As corporate America continues to push back against a wave of restrictive voting laws under discussion across the United States, Big Law is joining the fight.
A coalition of 60 major law firms has come together “to challenge voter suppression legislation and to support national legislation to protect voting rights and increase voter participation,” said Brad Karp, the chairman of the law firm Paul Weiss and the organizer of the group, which has not been formally announced.
Mr. Karp said the coalition would “emphatically denounce legislative efforts to make voting harder, not easier, for all eligible voters, by imposing unnecessary obstacles and barriers on the right to vote.”
Many of Wall Street’s most powerful firms are also part of the effort, including Simpson Thacher; Skadden Arps; Akin Gump; Cravath, Swaine & Moore; Ropes & Gray; Sullivan & Cromwell; Weil, Gotshal & Manges and Wachtell Lipton.
“We plan to challenge any election law that would impose unnecessary barriers on the right to vote and that would disenfranchise underrepresented groups in our country,” Mr. Karp said.
The firms will work with the Brennan Center for Justice, a nonprofit organization, to identify laws that it might challenge in court. Mr. Karp said that could include challenging the voting law that Republicans passed in Georgia last month, and which set off a national debate over voting rights.
“It puts legislators on notice that if there are laws that are unconstitutional or illegal they will face pushback from the legal community,” said Michael Waldman, president of the Brennan Center. “This is beyond the pale. You’re hearing that from the business community and you’re hearing it from the legal community.”