Voter ID event

Get the facts on the voter ID amendment

Are you fully informed about Minnesota’s proposed voter ID constitutional amendment? If not, join a panel of experts at William Mitchell College of Law (875 Summit Ave., St. Paul, Minn.) from 7 to 9 pm Thursday, Nov. 1 for a panel discussion on the amendment.

Voter ID eventThe event is sponsored by a dozen groups, including those representing both sides of the political aisle.

The event is free and open to the public. Application has been made for CLE credit.

Register for this event


7 – 7:30 pm      Reception (Food and beverages will be served)

7:30 pm     Presentation by Professor Mehmet Konar-Steenberg and debate

8:45–9 pm    Closing Remarks by Panel Moderator

Speaker Biographies

Professor Mehmet Konar-Steenberg holds the Briggs and Morgan/Xcel Energy Chair in Energy and Environmental Law at William Mitchell. He has been at the law school since 2000. He teaches Constitutional Law, Administrative Law, and acts as the coordinator for the first-year skills program Writing & Representations: Advice & Persuasion. Professor Konar-Steenberg’s research interests include constitutional law, administrative law, environmental law, and comparative law. Professor Konar-Steenberg and William Mitchell alumnus Dr. Anne Peterson recently published the first comprehensive empirical study of dormant Commerce Clause case law. He also serves on the Editorial board of the Legal Writing Institute Monograph Series, Board of directors of Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy, and the Board of trustees of Lake Country School. Prior to his academic career he served as a staff attorney and team manager at the Officer of the Monitor, worked as an associate attorney for Greene Espel PLLP, and was an assistant attorney general for the State of Minnesota.

Panel Moderator

Associate Dean Mary Pat Byrn has been at William Mitchell College of Law since 2007 in various teaching positions. She is a tenured Professor of Law and was recently named Associate Dean for Administration. Her research interests include assisted reproductive technology, sexual orientation, family law, and constitutional law. She is also Director of the William Mitchell College of Law’s Marshall Brennan Constitutional Law Project and is a Board Member of the Minnesota Lavender Bar Association. Before her academic career she clerked for the Honorable Gerald W. Heaney, U. S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit and the Honorable John R. Tunheim, U.S. District Court, Minnesota. Her most recent publication was Anonymously Provided Sperm and the Constitution, 23.1 Colum. J. Gender & L. 1 (2012). Dean Byrn graduated magna cum laude from Loyola University and received her Juris Doctorate magna cum laude from the University of Minnesota School of Law.

Panel: Amendment Supporters

Marjorie Holsten is an Attorney at Law in solo practice specializing in Bankruptcy Law. She is a conservative activist, homeschool mom and owner of The Political Pig. Ms. Holsten received both her undergraduate degree and her Juris Doctorate from the University of Minnesota. She earned an LL.M. from William Mitchell College of Law.

Ben Harper is a second-year law student, graduated from St. John’s University with a degree in Political Science and Asian Studies. He has worked in Minnesota politics for 6 years. After two years with Congresswoman Bachmann, he was Tom Emmer’s Finance Director on his 2010 Gubernatorial Campaign. He currently works for Congressman Chip Cravaack as his Director of Constituent Services.

Dan Severson is a retired fighter pilot, Navy commander, accountability in government advocate, inventor, and family man.

In 2002, he served four terms in the House of Representatives, the last term as Minority Whip. Doc relentlessly advocated for the people of Minnesota through reforming tort litigation, veteran education and employment benefits and judicial accountability through state statue. He also conducted an investigation into and scrutinized voter fraud allegations which lead to a state wide race in 2010.

Severson was born in Mora, Minnesota in 1954 as the youngest of four children of Leland and Eleanor. His father was a WWII veteran in the Army Air Corps; his mother welded on ships during WWII. After receiving a degree in Physics and a minor in Math and Computer Sciences, he received a commission in the U.S. Navy in 1979. His nickname was instigated during flight training because of the close resemblance to the band leader on the Tonight Show, Doc Severinson. He received two Meritorious Service metals for leadership and retired after 22 years of active service in the U.S. Navy.

In 2000, Doc contributed to society and helped develop a patent using light emitting diodes that deals with free space communication. Ten years later, he ran for the Secretary of State against an incumbent and narrowly lost the race.

Doc is married to Cathy Jo and has two children, Nicole and Joshua and daughter-in-law, Amber.

Panel: Amendment Opponents

William Z. Pentelovitch, Partner at Maslon Edelman Borman & Brand, LLP, is a business trial lawyer with more than 37 years of experience and hundreds of jury and bench trials, as well as dozens of appeals in state and federal courts to his credit. He has also tried dozens of arbitrations. He practices nationally in the areas of non-compete, trade secret and unfair competition litigation, intellectual property licensing and royalty disputes, and is a leading authority in Minnesota in the area of ownership and governance disputes in corporations and partnerships. His wide-ranging trial practice encompasses virtually every type of dispute in which businesses can become embroiled, with a particular emphasis in the areas of non-compete, trade secrets, unfair competition, intellectual property licensing and royalty disputes, antitrust, securities, and financial services. He has also handled a number of unusual matters, including representation of protesters at the 2008 Republican National Convention in negotiating with civic authorities to protect their rights to freedom of speech and assembly. Bill also represented U.S. Senator Al Franken in three appearances before the Minnesota Supreme Court during the canvass of the contested 2008 senatorial election. Finally Mr. Pentelovitch represented the petitioners in the League of Women Voters, et al. vs. Mark Ritchie Mr. Pentelovitch is a graduate of the University of Minnesota and received his Juris Doctorate from the University of Chicago Law School.

Rabbi Esther Adler, D.Div, has served as a rabbi at Mount Zion since 2000. She also serves part-time as Associate Chaplain at Hamline University. Rabbi Adler graduated magna cum laude from the University of California, Los Angeles in 1980 with a B.A. in Music. She was ordained as rabbi from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, New York in 1987. She has earned a Masters degree from Yale University in Rabbinic Literature and has knowledge of Hebrew, Aramaic, German, French, and Greek. In Minnesota, before coming to Mount Zion, she served as rabbi at the Sholom Homes, interim rabbi Beth El Synagogue, and interim director of Jewish Life at Minneapolis Jewish Day School.

Shannon Doty is a third-year law student at William Mitchell College of Law. She recently served in Afghanistan in the armed forces. Ms. Doty was one of the petitioners in the League of Women Voters, et al. v. Mark Ritchie. She earned her undergraduate degree at University of Wisconsin – Oshkosh.

Co-Sponsored by

  • The Hachey Initiative
  • Student Bar Association
  • ACLU
  • Black Law Student Association
  • Civil and Human Rights Society
  • Family Law Student Association
  • Federalist Society
  • Jewish Law Student Association
  • Out!Law
  • Republican National Lawyers Association
  • William Mitchell Democrats
  • William Mitchell College of Law