|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives|
from Maryland's 8th district
January 3, 2017
|Chris Van Hollen|
|Member of the Maryland Senate|
from the 20th district
January 10, 2007 - November 10, 2016
|Ida G. Ruben|
Jamin Ben Raskin
December 13, 1962
Washington, D.C., U.S.
|Relatives||Marcus Raskin (Father)|
|Education||Harvard University (BA, JD)|
Jamin Ben "Jamie" Raskin (born December 13, 1962) is an American author 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 Democrat, he was previously 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.
Raskin was born in Washington, D.C. on December 13, 1962 to a Jewish family. 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. He served as general counsel for Jesse Jackson's National Rainbow Coalition from 1989 to 1990, 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.
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.
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.
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."
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
|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 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.
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.
Raskin is the author of We the Students: Supreme Court Cases for and about Students and Overruling Democracy: The Supreme Court versus the American People. Raskin co-authored Youth Justice in America with Maryam Ahranjani and Andrew G. Ferguson. In 1994, Raskin and John Bonifaz co-authored The Wealth Primary: Campaign Fundraising and the Constitution.
|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