to him, "Dad, I don't want to come back to the Capitol".
|Democratic||Ana Sol Gutierrez||7,185||5.5%|
|Democratic||Kumar P. Barve||3,149||2.4%|
|Democratic||David M. Anderson||1,511||1.2%|
|Democratic||Marcia H. Morgan||9,160||8.2|
Raskin is Jewish. He 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. On October 4, 2010, she was sworn in as a governor of the Federal Reserve Board by Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke. She served as the United States Deputy Secretary of the Treasury from March 19, 2014 to January 20, 2017. They live in Takoma Park.
They have two adult daughters, Hannah and Tabitha, and a son, Thomas. On December 31, 2020, Raskin's office announced that his son Thomas (Tommy), a graduate of Montgomery Blair High School, Amherst College and a second-year student at Harvard Law School, died at the age of 25. 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. Thomas was buried on January 5, 2021. The following day Raskin was in the Capitol with his daughter and son-in-law during the January 6 Capitol riot. 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.
Raskin has been vegetarian since 2009. 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.
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|U.S. House of Representatives|
Chris Van Hollen
| Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Maryland's 8th congressional district
|U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)|
| United States representatives by seniority
|115th||Senate: B. Cardin • C. Van Hollen||House: S. Hoyer • E. Cummings • D. Ruppersberger • J. Sarbanes • A. Harris • J. Delaney • A. Brown • J. Raskin|
|116th||Senate: B. Cardin • C. Van Hollen||House: S. Hoyer • E. Cummings • D. Ruppersberger • J. Sarbanes • K. Mfume • A. Harris • A. Brown • J. Raskin • D. Trone|
|117th||Senate: B. Cardin • C. Van Hollen||House: S. Hoyer • D. Ruppersberger • J. Sarbanes • K. Mfume • A. Harris • A. Brown • J. Raskin • D. Trone|
Presented content of the Wikipedia article was extracted in 2021-06-13 based on https://en.wikipedia.org/?curid=4416099