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 is the chair of the Subcommittee on Civil Rights and Civil Liberties and the co-chair of the Congressional Freethought Caucus. He was also the lead impeachment manager for the second impeachment of President Donald Trump.[1][2] 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.[3][4]

Early life and career

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,[5] 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.[6][7] 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.[8]

Raskin was a constitutional law professor at American University Washington College of Law for over 25 years,[9] where he taught future fellow impeachment manager Stacey Plaskett.[10] He co-founded and directed the LL.M. program on law and government and co-founded the Marshall-Brennan Constitutional Literacy Project.[3][4] From 1989 to 1990, Raskin also served as general counsel for Jesse Jackson‘s National Rainbow Coalition.[11] 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.[12]

Maryland legislature

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.[13] 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.[7]

Raskin was a strong proponent of liberal issues in the Maryland Senate and worked well with Republicans and moderate Democrats.[14] 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.[15][16][17][18] 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.[19] Raskin long championed efforts to reform marijuana laws and legalize medical marijuana in Maryland.[20][21] Raskin introduced a medical marijuana bill in 2014 that was signed by Governor Martin O’Malley and went into effect in January 2015.[22]

Raskin helped lead the fight to legalize same-sex marriage in Maryland.[14] 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.”[23][24][25][26]

U.S. House of Representatives



An older man and an older woman raise their hands together on a small stage in front of three flags.

Raskin campaigning in 2016 with Senator Elizabeth Warren

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.[27][28]

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.[29] Raskin won the crowded seven-way Democratic primary—the real contest in this heavily Democratic district—with 33 percent of the vote.[30] He was viewed as the most liberal candidate in the race.[14] The primary election was the most expensive House race in 2016, and Raskin was heavily outspent.[31]

During the general election, Raskin was endorsed by the Bernie Sanders-affiliated political organizing network Our Revolution,[32] and the community organizing effort People’s Action.
[33] Raskin prevailed in the general election, defeating Republican Dan Cox with 60 percent of the vote.[34]


An older man with curly black hair speaking in front of an indoor lectern in front of a blue and yellow backdrop.

Raskin speaking at the 2020 AFGE Legislative Conference

As one of his first actions in Congress, Raskin and several other members of House of Representatives objected to the certification of the 2016 presidential election in favor of Donald Trump due to alleged ties with Russia, and Russia’s interference in the 2016 election, as well as voter suppression efforts. Vice President Joe Biden ruled their objection out of order because it had to be sponsored by at least one member of each chamber, and it had no Senate sponsor.[35] 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.[36]

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.”[37] Huffman and Raskin are co-chairs.[2]

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.[38][39]

On January 12, 2021, Raskin was named the lead impeachment manager for the Senate trial during the second impeachment of then-President Trump.[40] 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”.[41]

Committee assignments

Party leadership and caucus membership

Electoral history


Democratic primary, Congress, Maryland 8th district, 2016[30]
Democratic Jamie Raskin 43,776 33.6%
DemocraticDavid Trone35,40027.1%
DemocraticKathleen Matthews31,18623.9%
DemocraticAna Sol Gutierrez7,1855.5%
DemocraticWilliam Jawando6,0584.6%
DemocraticKumar P. Barve3,1492.4%
DemocraticDavid M. Anderson1,5111.2%
DemocraticJoel Rubin1,4261.1%
DemocraticDan Bolling7120.5%
Total votes130,403 100.0%
Congress, Maryland 8th district, 2016[34]
DemocraticJamie Raskin 220,657 60.6% -0.3
RepublicanDan Cox124,65134.2%-5.5
GreenNancy Wallace11,2013.1%+3.1
LibertarianJasen Wunder7,2832.0%+2.0
Total votes364,324 100.0%


Democratic primary, Congress, Maryland 8th district, 2018
Democratic Jamie Raskin 74,303 90.5%
DemocraticSummer Spring4,7595.80%
DemocraticUtam Paul3,0323.70%
Total votes82,094 100.0%
Congress, Maryland 8th district, 2018
DemocraticJamie Raskin 217,679 68.2% +7.6
RepublicanJohn Walsh96,52530.2%-4.0
LibertarianJasen Wunder4,8531.5%-0.5
Total votes319,330 100.0%


Democratic primary, Congress, Maryland 8th district, 2020
Democratic Jamie Raskin 97,087 86.6
DemocraticMarcia H. Morgan9,1608.2
DemocraticLih Young4,2613.8
DemocraticUtam Paul1,6511.5
Total votes112,159 100.0%
Congress, Maryland 8th district, 2020
DemocraticJamie Raskin 274,716 68.2% +0.1
RepublicanGregory Coll127,15731.6%+1.4
Total votes402,614 100.0%

Personal life

Raskin is Jewish.[49] 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.[50] On October 4, 2010, she was sworn in as a governor of the Federal Reserve Board by Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke.[51] She served as the United States Deputy Secretary of the Treasury from March 19, 2014 to January 20, 2017.[52] They live in Takoma Park.[53]

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.[54] 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.[55][56] 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 attack.[57][58] 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.[59][60]

Raskin has been vegetarian since 2009.[61] 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.[62]


  • We the Students: Supreme Court Cases for and about Students[63]
  • Overruling Democracy: The Supreme Court versus the American People[64]
  • Youth Justice in America (with Maryam Ahranjani and Andrew G. Ferguson)[65]
  • The Wealth Primary: Campaign Fundraising and the Constitution (1994) (with John Bonifaz)[66]


  1. ^ “Maryland Rep. Jamie Raskin named lead impeachment manager for trial against President Donald Trump”. The Baltimore Sun. January 13, 2021. Retrieved February 11, 2021.
  2. ^ a b Zauzmer, Julie (April 9, 2020). “During coronavirus crisis, Congress’s first caucus for nonreligious belief seeks a larger role in promoting science”. The Washington Post. Retrieved February 11, 2021.
  3. ^ a b “AUWCL’s Program on Law and Government Celebrates 25 Years”. American University Washington College of Law. April 23, 2018.
  4. ^ a b Peck, Louis (January 3, 2017). “Raskin Looking To Transfer Some Teaching Skills from Law School to Capitol Hill”. Bethesda Magazine.
  5. ^ Smith, David, ‘The moral centre’: how Jamie Raskin dominated the stage at Trump’s trial, The Guardian, Saturday, February 13, 2021
  6. ^ Friends of Jamin Raskin (2006). “Biography”. Jamie Raskin for State Senate campaign. Archived from the original on August 27, 2006. Retrieved May 4, 2006.
  7. ^ a b “Jamin B. (Jamie) Raskin”. Maryland Manual Online. Maryland State Archives. Retrieved January 17, 2017.
  8. ^ Editorial Board listing in “Front Matter.” Harvard Law Review, vol. 100, no. 1, 1986, p. 99.
  9. ^ “About”. raskin.house.gov. United States House of Representatives. December 3, 2012. Retrieved February 10, 2021.
  10. ^ Leonard, Ben (February 10, 2021). “Raskin introduces former law student as impeachment manager”. Politico. Retrieved February 10, 2021.
  11. ^ Turque, Bill (April 6, 2016). “Five things to know about state Sen. Jamie Raskin”. The Washington Post. Retrieved November 18, 2020.
  12. ^ Raskin, Jamin B. (October 30, 1996). “Silencing The Other Parties”. The Washington Post. Retrieved January 23, 2021.
  13. ^ “Official 2006 Gubernatorial General Election results for State Senator”. Maryland State Board of Elections. 2006. Retrieved October 20, 2010.
  14. ^ a b c Turque, Bill (April 5, 2016). “Jamie Raskin: The most liberal congressional candidate in a crowded field”. The Washington Post.
  15. ^ Raskin, Jamie; et al. (January 25, 2008). “Senate Bill 290 (2008)”. Retrieved September 11, 2014.
  16. ^ Raskin, Jamie; et al. (January 18, 2013). “Senate Bill 276 (2013)”. Retrieved September 11, 2014.
  17. ^ Raskin, Jamie; et al. (January 25, 2008). “Senate Bill 803 (2011)”. Retrieved September 11, 2014.
  18. ^ Raskin, Jamie; et al. (February 10, 2010). “Senate Bill 690 (2010)”. Retrieved September 11, 2014.
  19. ^ Raskin, Jamie; et al. (February 2, 2007). “Senate Bill 634 (2007)” (PDF). Retrieved September 11, 2014.
  20. ^ Metcalf, Andrew (May 27, 2015). “Hogan Veto of Marijuana-Related Bill Defies Logic, State Senator Says”. Bethesda Magazine.
  21. ^ Raskin, Jamie (January 10, 2011). “Jamie Raskin’s medical marijuana battle gets personal”. The Washington Post.
  22. ^ Raskin, Jamie; et al. (January 31, 2014). “Senate Bill 924 (2007)”. Retrieved September 11, 2014.
  23. ^ Turque, Bill (April 6, 2016). “Five things to know about state Sen. Jamie Raskin”. The Washington Post.
  24. ^ Stone, Gene (March 15, 2006). “A Rare Moment of Sense”. The Huffington Post.
  25. ^ “Emotions flare over same-sex marriage”. The Baltimore Sun. March 2, 2006. Archived from the original on June 17, 2006. Retrieved April 17, 2006.
  26. ^ Mikkelson, David (March 28, 2006). “The Difference Between the Bible and the Constitution”. Snopes. Retrieved October 20, 2010.
  27. ^ Fritze, John (April 19, 2015). “Raskin Announces Bid for Congress”. The Baltimore Sun.
  28. ^ Turque, Bill (April 19, 2015), “State Sen. Jamie Raskin announces run for Van Hollen seat”, The Baltimore Sun
  29. ^ Fritze, John (December 22, 2015). “Raskin earns nod from congressional progressives”. The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved February 23, 2020.
  30. ^ a b “2016 Election Results”. Maryland State Board of Elections.
  31. ^ Turque, Bill (April 27, 2016). “Raskin wins Md.’s 8th Congressional District primary”. Washington Post.
  32. ^ “Bernie Sanders’ new movement endorses candidates with a range of Israel views”. The Jerusalem Post. Jewish Telegraphic Agency. September 1, 2016. Retrieved February 23, 2020.
  33. ^ Fulton, Diedre (October 18, 2016). “To Build the Political Revolution, Grassroots Group Endorses 22 “People’s Candidates. Common Dreams. Retrieved February 23, 2020.
  34. ^ a b “2016 Presidential General Election Results”. Maryland State Board of Elections. Retrieved July 13, 2017.
  35. ^ DeBonis, Mike (January 6, 2017). It is over’: Biden quiets Democrats as Congress meets to make Trump victory official”. The Washington Post. Retrieved July 1, 2017.
  36. ^ 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.
  37. ^ Manchester, Julia (April 30, 2018). “Dem lawmakers launch ‘Freethought’ congressional caucus”. The Hill. Retrieved April 30, 2018.
  38. ^ “Final Vote Results for Roll Call 217”.
  39. ^ “House Debate on the Equality Act”. C-SPAN. May 17, 2019.
  40. ^ “Pelosi Names Impeachment Managers”. Speaker Nancy Pelosi. January 12, 2021. Retrieved January 13, 2021.
  41. ^ Weissert, Will (February 10, 2021). “Rep. Jamie Raskin links impeachment with personal tragedy”. Ass. Retrieved March 14, 2021.
  42. ^ “Cummings Announces Subcommittee Chairs and Full Committee Vice Chair”. House Committee on Oversight and Reform. January 24, 2019. Retrieved February 7, 2019.
  43. ^ “Pelosi Names Select Members to Bipartisan House Select Committee on the Coronavirus Crisis”. Speaker Nancy Pelosi. April 29, 2020. Retrieved May 11, 2020.
  44. ^ “Caucus Members”. Congressional Progressive Caucus. Retrieved January 30, 2018.
  45. ^ “Members”. House Baltic Caucus. Retrieved February 21, 2018.
  46. ^ “Members”. Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus. Retrieved May 17, 2018.
  47. ^ “Members”. Congressional NextGen 9-1-1 Caucus. Retrieved June 14, 2018.
  48. ^ Jamie Raskin. “Committees and Caucuses”. Retrieved February 5, 2019.
  49. ^ Levmore, Rachel (May 2, 2012). “Should the Government ‘Get’ Involved?”. The Forward.
  50. ^ Reddy, Sudeep (April 29, 2010). “Obama Nominates Yellen, Raskin, Diamond to Fed Board”. The Wall Street Journal.
  51. ^ Fed Press Release federalreserve.gov, October 4, 2010 (October 9, 2010)
  52. ^ “Sarah Bloom Raskin profile”. U.S. Treasury Department. Retrieved February 3, 2017.
  53. ^ https://www.baltimoresun.com/politics/bs-md-pol-tommy-ruskin-death-20210105-napqncfxb5ayjigyd6mjy36qay-story.html%3foutputType=amp
  54. ^ Flynn, Meagan (December 31, 2020). “Rep. Jamie Raskin announces the death of his 25-year-old son”. The Washington Post. Retrieved January 2, 2021.
  55. ^ 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.
  56. ^ 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.
  57. ^ Hendrickson, John (January 8, 2021). “Jamie Raskin Lost His Son. Then He Fled a Mob”. The Atlantic. Retrieved January 11, 2021.
  58. ^ 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.
  59. ^ Stolberg, Sheryl Gay (January 12, 2021). “Grieving Son’s Death, Maryland Lawmaker Fights to Impeach Trump”. The New York Times.
  60. ^ “Pelosi Names Impeachment Managers”. Speaker Nancy Pelosi. January 12, 2021.
  61. ^ Harless, Kailey (August 4, 2009), Why I Went Veg with Maryland’s Jamie Raskin, VegNews
  62. ^ Marimow, Ann E. (January 10, 2011). “Jamie Raskin’s medical marijuana battle gets personal”. The Washington Post. Retrieved November 10, 2018.
  63. ^ 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
  64. ^ Raskin, Jamin B. (February 14, 2003), Overruling Democracy: The Supreme Court versus The American People, Routledge, ISBN 978-0415934398
  65. ^ Raskin, Jamin B.; Ahranjani, Maryam; Ferguson, Andrew G. (July 28, 2014), Youth Justice in America (Second ed.), CQ Press, ISBN 978-1483319162.
  66. ^ Raskin, Jamin B.; Bonifaz, John (1994), The Wealth Primary:Campaign Fundraising and the Constitution, Center for Responsive Politics, ISBN 978-0939715213

External links

U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by

Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Maryland’s 8th congressional district

U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by

United States representatives by seniority
Succeeded by