Tag Archives: Voting Rights Act; Section 2

AALS Multiracial Democracy Morning on Sat. Jan. 6, 8-11:40 am

We’ve got two great multiracial democracy panels back-to-back in the same room (Marquis Salon 3) next Saturday, Jan. 6 at the 2024 AALS Annual Meeting.  Please join us! 

8-9:40 am  AI & Defending Multiracial Democracy

Speakers: Danielle Keats Citron (UVA), Jessica Eaglin (Cornell), Rebecca Green (William & Mary), Spencer Overton (GW), Ciara Torres-Spelliscy (Stetson)

Artificial intelligence has the potential to reduce costs, expand participation by voters of color, and facilitate new coalitions. At the same time, incumbent powers could use AI to entrench themselves through discriminatory disinformation campaigns, cyberattacks, voting restrictions, and gerrymandering. Even absent intentional discrimination, the seemingly innocuous use of AI in voter roll maintenance, signature matching, and other aspects of the process could replicate disadvantage. This panel sketches out the opportunities and challenges of AI for our increasingly multiracial democracy and potential legal solutions.

10-11:40 am  Multiracial Democracy After Allen v. Milligan and Students for Fair Admission v. Harvard College

Speakers: Tabatha Abu El-Haj (Drexel), Travis Crum (Wash. U), Jonathan Feingold (BU), Emily Rong Zhang (Berkeley), Bertrall Ross (UVA), Daniel Tokaji (Wisconsin)

This panel seeks to situate Allen v. Milligan in the broader landscape of the Roberts Court’s approach to race, democracy, and pluralism.

There are also two other important sessions on Legislation, Governance, and Democratic Fragility (Wed. 10 am) and Big Money Unleashed (Sat. 8 am).  

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“Plaintiffs seek ruling Thursday in state Senate redistricting challenge”

The Carolina Journal:

Plaintiffs challenging North Carolina’s new state Senate election map are asking a federal judge to make a decision Thursday about issuing a preliminary injunction.

Critics of the Senate plan filed their latest court document Tuesday evening. It argues for blocking two Senate districts in northeastern North Carolina. Plaintiffs contend that the districts run afoul of the federal Voting Rights Act because of racial gerrymandering.

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“Republicans Launch Two-Pronged Attack Against Voting Rights Act”


In their endless quest to further defang the Voting Rights Act and gerrymander their way into permanent control, Republican officials have launched a double-headed attack on the landmark civil rights law. 

The new attacks emerge as Republican politicians attempt to wriggle out of judges’ orders requiring that they draw additional, majority-minority, likely Democratic districts in their states, which could imperil their party’s thin majority in the House of Representatives. 

The attacks on the already-weakened VRA take two forms: arguing that the law doesn’t protect districts controlled by coalitions of multiple minority groups, and that only the U.S. attorney general — not individual voters represented by good government groups, as is most common — can bring lawsuits under the section of the law concerning illegal vote dilution.

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“Alabama Republicans defend not creating a second majority Black district in court”

Zach Montellaro in POLITICO.

“Hearings over the new map kicked off in federal court in Alabama on Monday, and the state is once again arguing that it is not illegally diluting the power of Black voters. This week’s hearing will be crucial to determining if the fight wraps up quickly — or stretches on for potentially years to come.

“It’s not an academic exercise. The court’s decision could have significant ramifications nationally; Democrats could pick up an additional seat in Congress where they are a handful of seats shy of a majority, and the fight could ultimately make its way back to the Supreme Court. A second majority-Black district in the state would likely lead to a second Democratic representative as well. …

“During Monday’s hearing, all three of the judges on the panel questioned if Alabama was ignoring the court. Federal District Court Judge Terry F. Moorer, an appointee of former President Donald Trump, pointedly asked if Alabama had chosen to “deliberately disregard” their instructions when drawing the new map, the Associated Press reported. …

“Republicans argue that the new map they redrew effectively resets the clock for litigation. The defendants acknowledge in a brief that the court “opined” that there should be two majority-Black voting districts, or close to that. But, they argue, that act of the legislature redrawing the map effectively starts the process of challenging the lines over — especially because the legislature prioritized keeping specific “communities of interest” together in 2023, which they say was a change from the 2021 map the court previously stuck down.

“Attorneys for the plaintiffs reject that assertion, arguing that by allowing the state to name new redistricting principles as they redraw would amount to giving ‘the state infinite bites at the apple. …

“The three-judge panel that ordered the state to redraw the maps in the first place seems unlikely to buy this argument from Republicans. In addition to the questioning in the court on Monday, in an earlier order, the judges wrote that the court is “not at square one” and would not “relitigate” the likely violation of the Voting Rights Act.”

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“Order To Redo Louisiana Maps Temporarily Halted By Circuit Court”

The Fifth Circuit has issued a temporary stay of the district court opinion in Robinson v. Ardoin. Here is a short story by Bloomberg reporter Meghashyam Mali. This development is not surprising. The question for me is whether the plaintiffs will seek Supreme Court review if the Fifth Circuit reverses the District Court’s opinion, which at this point seems more probable than not.

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